PS4 NPL Victoria Preview: Round 2

Round 2 of the NPL Victoria kicks off with Port Melbourne v Pascoe Vale and Melbourne Knights v Northcote City.

Port Melbourne v Pascoe Vale
8.30pm, Friday February 27, 2015
JL Murphy Reserve, Port Melbourne
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #PMvPV #PS4NPLVIC

PORT Melbourne comes into this game on a high, having defeated Hume City 3-1 in its last match.

It will be full of confidence having won comprehensively, with an impressive display from winger Kamal Ibrahim.

The Sharks'll be hoping his form can continue against a Pascoe Vale side who comes into this game off the back of a 3-0 hiding to Heidelberg United.

Pascoe Vale was perhaps hard-done-by with the 3-0 result, but it will be interesting to see whether the backline is changed around after being outplayed by the Warriors' forward line.

Melbourne Knights v Northcote City
8.30pm, Friday February 27, 2015
Knights Stadium, Sunshine North
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #MKvNC #PS4NPLVIC

NORTHCOTE City will have to improve beyond sight to have any chance of getting something from a strong Melbourne Knights outfit.

It's been a short turnaround for Goran Lozanovski's side after they were comprehensively defeated 4-1 on Monday night at Green Gully, with their only goal coming from a late penalty.

On the other hand, Andrew Marth will be chuffed with his side's resilience, coming back after going a goal down early to newly-promoted Avondale FC.

But the Knights must start stronger if they are to get a result from a Northcote side which will be determined to get its first points on the board.

Green Gully v Oakleigh             
3.00pm, Saturday February 28, 2015
Green Gully Reserve, Keilor Park
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #GGvOC #PS4NPLVIC

GREEN Gully will be doing everything it can to make sure the 2014 edition of this fixture is not repeated.

Last year, the scenarios were similar: Green Gully started its season with a 4-0 win before hitting a slump in its next few games, before eventually being destroyed by Oakleigh 6-1 in Round 4.

This year, the hosts won 4-1 in their first game, and coach Bob Stojcevski will be doing everything he can to keep his side mentally strong.

Meanwhile the visitors can not afford to start the season with nought from six possible points, and even though it's yet early days, they need a win here if they are to keep themselves in the race for the title.

Miron Bleiberg will be hoping Ben Clarke can repeat his form from Round 1, and Gully's defenders will need to be wary of his pace.

However, the biggest problem Oakleigh will have is finding someone with their scoring boots on. If they can do that, Gully could be in for a long afternoon.

North Geelong Warriors v South Melbourne
5.00pm, Saturday February 28, 2015
Elcho Park, Lara
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #NGWvSM #PS4NPLVIC

ELCHO Park will need to become a fortress for North Geelong this year.

The regional side will be hoping its opening games at home are a lot better than in 2014, with the side only winning one of its first four fixtures at Elcho Park last year.

Granted, one element that team did not have was coach Micky Colina.

Colina and his men enter Round 2 after a 2-0 loss to Bentleigh, but in reality it could have been more had it not been for goalkeeper Daniel Zilic.

If Zilic is on song again, South Melbourne will need far more than they had in the arsenal last week against Oakleigh.

But South has potential, with Milos Lujic, Andy Brennan, David Stirton, and Leigh Minopoulos all fighting for a starting spot in the front line.

Dandenong Thunder v Bentleigh Greens 
7.00pm, Saturday, February 28, 2015
George Andrews Reserve, Dandenong
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #DTvBG #PS4NPLVIC

BOTH Dandenong and Bentleigh have started the season strongly, but Saturday night's fixture will prove the real chance to measure themselves up.

Thunder defeated a lacklustre Werribee side 2-1 away from home, but showed a lot of promise with the emergence of pacy forward Yousef Ahmed.

But his work will be cut out for him with Bentleigh looking for its second clean sheet in a row.

Defender Steven Topalovic was man of the match against a North Geelong side that had no chance of breaking through Bentleigh's wall.

Bentleigh looked just as good going forward as it did in defence, with Matt Thurtell bagging himself a goal and an assist on debut.

If he's half as good as he was on Friday night, Thunder's defence will have its work cut out for it.

Hume City v Avondale FC
3.00pm, Sunday March 1, 2015
Broadmeadows Valley Park, Broadmeadows
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #HCvAFC #PS4NPLVIC

HUME City and Avondale FC have something to prove. Luckily for Avondale FC, it will have its coach on hand this week as Anthony Barbieri returns for his first game of the season.

He'll be hoping to make an impact on a side that showed a lot of promise against a resurgent Melbourne Knights.

They took an early lead in their first game, but just couldn't hold on in the second half.

That's where Barbieri will need to come in and keep his side mentally strong for the whole 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, Hume must step up; it was poor against Port Melbourne last week, with the home side looking a shadow of the side it was in pre-season.

The heat last week could have played a factor, but there should be no excuses this week, with a balmy 22 degrees forecast for Melbourne on Sunday.

Werribee City v Heidelberg United
3.00pm, Sunday March 1, 2015
Galvin Park, Werribee
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #WCvHU #PS4NPLVIC

HEIDELBERG may have won 3-0 last week, but we've yet to see just what they can do. 

Its forwards have yet to click, and they still managed a 3-0 win. If Werribee City's defence isn't on its toes, it could be a long day.

Key man Dan Heffernan could play his first game for the club, having been kept out last week by an ankle injury.

Even if he doesn't make his return this week, new striker Kenny Athiu will have had another week to settle in to his surroundings, and familiarise himself with strike partner Kaine Sheppard.

There's a lot of pace in that forward line, and it could cause problems for Simon Colosimo and co if they aren't adequately prepared for it.


Keep up-to-date with all the NPL Victoria news, video, features and more via the official websiteFacebook,Twitter and YouTube channels.