PS4 NPL Victoria Preview: Round 21

The derby clash between Melbourne Knights and South Melbourne headlines Round 21 of PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria.

Port Melbourne Sharks v Dandenong Thunder
8:15pm, Friday, July 10, 2015
JL Murphy Reserve, Port Melbourne
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, ‪#‎PMvDT ‪#‎PS4NPLVIC

Last round:
Oakleigh Cannons 1-1 Port Melbourne (R19)
Dandenong Thunder 1-2 Pascoe Vale


Last time they met:
Dandenong Thunder 1-0 Port Melbourne Sharks

Port Melbourne arrested its losing streak last weekend with a point against Oakleigh Cannons. But worryingly, since the Sharks' last meeting with Thunder in Round 8, they have only won one game and drawn three.

It is a point tally which has seen them slide towards the relegation zone, though it still has an eight-point buffer to Werribee in 12th, and nine to the Thunder.

The visitors couldn't hang on to their lead against Pascoe Vale in midweek, and have now lost six on the trot. With only six more rounds remaining, the Thunder must hope its tired legs don't impede them too much against Port Melbourne, as it desperately needs the points to save itself from relegation.


Pascoe Vale v Werribee City 
8:30pm, Friday, July 10, 2015
CB Smith Reserve, Fawkner
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, ‪#‎PVvWC #PS4NPLVIC

Last round:
Dandenong Thunder 1-2 Pascoe Vale                   
Melbourne Knights 5-1 Werribee City (R19)


Last time they met:
Werribee City 0-1 Pascoe Vale 

It's four wins on the bounce now for Pascoe Vale, and the northern suburbs outfit is really flying now. The side has really built up a head of steam for its final six games, and looks set for a top six finish.

Werribee has had a tricky fixture list to deal with in recent weeks, and received its first real thrashing last week against Melbourne Knights, which also saw the end of Nino Ragusa's reign at the club. The Bees need to turn their situation around soon, or face losing their playoff spot and go down automatically.

Pascoe Vale will be a tall order, and Werribee needs to bounce back from last week's big loss by picking up something from CB Smith Reserve..


Avondale FC v North Geelong Warriors 
3:00pm, Saturday, July 11, 2015
Avondale Heights Reserve, Avondale Heights         
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #AFCvNGW #PS4NPLVIC

Last round:
Avondale FC 1-3 Northcote City (R19)
Pascoe Vale 2-0 North Geelong Warriors (R19)


Last time they met:
North Geelong Warriors 1-2 Avondale FC

Avondale is stuttering in its push for finals football, with the loss to Northcote last week effectively ending its chances of making sixth spot. It needs to win against the league's bottom side to keep up its very slim hopes but to do so it needs to be able to find the back of the net.

Avondale has only scored four goals more than North Geelong this season, and only has its defence to thank for its comfortable table position.

North Geelong hasn't scored in three games, its last coming in the 1-0 win over Green Gully in Round 16. The Warriors will be looking for a repeat, or any point out of this game as their top-flight survival hangs on a thread. This game could be decided by a single goal.


Northcote City v Oakleigh Cannons
3:00pm, Saturday, July 11, 2015
John Cain Memorial Park, Thornbury
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #NCvOC #PS4NPLVIC

Last round:
Heidelberg United 0-1 Northcote City           
Oakleigh Cannons 1-1 Port Melbourne (R19)


Last time they met:
Oakleigh Cannons 2-2 Northcote City

Two months ago, Calvin Mbarga was struggling to find the back of the net for Hume City, now he's scoring vital goals for Northcote City, coinciding with the club's upturn in form. The win over Heidelberg in midweek was crucial in City's bid to make the finals, but it needs to make it four wins in a row against Oakleigh to ensure it pounces on any slip up from Hume or Pascoe Vale.

Oakleigh's finals hopes are in the balance, and it has to make up a 10 point gap to Hume with only six games remaining. The Cannons' focus may turn towards preparing for a month of gruelling fixtures, with a Dockerty Cup semi-final and a Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 clash to play in between league games.

This could end up a scoring contest, especially if Mbarga keeps his scoring boots on, and Oakleigh's attack fires.


Hume City v Bentleigh Greens 
7:00pm, Saturday, July 4, 2015
ABD Stadium Broadmeadows Valley Park, Westmeadows
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, ‪#‎HCvBG #PS4NPLVIC

Last round:
Hume City 3-1 Dandenong Thunder (R19)
Bentleigh Greens 1-1 Melbourne Knights


Last time they met:
Bentleigh Greens 1-0 Hume City

Three wins in a row has put Hume City in a great position to secure a top six finish at season's end. However, its run in to the end of the season is tricky, facing all five sides above them, starting with the Greens on Saturday night.

Bentleigh dropped more points on Wednesday after its 1-1 draw with Melbourne Knights, but remains two points clear after Heidelberg also lost to Northcote. The Greens should've won the midweek contest, as they missed a late penalty to take the points.

Hume goes into this clash better rested, which is another hurdle Bentleigh needs to overcome if the side is to get back to winning ways.


Melbourne Knights v South Melbourne
3:00pm, Sunday, July 12, 2015
Knights Stadium, Sunshine
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, ‪#‎MKvSM #PS4NPLVIC

Last round:
Bentleigh Greens 1-1 Melbourne Knights
South Melbourne 3-2 Green Gully


Last time they met:
South Melbourne 2-1 Melbourne Knights

It's derby day again, and the recent form book goes in favour of the Knights, who needs a win as a loss could see the side slip to fifth. However, South Melbourne has a good record at Knights Stadium, and has already won there this season, defeating the Knights 2-1 in the Community Shield at the beginning of the season.

Knights' draw with Bentleigh has also helped South get back into the race for top spot, which adds more spice to the contest, with South desperate to defend its title.

South also holds the upper hand in head-to-head records this season, which stands at 3-0, with South winning the last league meeting as well as the Westfield FFA Cup Preliminary Round 6 clash. This clash promises to be fiery, with the three points vital to both sides.


Heidelberg United v Green Gully 
4:00pm, Sunday, July 12, 2015
Olympic Village, Heidelberg West
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, ‪#MKvWC #PS4NPLVIC

Last round:
Heidelberg 0-1 Northcote City
South Melbourne 3-2 Green Gully


Last time they met:
Green Gully 2-8 Heidelberg United

The last time these two met, Heidelberg was in storming form, running out 8-2 winners in spectacular fashion. The Warriors have been stuttering recently however, and backed up a win against South Melbourne last week with a disappointing loss in midweek to Northcote City.

That loss sees them sit four points behind Bentleigh, but more important they have also slipped back into third place.

Gully has found a second wind, and would have taken a point away from Lakeside had it kept Milos Lujic from netting a last-gasp winner. The side still believes it can make it into the finals, despite the 9 point gap, and it needs to win this week to keep up any hope.


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