PS4 NPL Victoria Preview: Round 5

First takes on third in this Friday night PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria blockbuster as South Melbourne heads east to take on Bentleigh.

Bentleigh Greens v South Melbourne
8.15pm, Friday, March 20, 2015
Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, Cheltenham
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #BGvSM #PS4NPLVIC

Bentleigh sits atop of the ladder after three wins and a draw, but South has the luxury of a game in hand.

The home side comes into this battle knowing they can score goals, after flexing their attacking muscle in last week’s 9-0 FFA Cup win over Seaford United.

Meanwhile South Melbourne also had a comprehensive victory over Whittlesea United, defeating the State League 3 N/W side 5-0.

The hosts have the luxury of having the league’s top scorer on their books, with Matthew Thurtell averaging a goal a game so far this season. If he fires again, South’s defence could have a job ahead of them.


Pascoe Vale v Oakleigh Cannons
8.30pm, Friday, March 20, 2015
CB Smith Reserve, Fawkner
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #PVvOC #PS4NPLVIC

We go from a battle at the top of the ladder to a battle at the bottom. Pascoe Vale and Oakleigh Cannons are the only two teams that have yet to pick up points this year.

Oakleigh does have the luxury of a game in hand, given its game against Hume City has been rescheduled for early May after the Round 4 game was abandoned.

The visitors have also yet to score a goal this year, but will be buoyed by their 12-0 demolition of Corio SC in the FFA Cup.

Pascoe Vale also had a big win, but only managed to put four past their foes in the same competition. Paco was unlucky not to get a win in their last PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria game either, only being defeated 3-2 in a thrilling contest against Northcote City.


Melbourne Knights v Dandenong Thunder
8.30pm, Friday, March 20, 2015
Knights Stadium, Sunshine North
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #MKvDT #PS4NPLVIC

Dandenong Thunder has its work cut out for it tonight as they take on the undefeated Melbourne Knights.

The Knights look a different side to last year, having three solid wins under its belt from three games played so far this season.

Not only have they looked solid in attack with a front three of Adrian Zahra, Andrew Barisic, and Stipo Andrijasevic, but they’ve also only conceded one goal in three games so far.

Thunder’s defence looked shaky in its last NPL fixture, having had five goals put past it by Green Gully.

It also had three goals put past it last weekend by NPL 1 side Kingston City. Goalkeeper Zaim Zeneli, defender Ramazan Tavsancioglu and co will have their work cut out for them tonight as they bear the brunt of the Knights’ charge.


Avondale FC v Heidelberg
3.00pm, Saturday, March 21, 2015
Avondale Heights Reserve, Avondale Heights
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #AFCvHU #PS4NPLVIC

It took Avondale a few weeks to get its season in swing, but the host will be hoping its form continues.

Avondale picked up its first point in the NPL in Round 4, keeping Port Melbourne at bay with a 0-0 draw.

It kicked on from there, defeating fellow NPL side Northcote City 3-1 in the Victorian preliminaries of the FFA Cup.

There’s still work to be done for Anthony Barbieri’s men, having only scored one goal so far this year, but the signs are promising.

New players Simon Tolli, Chris Irwin, and Jonathan Munoz are starting to gel with the existing troupe of Aleksiy Khrapko, Andrew Le Page et al.

Meanwhile Heidelberg is coming off a difficult 1-3 loss to Bentleigh, compounded by a red card to Reuben Way. But it wasn’t all bad news for Heidelberg; they were in control of the game up until the sending off.

It’s a theme that’s been seen over the course of its season, with two solid wins over Werribee and Pascoe Vale leading up to that point.


Northcote City v Port Melbourne Sharks
5.00pm, Saturday, March 21, 2015
John Cain Memorial Park, Thornbury
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #NCvPM #PS4NPLVIC

It's been a mixed couple of weeks for Northcote City, having managed a comeback win against Pascoe Vale in Round 3, but lost to Avondale FC in the Westfield FFA Cup.

However, this will be Northcote's first game of the season at John Cain Memorial Park, and it could just be the boost it needs as the side finds itself up against a Port Melbourne side on fire.

Port is unbeaten so far in 2015, and a 0-0 draw against Avondale FC two weeks ago was followed by a 1-0 FFA Cup win over PS4 NPL 1 East side Eastern Lions.

Kamal Ibrahim has made a bright start to the season so far, scoring twice while being a constant threat.

Though the attacking midfielder had a difficult time against Avondale, he once again looms as the key man for Port.


Hume City v North Geelong Warriors
7.00pm, Saturday, March 21, 2015
ABD Stadium Broadmeadows Valley Park, Broadmeadows
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #HCvNGW #PS4NPLVIC

Hume City come into the game on the back of a 5-0 win over Zagame's Men's State League 3 South-East side Riversdale in the Westfield FFA Cup.

With its game against Oakleigh in Round 4 abandoned, Hume will go into the game having played almost two game less than its opponents.

North Geelong has had a real baptism of fire in the top flight, having lost to Bentleigh Greens, South Melbourne and Melbourne Knights.

But it has shown plenty of potential, especially in its 6-1 thrashing Green Gully, and also in its Westfield FFA Cup win by the same score line against Manningham United Blues. This fixture promises to be a tight contest.


Green Gully v Werribee City
8.30pm Monday, March 23, 2015
Green Gully Reserve, Keilor Downs
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #GGvWC #PS4NPLVIC

Apart from the slip up against North Geelong, Green Gully has been impressive going forward so far this season, banging in 11 goals in the first four rounds, the most in the league.

Mathew Sanders has bagged three of the goals, and will be looking to add to his tally this weekend against Werribee.

Werribee has not had much to shout about this season, and losing to PlayStation 4 NPL 1 East side Springvale White Eagles in the Westfield FFA Cup has not helped.

The Bees may be well organised defensively but will need to punish the Gully defence, which also happens to be the worst in the league so far.


Click here for more details on all of the weekend's matches.

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