PS4 NPL Victoria Preview: Round 6

Round 6 kicks off with a battle of the high-flying greens, as second-placed Bentleigh Greens takes on fourth-placed Green Gully.

Bentleigh Greens v Green Gully 
8.15pm, Friday, March 27, 2015
Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, Cheltenham
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #BGvGG #PS4NPLVIC

The hosts have yet to lose in 2015, and almost defeated PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria 2014 champions South Melbourne last week, but for a late equaliser from their old foes. They led the champions for a large portion of the game after some free-flowing attacking football put them 2-0 up at half time.

Bentleigh's attack, led by livewires Matt Thurtell and Chris Lucas, put two past a defence that conceded only one goal prior to facing the Greens. It's set to be an attacking game, with the visitors boasting a strike-rate even more impressive than Bentleigh's.

Green Gully has put 12 past its foe in five games, but has also conceded 10. With those stats, fans at Kingston Heath could see a goalfest on Friday night.


Port Melbourne v Oakleigh Cannons 
8.30pm, Friday, March 27, 2015
JL Murphy Reserve, Port Melbourne
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #PMvOC #PS4NPLVIC

After an impressive first two weeks, Port Melbourne has hit a snag. With good wins against Hume City and Pascoe Vale, the Sharks drew with Avondale, before losing to Northcote.

The side has had issues with finding the net over the last two games, with its attacking outlets in Kamal Ibrahim, Trent Rixon et al losing their effectiveness. But despite the lack of goals up front, Port's defence has looked positive.

Despite conceding two against Northcote, goalkeeper Stjepan Gal stood out for the Sharks, and earned himself a spot in The Corner Flag's team of the week.

This weekend, Gal will come up against an Oakleigh attack that has yet to score a goal after three games. The task has been made all the harder with the absence of star forward Ben Clarke, who's been absent after suffering a concussion against Hume City.

Oakleigh will be desperate today, having started the season with three losses, planting it firmly at the bottom of the table. But Port shouldn't let its guard down; every game that goes past without Oakleigh getting a win will make Miron Bleiberg's side all the more determined.


North Geelong Warriors v Pascoe Vale
5.00pm, Saturday, March 28, 2015
Elcho Park, Lara
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #NGWvPV #PS4NPLVIC

North Geelong will be determined to get a better result this week after Round 5's heartbreaking loss to Hume City in the 95th minute. The 4-3 loss was all the more painful after the Warriors worked so hard to get the equaliser just a minute earlier, in the 94th minute.

A result like that is sure to spur on a North Geelong side that hasn't looked out of place in the NPL this year. Robert Zadworny has been in immaculate form for North Geelong, and sits equal top of the scoring charts in the NPL, contributing five of the Warrior's nine goals.

Pascoe Vale's defence will be hoping for a repeat of its form from last week when it kept Oakleigh scoreless. Whatever changes Paco coach Vitale Ferrante made, be it bringing in new goalkeeper Alex Pavlidis or a change in tactics, they worked.

Before that clean sheet, Pascoe Vale had conceded eight goals in three games. Only time will tell whether the visitors' newfound defence holds.


Northcote City v Avondale FC
5.00pm, Saturday, March 28, 2015
John Cain Memorial Reserve, Northcote
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #NCvAFC #PS4NPLVIC

Northcote is an enigma this season. It started off with two losses, looking dire in performances against Green Gully and Melbourne Knights, before defeating Pascoe Vale and Port Melbourne.

Just when things were looking like they were improving, on Tuesday night it all unravelled with a 5-0 loss at Hume City. Which Northcote City turns up to play will play a big part in the result on Saturday evening.

Meanwhile, Avondale is yet to earn its first win, but it has been steadily improving since Round 1 as it finds its feet in the top tier. It had a tough start to life in the NPL with games against ladder leaders Melbourne Knights, and then a tough away game at Hume City.

The last two weeks have looked promising for Avondale, earning a point to halt Port Melbourne's run, and then almost getting another out of a strong Heidelberg side. But the biggest problem for Avondale has been finding the net, scoring only once in their four games.

This week is as good of a week as any for Avondale's strikers to find their scoring boots, coming up against a side that has conceded the most of any NPL side this year.


Werribee City v Melbourne Knights 
3.00pm, Sunday, March 29, 2015
Galvin Park, Werribee
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #WCvMK #PS4NPLVIC

Werribee has it all to do this weekend, coming up against the first-placed Melbourne Knights.

The Knights have not put a foot wrong in 2015, and they haven't conceded in 325 minutes of football. Their performances have been solid, and even though the scorelines haven't been massive, they've been comprehensive.

The scary thing is, you get the feeling that the Knights still haven't found their feet. With a relatively new team, there's still time for Melbourne Knights to get even better once their new signings really gel. 

But Werribee has a habit of pushing the big teams all the way. The Bees have yet to get a win under their belt, but they've come close.

Despite sitting in 12th spot, they took two points off of a strong Bentleigh side, and almost did the same to South Melbourne before the FFA Cup break.


Dandenong Thunder v Hume City 
4.00pm, Sunday, March 29, 2015
George Andrews Reserve, Dandenong
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #DTvHC #PS4NPLVIC

Two sides with polar opposite starts to the season meet on Sunday afternoon. Hume started off with a loss to Port Melbourne, before getting on a three-game winning streak, most recently with a 5-0 flogging of Northcote midweek.

Thunder has had the opposite: a 2-1 win over Werribee to start their season, before losses to Bentleigh, Gully, and Knights.

Hume looks dangerous as it hits form; Jai Ingham and Calvin Mbarga have been immaculate up front, while Nick Hegarty and Marcus Schroen are workhorses in the midfield, and Peter Franjic and Shane Rexhepi have been brilliant at the back. If Hume repeats its midweek form, the Thunder could be in for a long afternoon.


Heidelberg United v South Melbourne 
4.00pm Sunday, March 29, 2015
Olympic Village, Heidelberg West
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #HUvSM #PS4NPLVIC

Heidelberg rebounded from its loss to Bentleigh Greens by defeating newcomer Avondale FC last week, with Kenjok Athiu scoring the only goal of that game.

The Bergers will need to be at their best this Sunday however, as they come up against traditional their traditional rivals.

South only just managed a draw against Bentleigh Greens last time out to keep its unbeaten record intact, and it will be looking for a more convincing performance this time around. Both sides are still yet to settle into top form, and this could be a fiercely contested fixture with plenty of pride on the line.


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