PS4 NPL Victoria Preview: Round 8

The original Melbourne derby is back for another instalment as second-placed Knights travel to fourth-placed South Melbourne.

North Geelong Warriors v Avondale FC
3.00pm, Saturday, April 11, 2015
Elcho Park, Lara
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #NGWvAFC #PS4NPLVIC

It’s the battle of the NPL new boys as promoted sides North Geelong and Avondale face off for the first time in the top tier. Both sides have shown glimpses of potential so far this season and this game provides both teams with a chance to pick up valuable points.

This game will be interesting as the two sides have very different philosophies; Avondale plays cautious, calculated football, where as North Geelong is a free-flowing, gung-ho team.

Avondale’s two wins this year have come courtesy of hard-fought 1-0 results, where as North Geelong has picked up just one win, but it came via a 6-1 thrashing of Green Gully. Which tactic proves successful on Saturday will be interesting to see.


Green Gully v Heidelberg United
3.00pm, Saturday, April 11, 2015
Green Gully Reserve, Keilor Park
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #GGvHU #PS4NPLVIC

Table-topping Heidelberg comes to Green Gully this weekend after a solid midweek win against Port Melbourne. Whether fatigue plays a factor will be interesting to see as they back up after just two days off.

Meanwhile Gully comes into this game after a second-half loss to 2014 champions South Melbourne. While its first half was solid, a second half lapse let South take a 2-0 win.

If it’s to get anything from this game, Gully can’t afford a similar performance against a very strong Heidelberg side.


Bentleigh Greens v Hume City
3.00pm, Saturday, April 11, 2015
Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, Cheltenham
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #BGvHC #PS4NPLVIC

Was last week’s thrashing of Melbourne Knights a coming-of-age for John Anastasiadis’ Bentleigh Greens?

The relatively new side has now almost had two months of competitive football together and time to gel, and they showed just how good they can be. Backing it up with another good performance against Hume could put the fear into other NPL sides, but if it falters, it’ll prove they are fallible.

Hume will be hoping it doesn’t repeat its performance from last weekend when it was held to a draw by winless Werribee. That game was a far cry from how Hume has been playing.

Hume sits in sixth spot, but has four wins to its name out of six games, and the dropped points on the weekend were the first since Round 1. If Louie Acevski’s men can bounce back, Bentleigh will have a game on its hands.


South Melbourne v Melbourne Knights
3.00pm, Saturday, April 11, 2015
Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #SMvMK #PS4NPLVIC

Last time the sides met, it was a wet and miserable evening at Knights Stadium as they competed for the inaugural FFV Community Shield. On that occasion, South had a magnificent comeback in the final ten minutes to defeat the Knights 1-2.

But it’s been almost two months since then, and the Knights look a different side to the one that fell in February. 

The Knights started their season with five wins from five games, before hitting a slump over the last week, losing to Bentleigh, and drawing with Oakleigh in injury time. On the other hand, South is still undefeated with four wins and two draws.

Andrew Marth’s men will need little motivation to do all they can to inflict South’s first loss on it.


Dandenong Thunder v Port Melbourne
7.00pm, Saturday, April 11, 2015
George Andrews Reserve, Dandenong
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #DTvPM #PS4NPLVIC

While Dandenong Thunder kicked its season off with a win, since then, it’s been heading down hill, and fast. It’s currently the only NPL team with five losses in a row this season, and finds itself at the bottom of the ladder.

But the saving grace is that a win on Saturday will could see it jump to 10th, depending on other results. They’ve got it all to do as a strong Port Melbourne outfit heads out to Dandenong.

But a midweek loss to Heidelberg has shown that Port is not invincible. Stuart Munro’s job could be made easier depending on how the Sharks have recovered after a short turnaround.


Werribee City v Pascoe Vale
3.00pm Sunday, April 12, 2015
Galvin Park, Werribee
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #WCvPV #PS4NPLVIC

Winless Werribee takes on a Pascoe Vale side that has shown glimpses of promise, but hit a snag midweek with a loss to Avondale FC.

The Bees have taken points off of the better sides in the competition in Hume and Bentleigh, but have had a tough schedule as they had to play six of the top seven sides over the last six weeks.

If there’s any time for Nino Ragusa’s boys to spark a run, it’s against a tired Pascoe Vale side whose confidence surely took a hit with its midweek loss. But Vitale Ferrante’s side has promise; it showed that promise with a big win against Dandenong Thunder on the weekend.

They’ll need to replicate their goalscoring form against a Werribee defence that hasn’t conceded more than two goals in a game so far this season.


Oakleigh Cannons v Northcote City
8.30pm, Monday, April 13, 2015
Jack Edwards Reserve, Oakleigh
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria, #OCvNC #PS4NPLVIC

Is Oakleigh back? While Miron Bleiberg’s side kicked off its season with four losses on the trot, the last week has been good for it with a win on the weekend against Avondale FC, and taking a point away from Melbourne Knights midweek.

But Bleiberg will need his side to show up for all 90 minutes, and not just the final half hour as it has in its last two games. Goals against Avondale came in the 87th minute and in injury time, while it also waited 80 minutes to get the equaliser against the Knights.

It will be buoyed by Northcote’s poor run of form over the last three weeks, losing to Hume, Avondale, and Heidelberg after solid wins against Pascoe Vale and Port Melbourne. Which Northcote side shows up on Monday will go a long way to seeing who takes the points to cap off Round 8 of the PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria.