PS4 NPL Victoria Semi Finals Preview

Two intriguing Friday night encounters will decide who will play off in the PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria 2015 Grand Final.

South Melbourne v Pascoe Vale
7:30pm, Friday September 4, 2015
Lakeside Stadium, South Melbourne
Twitter: Live updates @nplvictoria #SMvPV #PS4NPLVIC

Last Match:
South Melbourne 3-0 Northcote City - Match Report
Heidelberg United 2-2 Pascoe Vale (PSO 0-3) - Match Report


Last time they met:
Pascoe Vale 0-0 South Melbourne - Match Report

South Melbourne returns from a weekend off to face the sixth-place finisher Pascoe Vale for a spot in the Grand Final.

While it may look like a meeting with a clear favourite and underdog, Pascoe Vale's Elimination Final performance against Heidelberg United showed signs of a major up-turn in form.

While a first-half red card for Heidelberg certainly helped Pascoe Vale's cause, the attacking intent and creativity last week showed that Pascoe Vale's flat form-run into finals was not a precursor of things to come.

A super performance from goalkeeper Alexander Pavlidis, saving two of Heidelberg United's three penalty kicks, means the Pascoe Vale shot-stopper takes top form into this Semi-Final.

South Melbourne may well be putting Pavlidis to the test though. A free-scoring run to the Premier's Plate has yielded 19 goals in four games.

The last time South Melbourne failed to score in a PS4 NPL Victoria match was the last meeting with Pascoe Vale on July 25.

With star striker Milos Lujic declaring himself fit to play after a knee injury scare in the final round against Northcote City, South will be eyeing off a chance for more silverware.


Bentleigh Greens v Hume City
7:30pm, Friday September 4, 2015
Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, Cheltenham
Twitter: Live updates, @nplvictoria #BGvHC #PS4NPLVIC

Last Match:
Bentleigh Greens 3-2 Oakleigh Cannons - Match Report
Melbourne Knights 2-2 Hume City (PSO 0-2) - Match Report


Last time they met:
Hume City 3-0 Bentleigh Greens - Match Report

Hume City will be feeling the pinch after playing in the Westfield FFA Cup on Tuesday night, albeit with a performance that means they take good form into this Semi-Final.

Chris Oldfield's goal may have been breached twice in the Elimination Final against Melbourne Knights, but a superhuman penalty shoot-out saw the Hume stopper save all four Knights penalty kicks.

At the other end, forwards Theo Markelis and Daniel Clark scored in the FFA Cup mid-week, while winger Jai Ingham was an ever-present threat in both the FFA Cup game and last Friday's Elimination Final.

Bentleigh Greens' second place finish earned them a first-round finals bye. The Greens may well be reeling after the late stretch that gave up their lead to South Melbourne for both the Premier's Plate and national PS4 NPL Finals spot.

The departure of star forward Ryan de Vries to Auckland City could not have come at a more inopportune time for Bentleigh's finals campaign.

But a chance to focus after a week off and players of the quality of Wayne Wallace, Troy Ruthven and Chris Lucas means Bentleigh should still have the upper hand with the longer rest and home ground advantage.


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