South host Olympia in top of the table blockbuster, cellar dwellers meet in must-win, Lions look to bounce back under new leadership and Strikers try to close the gap on the Rangers.
Glenorchy Knights vs Launceston City
Cellar dwellers Glenorchy Knights and Launceston City meet in a must-win match for both sides. The Knights hold a three point advantage over City and a win this week could extend a strong gap while a win for the visitors could see them draw level with their closest rivals.
Last week, Glenorchy suffered a heavy defeat in their trip over the river to face Olympia, with the young inexperienced Glenorchy squad and falling 5-0 to the Warriors. Glenorchy will have some youngsters miss and bring in some seasoned bodies for the key clash. Launceston City will be looking to bounce back from the Victory League’s largest ever defeat.
Launceston City has several changes to the squad that let through 12 goals last week, including new defender Angus Martin.
Kingborough Lions vs Tilford Zebras
Kingborough Lions will be looking for a response at against the red-hot Zebras under new leadership, following the resignation of Stephen Pitchford last Saturday. Interim Coach Colin Robbins will have his first match in charge as Kingborough look to snap a three game losing streak and salvage their drifting top four hopes.
Robbins identifies shutting down Zebras dangerous duo as key to their hopes of an upset down at the den. Kingborough’s remain in the mix for a Victory Cup spot and Robbins believes his boys can draw heart for this week from their upset of the Zebras in Round 6.
The Tilford Zebras dished out the biggest belting in the history of the Victory League last week and have strung together four strong victories to race back into title contention at just six points off the pace. The Zebras have two changes from the side that demolished Launceston City for the trip down the highway.
South Hobart vs Olympia FC Warriors
In what could be a season defining top of the table clash, South Hobart host Olympia FC Warriors at Darcy Street on Saturday. A result against South Hobart this week could prove paramount for second placed Olympia’s chances of jumping into top spot and lifting this year’s Victory League shield.
The Warriors enter the crucial Round 13 match off the back of a confidence boosting 5-0 home victory over Glenorchy Knights. South Hobart collected three points last week from a tough and testing visit to a muddy Valley Road, the 2013 Victory League Champions came from behind to defeat Devonport 4-1 despite losing their Captain to a red card early in the second half.
Both teams come in off the back of strong attacking displays with 4-1 and 5-0 wins, Andy Brennan hammered home a hat trick on South Hobart’s road trip and Emmanuel Tsakiris finished a brace in their victory at Warrior Park, meaning the clash could be an explosive blockbuster at Darcy Street.
Ladder leaders South Hobart are five points ahead of second placed Olympia and sit six points ahead of third placed Tilford Zebras, meaning a win for Ken Morton’s men could extend their lead at the top. Despite their winning form, South Hobart are looking for further improvement with their Westfield FFA Cup clash coming up on August 5th.
South Hobart lose Captain Hugh Ludford through suspension and will bring Paul Stevens back to the squad, with Matt Lewis to start in Ludford’s place in central defence. Olympia alternatively may have their Captain return for the do-or-die top of the table match.
Northern Rangers vs Devonport City
Northern Rangers host northern rivals Devonport City at NTCA on Sunday. The Rangers bounced back from a poor run of form in stunning fashion last week, thrashing Kingborough 8-0.
The Rangers have had a poor recent record at home with two big losses from their last two home games. Devonport defeated the Rangers at Valley Road in their last meeting, and Lunnon is expecting a stern challenge this week. Devonport are in fifth position and are two wins outside of the top four but have the opportunity to cut the lead to just three points against fourth placed Rangers.
Northern Rangers are still without Adam Edwards but have big ins in Schalde Anderson and Agele Luate. Devonport City have some big team changes, missing their skipper for up to four matches.
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