NPL Preview: City v Victory

Melbourne City FC will be looking to continue its strong NPL3 form this Saturday afternoon when it takes on Melbourne Victory at Epping Stadium.

Having won all but one of their past nine fixtures, John Maisano’s men currently sit five points clear on top of the table, just over halfway through the season.

This good run of form continued last Saturday when City picked up a hard-fought 1-0 win away to Doveton SC.

For the second match in a row, defender Sebastian Esposito found the back of the net, this time netting the crucial goal just minutes into the contest.

It also marked a second consecutive clean sheet for goalkeeper James Nieuwenhuizen, who has impressed in between the sticks throughout the season.

City has conceded the second least goals of any team in the league, while its goal difference sits head and shoulders above the competition, showcasing the talent on offer at both ends of the pitch.

Arion Sulemani has been perhaps the most impressive of the bunch, currently sitting two goals clear in the Golden Boot race with nine for the season.

He’s often been fed by Emin Durakovic, who has been in some scintillating form himself. The 16-year-old has been chalking up the assists all season, and has found the back of the net three times after having appeared in every match this season.

City will bring plenty of confidence into Saturday’s top of the table Derby, already having defeated Victory once this season.

Luke Oresti and Max Caputo found the back of the net either side of a Moonib Adus brace in what was a strong 4-2 win to City in late March.

Victory has lost just once since that fixture, most recently picking up the three points in a come-from-behind win away to a 10-men Whittlesea Ranges.

It took just four minutes for them to find an equaliser after going down in the 70th minute, before Birkan Kirdar put them in front in the 80th and substitute James Paneras put the icing on the cake in injury time.

Match Details

NPL3 Victoria: Round 13

Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City FC

Saturday 11 June, 3pm kick-off

Epping Stadium