Melbourne City FC will be seeking a return to winning ways in the NPL3 when it hosts Western United at Parade College this Saturday afternoon.
City comes into this fixture off the back of a disappointing loss to Melbourne Victory last time out. Victory struck early in both halves through Adem Duratovic, but despite City creating plenty of chances throughout the 90 minutes, it was dealt a first loss in nine fixtures.
This undefeated streak saw City to the top of the NPL3 table, but it now sits just two points ahead of the chasing pack, setting up a blockbuster Saturday afternoon clash against Western United.
Western are also in the midst of a strong season, currently sitting in third place just three points and goal difference behind City.
The green and black will come into Saturday’s contest full of confidence, currently on their own five game undefeated streak after knocking off Whittlesea Ranges 4-1 last weekend.
These teams also have met once this season, with Western being one of only two teams in the competition to have beaten City this season.
After conceding in the 71st minute on that day, Max Caputo quickly answered from the spot and the points looked destined to be shared before Jake Najdovski popped up with a stoppage time winner.
City will be desperate to flip the script this time around, but a big performance across the 90 minutes will be needed while being more clinical in front of goal is a must.
Despite last week’s loss, winger Moonib Adus put in a strong shift and will be eyeing another big performance to give the likes of Arion Sulemani and potentially Max Caputo plenty of service in the box.
Sulemani currently sits second in the NPL3 Golden Boot race and will be eager to get back on the scoresheet after being held in the last couple of matches after four goals across the two prior fixtures.
Head Coach John Maisano will also be hoping to see an improvement from his team defensively after some uncharacteristic errors last match. City conceded twice last round, and for context, had only conceded four goals in the six prior fixtures.
NPL3 Victoria: Round 14
Melbourne City FC v Western United
Saturday 18 June, 3:00pm kick-off
Parade College, Bundoora