NPL Preview: City v Whittlesea Ranges


Melbourne City’s senior NPL side will seek to keep their quest for a place in the second tier of Victorian football alive this Saturday as they travel to Epping to take on Whittlesea Ranges in the 25th round of the NPL Victoria NPL2 season.

With just four games remaining in the NPL2 season, City enters into Saturday’s NPL2 cross-conference contest sitting in the seventh position of the NPL2 Eastern Conference table; six points adrift of the sixth-placed Goulburn Valley Suns and nine points back of fifth-placed Manningham United Blues.

Last week, City kept their chances of overhauling either the Suns or Blues and securing a place in the 2020 Victorian second-tier alive with a victory over Eastern Conference foes Springvale White Eagles in NPL Victoria’s catch-up round.

Welcoming back A-League capped prospects Ramy Najjarine and Moudi Najjar to the XI, City triumphed 3-1 over the White Eagles at Keysborough’s Serbian Sports Centre: a brace to the aforementioned Najjarine and a strike from Najjar sealing the result.

With the Suns set to host Geelong SC and the Blues set to head to Campbell Reserve to face Moreland City, City will be looking to keep up their good run of form and maintain the pressure on their sixth and fifth-placed foes with a win over the Ranges of Whittlesea.

City will then end their season with matches against the Blues at the Veneto Club, Eastern Conference leaders Eastern Lions at Gardiners Creek Reserve and against Northcote City FC at ABD Stadium.

The Suns will end their season with a visit to Langwarrin SC, a home tie against fellow regional side Murray United and a trip to face FC Bulleen lions, whilst the Blues will face City, host Langwarrin and visit Murray United.

City’s opponents the Ranges enter into Saturday’s contest in the midst of a fierce top-six race of their own; trailing sixth-placed Western Conference side Brunswick City on goal difference and just three points clear of eighth-placed Geelong SC.

In their last hitout, the Ranges kept their place in the race for the Western Conference top six well and truly alive with a 1-0 over the Goulburn Valley Suns at John McEwan Reserve in Shepparton. Locked at 0-0 at halftime, it took a second-half strike from captain Jose Ramires to seal the win for the Ranges – making it three wins from their last five games.

Prior to Saturday’s senior fixture, the U20 sides of the two club’s will clash in the traditional, 12:30 pm curtain-raiser slot.

Last week, City’s U20 side defeated Springvale White Eagles 20s 3-0 to stretch their lead atop the NPL2 U20 Eastern Conference table to four points over second-placed Northcote City. They’ll now look to defeat seventh-placed Western Conference foes Whittlesea Ranges – who lost 5-3 to the 20s of the Suns last week – to keep the momentum going.

Match Details:

NPL Victoria – NPL2 Eastern Conference Round 25
Saturday, 10 August 2019
Melbourne City FC v Whittlesea Ranges FC
Venue: Epping Stadium, Epping, Melbourne, Victoria
Kick-off: U20s – 12:30 pm | Seniors – 3:00 pm