NPL Preview: Geelong v City

City will be eyeing another NPL3 win this Saturday night when it faces Geelong SC away from home.

Currently sitting four points clear on top of the table, John Maisano’s squad are on a three-game winning streak and have suffered defeat just once in their last 13 fixtures.

Six games remain in the current season as City’s hopes of taking out the Premiership and promotion to NPL2 increase week-on-week.

Things won’t get any easier though for the remainder of the season though, as teams at either end of the table fight it out to secure promotion or fight off relegation.

City experienced this first hand last week, made to fight hard for the three points against 9th placed North Sunshine.

Although James Nieuwenhuizen was busy in goal early, City struck first with Luke Oresti finding the back of the net after he was found with an intelligent switch of play from skipper Harry Politidis.

That lead would last just two minutes and it wasn’t until the 69th minute that City would re-take it, with Oresti again the man doing the damage. Recent Scholarship signing, Emin Durakovic, added another to his growing assist tally, with Oresti bringing down the pass on his chest and slamming home into the bottom corner.

City did it last week without star striker and Golden Boot leader Arion Sulemani, who missed the clash with a hamstring niggle sustained the week prior.

Maisano will certainly be hoping to see him back out on the pitch this week, but the recent return of Max Caputo, who’s scored seven goals in nine appearances, softens the blow should Sulemani have to miss again.

Up the other end of the pitch City have been sound throughout the season, conceding the second least goals of any team in the competition.

The central defensive partnership of Sebastian Esposito and Jordan Dellidis has been crucial to this throughout the season, but the recent return of A-League Men squad member Kerrin Stokes will throw a spanner into the works. Stokes was last week subbed on for his first appearance at the level since May, and could be in line for a starting spot come Saturday night.

Currently occupying sixth position on the table, Geelong comes into the clash following its best result in three weeks – a 1-1 draw away to Whittlesea Ranges. After going down in the 27th minute, it was striker Stefan Stojcevski who found the equaliser just six minutes later in what was his debut for the club.

Match Details

NPL3 Victoria: Round 17

Geelong SC v Melbourne City FC

Saturday 9 July, 6:00pm kick-off

Stead Park (Pitch 1), Geelong