NPL Preview: Whittlesea v City

City will be seeking a return to winning ways in the NPL3 this Saturday afternoon when it faces Whittlesea Ranges at Epping Stadium.

John Maisano’s squad has been in strong form throughout the season having lost just once since the beginning of April, but did drop points for the first time in five fixtures last time out.

City took on Nunawading in what was extremely tough conditions for football, with the wind wreaking havoc throughout the contest.

The fixture did eventually end in a scoreless draw, although City fashioned several good chances throughout the contest, with Emin Durakovic, Matthew Grimaldi, Dom Folino and Jordi Valadon going closest to finding the breakthrough.

Thanks to another stellar performance from the back four in front of him, James Nieuwenhuizen enjoyed a relatively quiet day in goal, not being forced into a meaningful save until the final 10 minutes of the contest.

With last round’s draw paired with another Preston win, City’s gap on top of the table has now been cut to just two points. This sets up a fascinating end to the season, with just four fixtures remaining and the two teams set to square off next weekend.

That being said, Maisano and his talented squad won’t be thinking about that and will have their sights firmly set on Whittlesea this Saturday.

Whittlesea has struggled to get any momentum going this season and as a result, sits 12th on the table, but it has been able to pick up points in two of its last three fixtures.

Forward Billy Romas has been one of its most important players this season, netting seven times in 13 appearances despite the team’s struggles to find the back of the net.

Romas was the sole scorer for Whittlesea when the two teams met back in May, with City running away 4-1 winners on that day.

Although the score line may make it sound like a dominant performance, City was made hard to fight hard for the three points, as three of its goals coming from the 86th minute onwards.

This just goes to show that although the two teams may be at opposite ends of the table, Maisano won’t be letting his squad take Whittlesea lightly come Saturday afternoon.

Match Details

NPL3 Victoria: Round 19

Whittlesea Ranges FC v Melbourne City FC

Saturday 23 July, 3:00pm kick-off

Epping Stadium