South Melbourne FC

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St. Albans Saints v South Melbourne – Match Preview

St. Albans Saints v South Melbourne – Match Preview

Friday, 27 May 2005 8:32 PM

By Michael Tsoukalis

This Sunday South Melbourne travel to Churchill Reserve for their third consecutive away game against the St. Albans Saints.

After a shaky yet vital nil-all draw against Heidelberg, John Anastasiadis’s men will be eager for the three points to place pressure on ladder leaders Green Gully, but more importantly notch up the 30 point barrier. With the league extremely even and teams all teams capable of knocking each other off, 36-40 points appears to be the figure required to secure a position in the top 6.

St. Albans have had a stuttering season and currently sit in relegation zone (13th). However, their last 3 games have been highly competitive with the Srecko Baresic-coached outfit managing 2 draws against the Melbourne Knights and the Sunshine Georgies whilst narrowly losing to Heidelberg 1-2 after going ahead.

The Saints have an experienced core with Vinko Buljubasic, Ante Deak and Leon Buhic leading the defensive, midfield and forward lines respectively. All three have had NSL experience and will help prop up a largely youthful St. Albans line-up.

In the South camp Vasilios Natsioulas and Steven O’Dor are still absent with glandular fever. Natsioulas could be back for the Frankston Pines game but will miss 100% on Sunday.

Con Blatsis is the only other injury doubt with the colossal defender missing against Heidelberg because of a niggling calf injury. If Blatsis fails to return youngster Sammy DeVito who has been superb in his 3 games to-date is likely to continue in the centre of defence alongside Arthur Tsonis.

After bagging 4 goals against Fawkner, South has struggled to find the net in their last two games, managing only 1 goal. Against Heidelberg the Albert Park-based club struggled to create chances so the game against St. Albans provides the visitors with an opportunity to regain some of their attacking form.

Captain Vaughn Coveny and Kosta Salapasidis have been superb all season, carrying the frontline with a tireless work ethic and will once again be crucial to South’s chances of getting on the scoresheet against the Saints. However, both front men will require a bigger contribution from fellow attacking players Ryan Dinse, Peter Koutsoupias and Scot MacNicol who were well held against the Bergers.

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