Friday, 2 June 2006 8:39 PM
By Michael Tsoukalis
After a disappointing 0-2 loss away to Fawkner-Whittlesea, South Melbourne return to Bob Jane Stadium looking to maintain their perfect home record as well as make ground on the top 3.
Their opponents Kingston City find themselves in 2nd position but have recently encountered a mini form slump with a 0-1 loss last week against Altona at home and a 0-0 draw against the Sunshine Georgies a week earlier allowing Oakleigh to consolidate their Vodafone Cup leadership.
Both teams met earlier in the season in round 3 with George Katsakis’s men punishing the defensive errors of South and running away with a comfortable 3-0 win.
That evening ex-Lierse striker Joe Spiteri scored a double and together with his strike partner, ex-South Melbourne player Michael Curcija, has formed the most prolific partnership in the Vodafone Cup. Between them they have netted 17 of Kingston’s 25 goals with Spiteri slotting away 7 and Curcija 10.
South Melbourne will have to find a way to contain these two if they harbor hopes of a positive result. However, the South defence has received a timely boost with the potential return of left wing-back Rama Tavsancioglu who has now served his 6 week suspension for an automatic send-off against Richmond.
Kingston of course have a myriad of quality players throughout their line-up with the likes of ex-South Melbourne players Con Anthopoulos, Steve Iosifidis, Marcus Stergiopoulos and Alex Kiratzoglou all vastly experienced National League players.
Sunday’s match also sees the return to Bob Jane Stadium of midfield/striker Peter Koutsoupias who started the season in the Blue and White but moved recently through mutual consent.
In the South camp, John Anastasiadis’s men have been dealt a blow with George Tzirtis’s red card last week against Fawkner meaning the busy midfielder who has been in superb form of late will miss.
Also missing from the South line-up will be skipper Vaughn Coveny who continues his commitments with the New Zealand national team meaning that Trinidad and Tobago native Kevin Nelson is favored to win a starting birth.
Youngster Vasilious Natsioulas will no doubt come into contention for a position in the first 11 with the injury crisis at the club meaning the defensive stocks continue to run quite thin and hence the reliance on the likes of young defenders Sammy DeVito and James Stefanou is likely to continue.