Thursday, 14 June 2007 3:05 PM
By Michael Tsoukalis
South Melbourne travel to Chaplin Reserve this Sunday afternoon looking to move up the table and in turn solidify their standing in the Foxtel Cup top-six.
Currently in 5th position, the Champions have picked up 7 points out of a possible 9 over the past three matches and go into Sunday’s encounter knowing that a win will propel the Albert Park-based club with a group of teams that have a comfortable buffer in the top five.
John Anastasiadis’s men have been managing to grind out results whilst playing well below their optimum level, an encouraging sign for the club as no doubt their best football is yet to come.
In the Georgies, South face a team very similar in style to last week’s opponents, Western Suburbs. The Georgies possess one of the league’s best defenses having only conceded 14 times, an effort largely due to seasoned players such as Stanko Zilic, Colin Azzopardi and goalkeeper Martin John.
However conversely, The Georgies have only managed to net 11 times with ten of the goals coming from former Gold Medal winner and ex-South striker Anthony Magnacca(4), ex-South youth player Alfonso Opazo(3) and striker Vasko Trpcevski(3) respectively.
The Georgies are fighting to protect their Premier League status and must win in order to get out of the relegation zone.
They have the benefit of having a longer recuperation period than South after their scheduled Round 14 fixture against Heidelberg was abandoned due to floodlight failure.
Furthermore, ex-South youth Coach Joe Montemurro was recently replaced by former Georgies player and coach John Markovski who has also registered himself as available to play.
Markovski immediately brought in exciting winger Goran Talevski on loan from Altona in order to generate some attacking flair for the goal-shy Georgies.
In the South camp, last week’s late absentees Vasilios Natsioulas and Jose Vasquez who both missed due to hamstring soreness are possibly pushing for re-inclusion into the squad.
Youngster Nick Curtis is still out with a knee injury whilst new defensive recruit Adam Van Dommele is likely to miss after sustaining an ankle injury early on in the win against Western Suburbs.
South have traditionally struggled away against the Georgies since re-entering the Premier League, losing 1-0 in last season’s encounter, in a game which South winger Trent Waterson netted against his current club.
The atmosphere at Chaplin Reserve is notorious for inspiring the home side, but with South having accumulated an overall good away record so far this term, John Anastasiadis’s men are well positioned to capitalize on their push for successive titles.