Friday, 2 May 2008 11:30 PM
By George Kouroumalis
South Melbourne will look to win its second consecutive home game in a row, when it takes on Richmond at Bob Jane Stadium on Sunday.
Buoyed by a solid performance against Altona last week (in which the club had a very unlucky loss) and the resounding 6-2 win against Fawkner a fortnight ago, South go into the game confident that they can take the three points off the high flying Richmond side.
South coach Michael Michalakopoulos will be somewhat reluctant to change the squad from last week, with the back four standing steady against the dangerous Altona outfit.
Centrally, Shane Nunes will look to build on the solid defensive form that he has been showing and will once again partner up with Steven O’dor to form a quite formidable central defensive duo.
On the left hand side of defence, Adam Van Dommele has settled back into the position quite well since returning from injury. The former A-League player will be looked at by the coach to provide an experienced and calm defensive option, as well as to use his strength by pushing forward as an attacking threat whenever possible. This also applies to the experienced Sam Poutakidis, who will once again take the right hand defensive position on the park.
In the middle of the park, Rama Tavsancioglu will once again be assigned to the defensive midfield slot. He was superb last week against Altona and really showed his commitment and leadership in such a role. Supporting him in the centre of the park will be Bill Natsioulas, with Fernando and Goran Zoric also playing vital roles in the midfield area.
Up front South will try a combination of two strikers, with Gianni De Nittis, Nathan Caldwell, Ricky Diaco and Hamlet Armenian all vying for a starting position.
Each player is proven at VPL level and more than capable in influencing any game when in form.
Richmond however, as with Altona last week, will be a tough obstacle to overcome, with the Eagles starting the season in great form.
Unlike many clubs that boast one or two star studded players, Richmond possesses a team full of talented but hard working players, all of whom work together in a manner that assists their team.
In saying that, Richmond have a few individuals that will be looking to shine on the famous Bob Jane Stadium pitch, none more so than former South Melbourne championship winning player George Goutzoulis. Gouzoulis switched over from Heidelberg in the summer and has really added a strong body and experienced campaigner to the centre of Richmond’s midfield. His role will be to win as much ball as possible in that area, as well as provide a threat going forward.
Up front Richmond have been the most potent side in the competition to date, already scoring on 28 occasions this season.
A main reason for this has been the amazing form of the Cardozo brothers, with Richard the leading goal scorer in the competition to date with 9 goals and Pablo just behind, having found the net on 7 occasions. With other attacking threats including Michael Catalano and former South Melbourne player Jessie Krncevic, South must make it a priority to stifle as many Richmond attacking forays as possible.
Taking all this into consideration, Sunday’s game promises to be an thrilling contest by the lake. South Melbourne FC encourages all members, fans and the general public to get along to Bob Jane Stadium to watch a cracking match of Victorian Football. Kick off is at 4pm.
South Melbourne FC vs Richmond
When: Sunday, May 4th
Where: Bob Jane Stadium
Kick-off: 4.00pm (Under 21s at 1.45pm)
Projected Starting line-ups
Dean Anastasiadis (GK/C), Sam Poutakidis, Rama Tavsancioglou, Adam Van Dommele, Steven O’Dor, Shane Nunes, Goran Zoric, Bill Natsioulas, Gianni De Nittis, Fernando De Moraes, Nathan Caldwell
Stuart Webster(GK/C), Aaran Lines, Aaran Tsiaras, Jesse Krncevic, Semir Sivic, George Goutzioulis, Richard Cardozo, Michael Catalano, Zoran Cvetkovski, Noel Bahnsen, Nicholas Kalambokis
Head to head (Games since 2005)
Played : 4
South Melbourne : 3
Richmond : 1
Draw : 0
When: Friday, 29 June 2007
Where: Bob Jane Stadium
Score: Richmond 1 defeated South Melbourne 0
Form in 2008 (last 3 games)
South Melbourne: Loss, Win, Loss
Richmond: Win, Loss, Win