Friday, 16 May 2008 1:54 PM
By George Kouroumalis
South Melbourne will look to make it three wins in a row as the Blues take on bottom placed Frankston Pines this Sunday at Bob Jane Stadium.
South comes into the game following two impressive victories against Richmond and Whittlesea, with the club able to hold on for 1-0 triumphs on both occasions.
Apart from winning both games, the most important aspect to come out of both contests was that the Blues managed to keep a clean sheet, something which was a key problem in the early stages of the season.
A major part in this feat being achieved is a solid back four comprising of Steven O’Dor, Sam Poutakidis, Adam Van Dommele and Shane Nunes. Each defender has stepped up a level and has played a great fortnight of football. With veteran goalkeeper Dean Anastasiadis behind them, the defensive unit will be keen to continue the excellent form this week against the Frankston side.
In the middle third, South gaffer Michael Michalakopoulos will not make any changes, which has also been forced by the minor knee injury concerning Bill Natsioulas, as well as the unavailability of Fernando De Moraes, who continues to represent the Futsalroos overseas.
One member of the midfield who will be looking to build on his impressive form of late will be youngster Antonio La Verde. After scoring the match winning goal, as well as his first ever South Melbourne goal last weekend, La Verde will head into the contest full of confidence. La Verde will be asked to link up with fellow midfielders Rama Tavsancioglu, Goran Zoric and Hamlet Armenian to form a quite formidable middle section.
Up front South will most likely go into the contest with in-form strikers Gianni De Nittis and Ricky Diaco. Despite not scoring on the weekend, both players had exceptional games and were integral in ensuring that South Melbourne came away from the game with the victory.
South will come up against a Frankston side that have had a turbulent start to the season, with the Pines remaining winless so far in 2008.
In recent times, former Heidelberg manager Doug Hodgson has taken over the club in a bid to try and turn their fortunes around, as well as to get the right processes in place to make a tilt at avoiding relegation.
One of Hodgson’s key signings so far as coach was to bring in experienced goalkeeper Peter Zois from the Altona Magic. Zois is an exceptional goalkeeper at this level and has ten years European experience behind him, having played for some big clubs in Holland, as well as for Cardiff City in the English First Division. For Frankston to take points away from Bob Jane Stadium, Zois must be ready to repel any South attack.
Other players to watch in the Frankston lineup will be the experienced Craig Metcalfe, as well as Boris Ovcin, who found the net for the Pines against Coburg last weekend.
All South fans are encouraged to come to Bob Jane Stadium and support the club as it attempts to grasp another 3 points. Kickoff is at 4pm.
South Melbourne FC vs Frankston
When: Sunday, May 18th
Where: Bob Jane Stadium
Kick-off: 4pm (Under 21s at 1.45pm)
Projected Starting line-ups
Dean Anastasiadis (GK/C), Sam Poutakidis, Rama Tavsancioglu, Adam Van Dommele, Steven O’Dor, Shane Nunes, Goran Zoric, Tony La Verde, Gianni De Nittis, Hamlet Armenian, Ricky Diaco
Peter Zois (GK), Daniel Black, Jason Dimozantos, Trent Malcolm (C), Andrew Skledar, Jean-Philippe Javary, Craig Smart, Adam Fadljevic, Boris Ovcin, Craig Metcalfe, Simon Mur
Head to head (Games since 2005)
Played : 4
South Melbourne : 3
Frankston : 0
Draw : 1
When: Sunday, 20 August 2006
Where: Bob Jane Stadium
Score: South Melbourne 5 defeated Frankston 1
Form in 2008 (last 3 games)
South Melbourne: Loss, Win, Win
Frankston: Loss, Loss, Loss