Friday, 20 June 2008 10:16 AM
By George Kouroumalis
After a resounding home victory against Oakleigh last Sunday, South will head into Sunday’s game against the AIS within touching distance of the top six.
The recent resurgence up the Foxtel Cup table has coincided with the Blues only losing once in its past seven encounters, with the side playing an attractive and attacking brand of football under coach Michael Michalakopoulos. This was showcased last week in a supreme display against the Cannons, with the Lakeside team dominating the game from the kick-off.
However the job is only half done and the club faces an extremely tough month ahead, beginning this Sunday in Canberra against the AIS.
The Blues will be keen to not only edge closer to sixth position but also avenge a resounding 0-2 loss it suffered against the AIS at Bob Jane Stadium earlier in the season.
South will go into the game with a similar looking side that played against the Cannons last week, with only two forced changes expected.
One of these changes will be the unlucky Steven O’Dor, who was sent off last weekend in his 50th match for the club. O’Dor will be a substantial loss for South, having been in great form over the past six weeks. He will be joined on the sidelines by striker Gianni De Nittis, who sustained a minor leg injury in Round 17.
Replacing the key duo will be impressive newcomer Stuart Kelly, whilst the solid Robbie Wynne is a chance to start in the South back four.
A key task for the back four on Sunday will be to negate the dangerous Jason Naidovski. The hard-working AIS striker tormented South in Round 5, capping off his display with an amazing Goal of the Year contender. He will be joined up front by Kofi Danning, a speedy and elusive attacking player that will run relentlessly at defences for the full 90 minutes. Taking this into consideration, South needs to shut down these two players if they are to win the game.
Kick-off for Sunday’s game is at 3pm, with plenty of South fans making the trip to the nation’s capital to support the club as it strives for a top six position.
South Melbourne FC vs AIS
When: Sunday, June 22nd
Where: AIS (Field 14), Canberra
Projected Starting line-ups
Mark Birghitti (GK), Daniel Mullen, Dane Milovanovic, Richard Greer, Alexander Sunasky, Luke Devere, Kofi Danning, Jason Naidovski, Daniel Taylor, Howard Fondyke, Ante Cicak
Tommi Tomich (GK), Sam Poutakidis, Rama Tavsancioglou, Adam Van Dommele, Shane Nunes, Scott MacNicol, Stuart Kelly, Goran Zoric, Fernando De Moraes, Hamlet Armenian, Nathan Caldwell
Head to head (Games since 2005)
Played : 2
AIS : 1
South Melbourne : 1
Draw : 0
When: Monday, 24 March 2008
Where: Bob Jane Stadium
Score: South Melbourne 0 lost to AIS 2
Form in 2008 (last 3 games)
South: Win, Draw, Win
AIS: Win, Win, Loss