Friday, 11 July 2008 12:34 PM
By George Kouroumalis
After a two week lay-off, South Melbourne will head into tomorrow’s game against Green Gully knowing that an away win will potentially see the Blues move into sixth place on the Foxtel Cup table. With results falling its way in the past fortnight, South will be keen to avenge a disappointing 0-3 loss to the Cavaliers earlier in the season and upset their highly-rated opponents.
In order to win the game, South must overcome a long-standing record against the Cavaliers, with the Blues being unable to score a competition goal at the venue for over 22 years. The last time a goal was scored by South at Green Gully Reserve was in Round 20, 1986.
On that occasion South left with all three points after Bobby Russell and Manny Anezakis found the back of the net in a resounding 0-2 victory. South will go into the game with defender Steven O’Dor rejoining the line-up after serving a two match suspension following his red card against Oakleigh two rounds previously. Combining with O’Dor in defence will be veteran Sam Poutakidis, who will be playing his 50th match for the club. Poutakidis started at South in the 2002/03 NSL season and stayed until the demise of the NSL after the 2003/04 season. After a few seasons with Oakleigh Cannons, he rejoined the club in the summer, forming a key component of the South Melbourne defensive unit. His form so far this year has been exceptional and South will once again be counting on him to patrol the right hand side of defence as well as push forward whenever possible. Green Gully will provide South with a disciplined and well-drilled opponent, with the Ian Dobson coached side looking to consolidate its top two position on the table. The Cavaliers boast the best defence in the competition, having only having conceded 13 goals in their 19 games to date. South’s forwards face an extremely tough task of breaking past Gully’s defensive unit, lead by goalkeeper Steven Tilovski. As well as being a team that are consistent defensively, Green Gully are also capable of scoring goals to kill off opponents and as a result are sitting in the upper echelon of overall goals scored as well. One of the key factors in this has been the form of youngster Joel Nikolic, who has found the net on eight occasions so far. Nikolic will also be remembered for scoring an impressive brace against South earlier in the season. He will need to be watched and shut down effectively if South are to win the game. Kick-off for this much anticipated contest is at 4pm on Saturday and all South fans are encouraged to get behind the club as it continues to push for that elusive top six birth. When: Saturday, July 12th Where: Green Gully Reserve Kick-off: 4pm (Under 21s at 2pm)
Projected Starting line-ups
South Melbourne Tommi Tomich (GK), Sam Poutakidis, Rama Tavsancioglu, Steven O’Dor, Shane Nunes, Scott MacNicol, Goran Zoric, Adam Van Dommele, Fernando De Moraes, Nathan Caldwell, Gianni De Nittis
Green Gully Steven Tilovski, Manny Muscat, Koce Delev, Dean Fak, Steven Burton, Ryan Ollerton, Jeffrey Fleming, Campbell Banks, Kole Delev, Andy Vargas, Joel Nikolic
Head to head (Games since 2005)
Played : 9 South Melbourne : 2 Green Gully : 5 Draw : 2
When: Sunday, 6 April 2008 Where: Bob Jane Stadium Score: Green Gully 3 defeated South Melbourne 0
Form in 2008 (last 3 games)
South Melbourne: Win, Draw, Loss Green Gully: Loss, Draw, Win