Friday, 8 August 2008 11:10 AM
By George Kouroumalis
After a hard fought home win last weekend, South Melbourne will head into Friday’s crunch contest against Richmond knowing that a win could see the Blues in touching distance of the top six.
The Blues turned around some indifferent form with a solid performance in front of its home crowd last weekend against the high flying Altona side. With such a performance behind them, South has given themselves a final shot at making the top six this season, with Friday’s game considered to make or break the club’s top six prospects.
South will regain the services of veteran Sam Poutakidis for the encounter, with the experienced defender resuming after serving a one week suspension last week. Poutakidis will form part of a back four that will need to be on guard in an attempt to repel any Richmond attacking foray forward. This is imperative with Richmond being the most attacking side of the competition, scoring the most goals so far in season 2008. Should South shut down the Richmond attack, then the club will go a long way to winning the contest.
Leading this attack will be former NSL veteran Pablo Cardozo, who has had an exceptional first season with the Eagles. In his 20 matches so far, Cardozo leads the league in scoring, having found the net on 18 occasions and playing a major part in Richmond’s attacking style of football.
The other crucial area of the match will be South’s attacking third. With Nathan Caldwell limping off last weekend and facing a last minute fitness test on Friday, South will need to rely on the services of Hamlet Armenian and attacking midfielders Fernando and Goran Zoric to attack the Richmond defence. In a season where South has been involved in many close contests, converting chances against a highly rated and hard working opponent could be what will give the Blues the edge on matchday.
All fans are encouraged to get along to Kevin Bartlett Reserve on Friday and support the team in this crucial fixture. Kick off is at 8.15pm.
South Melbourne FC vs Richmond
When: Friday, August 8th
Where: Kevin Bartlett Reserve
Kick-off: 8.15pm (Under 21s at 6.15pm)
Projected Starting line-ups
Tommi Tomich (GK), Sam Poutakidis, Rama Tavsancioglou, Adam Van Dommele, Steven O’Dor, Sebastian Petrovich, Goran Zoric, Scott MacNicol, Gianni De Nittis, Fernando De Moraes, Hamlet Armenian
Stuart Webster (GK), Jimmy Latinopoulos, Shane Rexhepi, Dimitri Tsiaras, Jesse Krncevic, George Goutzioulis, Pablo Cardozo, Michael Catalano, Zoran Cvetkovski, Noel Bahnsen, Richard Cardozo
Head to head (Games since 2005)
Played : 5
South Melbourne : 4
Richmond : 1
Draw : 0
When: Sunday, May 4th
Where: Bob Jane Stadium
Score: South Melbourne 1 defeated Richmond 0
Form in 2008 (last 3 games)
South Melbourne: Draw, Loss, Win
Richmond: Draw, Draw, Win