South Melbourne FC

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South Melbourne vs Melbourne Knights : Derby Preview

South Melbourne vs Melbourne Knights : Derby Preview

By John Kyrou

The Melbourne Knights host South Melbourne FC in Melbourne’s first National Premier League derby on Sunday afternoon at Knights Stadium. The Knights will be looking to get their season back on track following an inconsistent start to 2014, whereas South will be looking for six consecutive League victories to open the season.

The Melbourne Knights were tipped as one of the teams to beat in 2014 and not surprisingly they began the League season with a 3-2 victory against Northcote City at Knights Stadium on 14 March before following up with a solid 0-2 victory against Pascoe Vale at Hosken Reserve on 28 March. With three home matches in a row following the Pascoe Vale win, things were looking very good for Andrew Marth’s side. Unfortunately for the Knights, they lost all three matches by a goal (1-2 against Werribee City on 6 April, 1-2 against Dandenong on 13 April and 0-1 against Hume City on 16 April). This leaves the Knights in seventh spot on the NPL ladder with six points next to its name.

South on the other hand has completed its opening five League matches with a 100 per cent winning record, with its most recent victim being the Ballarat Red Devils side that Chris Taylor’s men defeated 2-0 at Lakeside Stadium on 17 April. Jamie Reed scored a goal in each half as South ended the round in top spot on the NPL ladder with 15 points, four ahead of second-placed Oakleigh Cannons. Reed and Milos Lujic have been firing up front for South this season, however what has pleased Taylor the most has been the two clean sheets kept in the last two matches, something that he will demand his players achieve again on Sunday.

The Knights had the better of South during the 2013 Victorian Premier League regular season, drawing 2-2 at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday 16 June before defeating South 2-1 at Knights Stadium on Sunday 1 September. However South gained revenge in the Minor Semi Final when it defeated the Knights 0-1 at Somers Street on Friday 4 October in front of nearly 5,000 spectators, advancing to the Preliminary Final whilst the Knights bowed out of the finals in straight sets. That defeat is still fresh for Marth’s side and South will need to be at the top of their game in order to achieve victory again at Somers Street this weekend.

Sunday’s match kicks off at 3PM at Knights Stadium. Those who are unable to attend the match can follow live updates on the official South Melbourne FC Facebook page or alternatively through Twitter (@smfc, #MKvSM, #NPLVIC)

Check out the derby overview courtesy of SMFC TV

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