South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

NPL Match Preview – SMFC vs Hume City

NPL Match Preview – SMFC vs Hume City

By John Kyrou

South Melbourne FC will be aiming for a fourth straight National Premier League Victoria win when it hosts Hume City at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday evening. With ten matches to go in the NPL season, victory for Chris Taylor’s side will at the very least maintain a six point cushion at the top of the NPL ladder ahead of the Oakleigh Cannons.

South goes into the game having defeated Green Gully 1-0 at Lakeside Stadium last Sunday evening thanks to a headed goal by Mathew Theodore in the 12th minute. Hume City also head into the game in winning form, having defeated Dandenong Thunder 1-0 at Broadmeadows Valley Park last Sunday afternoon. It was Hume’s second win in succession and lifted them to fifth place on the NPL ladder.

Nick Epifano rolled his ankle against Green Gully last Sunday but should be available to play on Sunday. Apart from the absences of Dimi Tsiaras and Leigh Minopoulos (both overseas), Taylor has almost a full squad to choose from for the Hume match. Taylor noted post-match last Sunday that he was going to start rotating his squad around more, which may give the likes of Andrew Mullett, Kobbie Boahene and Dion Kirk the opportunity to play. Goalkeeper Jason Saldaris has enjoyed eleven clean sheets in the 19 matches he has played so far this season and will be hoping for another one on Sunday evening.

In the meeting between the two sides earlier this season on Sunday 13 April at Broadmeadows Valley Park, second half goals from Epifano (60’, 75’) and Milos Lujic (78’) gave South Melbourne a commanding 0-3 win. In the corresponding match between the two sides at Lakeside Stadium last season (Sunday 11 August 2013), South smashed Hume City 6-1 thanks to a hat-trick from Luke Hopper (62’, 85’, 88’), a double from Trent Rixon (34’, 45+1’) and a ripping free kick from Nick Soolsma (89’).

Sunday’s match kicks off at 5PM at Lakeside Stadium. Those unable to make the game can follow it with live updates on the South Melbourne FC Facebook page and on the Club’s official Twitter @smfc with the hashtags #NPLVIC and #SMvHC.

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