South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Preview – South to host Oakleigh TONIGHT in season opener

Preview – South to host Oakleigh TONIGHT in season opener

Lakeside Stadium plays host to a mouth-watering clash on Thursday night, with South Melbourne kicking off its 2015 campaign against Oakleigh Cannons in a match befitting of its status as the PS4 National Premier Leagues season opener.

Less than a week after securing the FFV Community Shield in dramatic fashion, South will be aiming to get their season off to the best possible start with a victory at home.

The clash features the top two sides from last year’s league season, in which South finished seven points clear of second placed Oakleigh at the top.

The Cannons were the only side Chris Taylor’s men failed to defeat all season, with a 2-2 draw on the penultimate day of the season precluded by a 3-0 away defeat at Jack Edwards’ Reserve.

In the 17 games between the two sides since 2007 South have held the ascendency, having triumphed nine times, with four losses and four draws.

Over the summer head coach Chris Taylor has added even more depth to a squad already brimming with talent, with former Northcote defender Kristian Konstantinidis perhaps the biggest of the new inclusions. Former Adelaide United midfielder Jake Barker-Daish is another big name to join the club, whilst Peter Gavalas has returned after a year’s hiatus.

South Hobart product Andy Brennan has impressed in several pre-season fixtures, while Dane Milovanovic (Maldives), David Stirton (Bentleigh), Luke Adams (Waitakere United), Cody Martindale (Noble Park), Bonel Obradovic (Oakleigh) and Nikola Roganovic will all be new faces to Lakeside in 2015.

There is some conjecture about which 11 players Chris Taylor will put out on the park, with only a few players guaranteed of their spots. One of those is captain Michael Eagar, who played in a holding midfield role last Friday night.

Golden Boot winner Milos Lujic also looks certain to start, whilst it is hard to overlook Andy Brennan given his form in the lead up to the season.

Oakleigh will be striving to prove its credentials as a title contender, having twice finished runner-up in the past three seasons.

Despite losing top goal scorer Nate Foster, the Cannons have an enviable attacking line-up that has the talent to trouble any defence.

The match is likely to be an attractive spectacle, with both sides favouring slick ball movement as their mode to goal.

A large crowd is expected for the match, which kicks off at 8.15pm. Tickets can be found here

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