South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

NPL Preview – SMFC vs Dandenong this Tuesday night

NPL Preview – SMFC vs Dandenong this Tuesday night

South Melbourne FC head into Tuesday night’s catch-up fixture with Dandenong Thunder knowing that anything other than a defeat will be enough to take top spot on the PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria table.

South are currently level on 27 points with both the Bentleigh Greens and Heidelberg United, however Bentleigh will still have a game in hand over both South and the Bergers after Tuesday night.

Chris Taylor’s side goes into the Dandenong game with plenty of confidence, after Milos Lujic’s eleventh goal across all competitions in 2015 was enough to see off Avondale FC on Friday night. The 1-0 victory was the fourth time South have won by that scoreline in the League this season, with goals from Lujic contributing to three of those victories. In what was another outstanding defensive display, South’s clean sheet was their fourth in five matches. Despite the ongoing absence of the injured Kristian Konstantinidis, South have the second best defensive record in the League, having conceded only seven goals in eleven games.

By contrast, Dandenong have leaked 25 goals so far this campaign and sit only two points clear of the relegation zone (in twelfth position) after a 1-1 draw with North Geelong on the weekend. Despite their defensive issues, the Thunder have had no trouble finding the net, having put six past Northcote a few weeks back. Seventeen year old Yusuf Ahmed has been a shining light for Dandenong, scoring six goals in an outstanding debut season in the PS4 NPL Victoria. Experienced forward Veton Kocari also knows how to find the back of the net, with the duo shaping as the men South’s back four will need to be most wary of on Tuesday night.

The starting line-up Chris Taylor chooses is likely to depend on the fitness of several players following Friday night’s victory. It is possible that there could be several changes to the team that took the field against Avondale, given the short three day break between fixtures. David Stirton may possibly return to the squad for the first time since injuring himself against Hume City on Saturday 18 April.

Since 2009, South have triumphed against Dandenong Thunder on five occasions, drawn four times and suffered three defeats. Last season South won all three contests (two League and one Dockerty Cup meeting), including a memorable 5-0 victory at Lakeside on Sunday 1 June 2014.

The match kicks off at 8:30pm at Lakeside Stadium. Those unable to make the match can follow proceedings on the club’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, using the handles #SMFC and #PS4NPLVIC.

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