South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

NPL Preview – SMFC vs Port Melbourne

NPL Preview – SMFC vs Port Melbourne

Following the roller-coaster ride of highs and lows in Cup matches last week, South Melbourne FC’s focus returns back to the League and tonight’s PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria match against Port Melbourne.

The disappointment of the Westfield FFA Cup elimination on the Gold Coast last Wednesday 29 July was quickly forgotten four days later, when South dismantled Oakleigh 3-0 to win the Dockerty Cup last Sunday 2 August. Milos Lujic scored in both Cup games, including a double against Oakleigh as South won the Dockerty Cup for the eighth time in its 56 year history. Centre-forward Lujic once again looms as a key man in tonight’s game.

South will be keen on putting pressure on League leaders Bentleigh Greens, who are currently five points clear on top of the PS4 NPL Victoria ladder but having also played an extra match. For South to stand a chance of overhauling Bentleigh for the Minor Premiership, three points are vital against Port Melbourne tonight. In other key matches this round, Bentleigh host Avondale tonight whilst Heidelberg United, who are level on points and goal difference with South, face a potentially tricky fixture against the resurgent North Geelong Warriors on Sunday.

Tonight’s match also represents an opportunity for South to claim bragging rights against their most local of rivals geographically. Taylor will no doubt be wary of the challenge posed by Port Melbourne, who sits in seventh position in the League standings with 30 points. South were almost upset by the Sharks in the earlier meeting between the two sides this season on Friday 1 May, with left-back Brad Norton’s injury time goal snatching a 2-2 draw for South at SS Anderson Reserve.

Port drew with League leaders Bentleigh 2-2 in their last outing two weeks ago and are on a five game undefeated run that stretches back to June. Kamal Ibrahim, a former South player, has scored five goals this season and is Port’s leading goal scorer in the League in 2015.

Tonight’s match between South Melbourne and Port Melbourne kicks off at 8:30pm at Lakeside Stadium. Those unable to make the match can follow live updates on the Club’s Facebook and Twitter accounts by using the handles #SMFC and #PS4NPLVIC.

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