South Melbourne FC returns to Lakeside Stadium for the first time in three weeks when it hosts Avondale FC on Sunday afternoon.
Chris Taylor’s side returned to winning ways with a 4-1 result against Melbourne Victory’s NPL side at AAMI Park last Sunday. Milos Lujic (two goals), Leigh Minopoulos and Spaniard Manolo scored the goals, with the result keeping South in second place, two points ahead of third-placed Heidelberg and five points behind league leaders Bentleigh Greens.
South will finally have a full squad to choose from for the match, with Kristian Konstantinidis, Stephen Hatzikostas and Luke Adams all available after serving suspensions recently. With four rounds remaining until the finals series, it is a welcome relief for Taylor to have his whole squad available, especially in defence, an area that had been severely depleted in recent weeks.
Avondale are literally in “no-man’s land” heading into this match. With four matches remaining in their NPL Victoria season and out of all cup competitions, Avondale are mathematically out of the finals race and are also reasonably secure from relegation danger. This gives them an element of unpredictability as they can play freely against South in Sunday’s match.
Avondale is currently on a two-game winning run and will look to their experienced players such as Jonatan Germano, Massimo Murdocca, goalkeeper Chris May and captain Jeffrey Fleming to help guide them to a first win over South in three league meetings between the sides.
Sunday’s match kicks off at 4pm at Lakeside Stadium.
SMFC v Avondale – Head to Head
Matches Played: 3
Wins (SMFC): 3
Wins (Avondale): 0
First match: SMFC 1-0 Avondale FC (8 May 2015, Lakeside Stadium)
Last match: Avondale FC 0-2 SMFC (29 April 2016, Knights Stadium)
Biggest Winning Margin (SMFC): 7 goals (7-0 win, 15 August 2015, Doyle Street Reserve)
Biggest Winning Margin (Avondale): None
Most Goals in a Match (SMFC): 7 (7-0 win, 15 August 2015, Doyle Street Reserve)
Most Goals in a Match (Avondale): 0
Biggest Finals Win (SMFC): None
Biggest Finals Win (Avondale): None