NPL Preview: City v FC Bulleen Lions

Back on the winner’s list for the first time in almost ten weeks, Melbourne City will look to keep the momentum going this Saturday evening when they take on FC Bulleen Lions at the Veneto Club.

Coming into the game having reversed a seven-game losing streak with back-to-back draws, City exploded into the kind of form that they had been threatening for a while last week; putting five goals past a good Brunswick City side en route to a 5-1 victory.

Although Brunswick’s Riki Hosoai put the visitors ahead after just five minutes of play that evening, City forced their way back to equilibrium just two minutes later when Ramy Najjarine found Moudi Najjar inside the area to fire home with a first-time strike.

Najjarine proceeded to blast in a free kick and penalty in the 25th and 27th minutes respectively to hand City a 3-1 lead into the dressing room at halftime before Connor Metcalfe and Najjar struck in the game’s final fifteen minutes to secure the heavy victory.

As well as propelling City back onto the winner’s list, the result also meant that City was able to springboard themselves from the bottom of the NPL2 Eastern Conference table and into eighth place at the expense of Springvale White Eagles and Box Hill United.

A win on Saturday could even see Head Coach Petr Kratky’s side continue their run up the table and into seventh place should Murray United fail to take three points off Langwarrin SC.

Standing in their way, however, will be FC Bulleen Lions; who enter into this weekend’s contest on a high of their own.

Winners of two straight after downing NPL2 highflyers Eastern Lions and Werribee City, Bulleen will also be one of the four NPL Victoria sides taking part in the national stages of the FFA Cup; having drawn fellow NPL2 side Moreland Zebras in the recently completed Round of 32 draw.

Despite finding themselves down 1-0 against Werribee on Monday night after the Bee’s Jacob Butler fired home a penalty in the second minute of first-half stoppage time, Bulleen demonstrated their capabilities when they surged to three points in the second half thanks to a strike from Ben Everson and an own goal from Dion Paola.

City and Bulleen last met in the third week of the 2019 NPL2 season, sharing the spoils at the Veneto Club after a 43rd minute strike from Josh Cavallo was cancelled out by the Lions’ Daniel Maclennan two minutes later.

They will now meet once again at the Veneto Club this Saturday with City this time the ostensible home side. The two sides U20 sides are set to meet in a curtain raiser at 6:30 pm before the senior sides of the two clubs clash at 8:30 pm.

Match Details:

NPL Victoria - NPL2 Round Twenty
Saturday, 29 June 2019
Melbourne City FC v FC Bulleen Lions
Venue: David Barro Stadium, Veneto Club, Bulleen, Melbourne
Kick-off: U20s – 6:30 pm | Seniors 8:30 pm