NPL Preview: City v Moreland City

Melbourne City’s youth will be looking to back-up their 3-0 win over the Moreland Zebras with a victory over Moreland’s other side this Saturday; travelling to Campbell Reserve to take on Moreland City.

Moudi Najjar was the star for head coach Joe Palatsides’ side last week, netting his second hattrick of the season as City handed the Zebras their first defeat on the 2018 campaign and vaulted themselves back into third place on the NPL2s Eastern Conference table.

This week’s opponents Moreland City sit one position superior to City on the Eastern Conference table heading into this weeks fixture; their six wins, two losses and zero draws giving them a three-point buffer over City.

Moreland recorded a comprehensive 3-0 win of their own last week, handily defeating Ballarat City as the Eastern and Western Conferences of the NPL2 played out the first cross-conference round of the season, Apai Ukuno, Daniel Jones and Christopher Cristaldo netting for the victors.

The goal marked Ukuno’s ninth goal of the young campaign, and he will be one that City’s defence will have to keep a close eye on if they are to defeat their high-flying rivals.

Moreland made the jump to the Eastern Conference in the most recent offseason, having last year competed in the NPL2s Western Conference. They finished third in the NPL2 West that year, coming in 14 points behind their second-placed Zebra rivals.

As is tradition, the U20s sides of City and Moreland will clash as a curtain raiser prior to Saturday’s senior game.

Peter Kratky’s seventh-placed City side will be looking to bounce back in the contest, having gone down 5-2 to the Zebras U20s last week, recording their fourth loss on the trot.

Moreland City’s U20s sit in the third position on the U20s NPL2 Eastern Conference table heading into their clash with City, their run of four straight victories snapped last week when they went down 2-1 to Ballarat.

In other academy action, City’s U15 and U18 squads will both be looking to make it three wins on the bounce, both having defeated Kingston City on the road last week.

Both the 15s and 18s will be at home this week, welcoming NPL powerhouses Heidelberg United to LaTrobe University on Saturday.

The U15s, who are currently 7th in the 18 team U15 NPL East, will meet the Bergers at 10.30am, with the U18s, who sit in 3rd position in the 18 team U18 NPL East, will kick-off at 12.30pm.

Match Details

National Premier Leagues Victoria – NPL2 - Round 9
Moreland City v Melbourne City
Saturday, 21 April 2018
Venue: Campbell Reserve, Coburg, Melbourne
Kick-off: U20s – 1.00pm, Seniors – 3.00pm

Photo: Dion Fountas Photography