NPL Preview: City v Springvale White Eagles

Melbourne City’s youth will look to kickstart a winning-streak this Saturday, heading southeast to take on the White Eagles of Springvale.

They will be coming in to the game in some good form, having defeated a physical Goulburn Valley Suns outfit 6-1 at La Trobe last Saturday.

Hat-trick’s by Gianluca Iannucci and Moudi Najjar did the damage for City, who absorbed a hail of late challenges from their regional rivals on their way to the comprehensive win.

Somehow, the game finished without a red card being shown to either side, and with Mark Karlic rapidly on the mend despite being stretchered off during the contest acting head coach Lachlan Armstrong is hoping he will have a full contingent of players to call upon for this weekend.

The result means that City now sit in fifth position on the NPL2 Eastern Conference table, albeit with only a one-point gap between themselves and first place.

That first place position is currently held by this week’s opponents, the Springvale White Eagles.

Putting a hapless Nunawading City to the sword last week, the White Eagles used the 5-1 margin of victory to boost their goal difference sufficiently to leapfrog rivals Dandenong City and Langwarrin to sit atop the summit of the NPL2 East.

The White Eagles have only lost once this season, a 2-0 defeat at home to Box Hill United in Round 4 of the season.

Despite eventually eviscerating Nunawading City last week, the White Eagles actually found themselves down early in the contest thanks to a 6th minute effort from Nunawading’s Borbor Sam.

The White Eagles would answer back with a brace to Andrija Kecojevic and individual efforts by Milos Tosic, Slaven Vranesevic and Milan Jovanovic however, playing themselves into some strong form heading into this week’s contest.

The White Eagles finished eight points adrift of City in last year’s NPL2 East table, ending the year in seventh position on the ten-team table with 32 points and a goal difference of -14.

On top of this table dominance, City well and truly have the wood over their South-Eastern suburbs-based rivals in the head-to-head meetings between the two clubs; defeating them 3-1 at White Eagles Stadium in round 7 and winning the return leg at La Trobe 5-2.

City’s U20s will run out in their traditional curtain raiser before the seniors are in action, looking to bounce back from a second half meltdown which saw a 3-1 half time lead turn into a 3-5 defeat against the U20s of Goulburn Valley last week.

They will have their hands full with the White Eagles U20s, who sit atop the U20 NPL2 Eastern Conference with five wins from five games and a healthy goal difference of +15.

City’s U15 and U18s sides will also be in action over the weekend, hitting the road as they attempt to silence the Oakleigh Cannons.

Simon Zappia’s U15 side last week suffered a 2-1 defeat against the U20s of the Bentleigh Greens, Charbel Shamoon getting on the score sheet for City in the loss.

Conversely, Davey van ‘t Schipp’s U18 side ran out heavy victors, defeating Bentleigh’s U18s 4-1; with Luke Oresti, Darcy Anastovski, Maxwell Branov and Mert “El” Tuna getting on the scoresheet.

The U15s clash with the Cannons will kick off at their foes home ground of Jack Edwards Reserve (Pitch 2) at 11.50pm, with the U18s to follow at 3.20pm.

Match Details

National Premier Leagues Victoria – NPL2 - Round 6
Melbourne City FC v Springvale White Eagles
Saturday, 24 March 2018
Venue: White Eagles Stadium, Keysborough, Melbourne
Kick-off: U20s – 1.00, Seniors – 3.00pm

Photo: Dion Fountas Photography