NPL Preview: Melbourne City v Nunawading City

City’s NPL side will return to LaTrobe University in Bundoora for the first time since round two when they host Nunawading City FC on Saturday in round 10 action of the PS4 NPL2 Season.

City come into Saturday’s match hoping to halt their current form slump, the early season good form that saw them go on a five-game winning streak a distant memory after back to back to defeats to Whittlesea Ranges FC and Goulburn Valley Suns FC over the past two weeks.

The loss to Goulburn Valley Suns FC in round 9 came despite impressive performances from winger Lucas Derrick and goalkeeper James Delianov.

Derrick was a constant thorn in the sides of the Suns wing backs for the full 90 minutes and the former Australian Under 17s representative should probably have won a penalty for his side in the 92nd minute when he was brought down by Suns goalkeeper Neville Scott in the penalty area.  

Goalkeeper Delianov, who signed a multi-year contract with the senior team on April 1, frequently found himself in one on ones against the Suns strikers and the 17-year-old proved exactly why he was worthy of his senior contract with a number of reaction saves to keep City in the game.

Despite the two successive defeats City still sit second on the NPL2 Eastern Conference table on 14 points, their superior goal difference keeping them above the third placed Dandenong Thunder. With Dandenong City five points clear at the top of the conference, the three points on offer to City this weekend will be critical if they are to overhaul the fast-starting league leaders.

Nunawading City come into the weekends clash with City sitting seventh on the Eastern Conference table, with their 2 wins on the season coming against Bendigo City FC (10th on the Western Conference Table) and Richmond SC (9th in the Eastern Conference).

The side from Mahoney's Reserve have experienced their own dip in form over the past week, squandering a 2-1 lead to draw 2-2 with a ten man Springvale White Eagles in Round 9 and losing 3-0 to be eliminated from the Westfield FFA Cup by Hume City midweek. 

Coached by Nick Dimitrakis, the Nunawading City side features some big-name talent in the former A-League trio of Jason Trifiro (Western Sydney Wanderers), Mitch Cooper (Newcastle Jets) and James Brown (Melbourne City). All three joined the club in the most recent offseason and will be vital to Nunawading's effort to get a result.

The clash between the two sides will begin at 3:00pm, with the U20s sides of each club meeting beforehand for a 12:30pm kick-off.    

Match Details
NPL Victoria - Round 10
Melbourne City vs Nunawading City FC
Saturday 15 March
La Trobe University - Pitch 1, Bundoora  
Seniors: 3.00pm Under 20’s: 12.30pm
Free Entry