Melbourne Knights are all set for an NPL Victoria blockbuster when they go up against defending Champions Oakleigh Cannons in Round 15 action at Jack Edwards Reserve on Friday night.
Friday’s match pits fourth placed Knights against third placed Cannons with just two points separating the pair on the league table.
Similarly to their proximity to one another on the competition standings, the two sides played out a closely fought affair in a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at Somers Street in February.
Gevaro Nepomuceno announced himself to the Knights faithful with a stunning free-kick on his home debut to secure a point after an Alex Fiechtner strike had the visitors in front.
Ben Cahn’s side come into Friday’s clash off the back of a midweek 2-0 Australia Cup win over Bentleigh Greens at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex on Wednesday night.
Gian Albano netted his eighth goal of the season from the penalty spot before Corey Sewell added a second with a strike from the top of the box to extend Knights unbeaten run to ten straight matches.
Amongst that run Knights are currently unbeaten in a club record seven NPL Victoria matches as well as a record eight straight matches at home.
Last Friday’s 4-1 victory over St Albans saw Knights equal their points tally from 2022 after just 14 rounds of action.
Oakleigh were also in Australia Cup action midweek, running out 2-0 winners over Dandenong City thanks to goals from Alex Salmon and Joe Guest.
Both clubs are just one win away from the Australia Cup National Rounds and discovered their Preliminary Round 7 opponents on Thursday with Knights drawn at home against State League One North-West outfit Yarraville Glory while Oakleigh will face NPL3 side Geelong SC.
Irrespective of the excitement surrounding both sides cup runs there is no doubt that the pair will be fully focused on Friday’s match as they look to close in on the top two and maintain the buffer between themselves and the chasing pack below.
Friday’s match kicks off at 8:30pm at Jack Edwards Reserve and will be live streamed on NPL.TV.
NPL Victoria 2023 – Round 15: Oakleigh Cannons v Melbourne Knights
Jack Edwards Reserve, Oakleigh
Friday, 26 May (8:30pm KO)