2023 NPL Round 7 – Avengers v Knights

Melbourne Knights are set for a blockbuster match up against NPL Victoria league leaders Avondale at Avenger Park on Saturday afternoon.

Knights come into Saturday’s Round 7 match up full of confidence after winning three consecutive league matches for the first time in four years with Ben Cahn’s new look side beginning to kick into gear ahead of Saturday’s trip to Avenger Park.

Knights enter the weekend in fourth position, looking to cut the gap between themselves and the league leaders to just two points with a win on Saturday afternoon.

Ben Cahn’s side defeated Altona Magic 3-1 in their last outing with Ciaran Bramwell scoring his first goal at Knights Stadium, while Gian Albano and Mohammed Sumaoro netted their third and second goals of the season so far respectively.

Saturday’s opponents ran out 3-2 winners over Green Gully last weekend thanks to goals from Liam Boland, Stefan Zinni and Liston Diaz.

Amongst Avondale’s roster this season are former Knights duo Ayden Brice and Thomas Manos who will line up against the club for the first time since their Summer moves to Avenger Park.

Saturday’s match will be the 16th NPL Victoria meeting between the pair with Knights winning on two occasions, Avondale eight and there having been five draws between the two.

The most recent match-up between the two finished in a 1-1 draw at Avenger Park in May last year with the sides trading goals through Dillon Jakupi and Luka Celic.

Knights defender Corey Sewell who marked his 100th NPL Victoria appearance with a spot in the Team of the Week said his side couldn’t wait to go head-to-head with Avondale.

“Melbourne Knights vs Avondale is a derby as it is, they’re on top at the moment, they’re setting the standard of the comp, just come off a big 7-0 win,” Sewell said

“They’ll be so fired up for it, we’ll be fired up, there’s a bit of a rivalry between Knights and Avondale I remember that even from when I was last here.

“Having come off three wins it’ll be definitely beneficial for us, there’s no better feeling going in like that. So it gives the boys that confidence to play.

“Our focus is always the same, we have a brand of football and we want to play that week in, week out, we want to play exciting football, we want to score goals, we want to create heaps of chances, we want to fill stadiums whether it be here or even away at Avondale.

“We want everyone to come watch us, to say hey that team, they’re a bloody good side.

“Our focus doesn’t really change, it’s just getting ourselves physically and mentally in the right head space. 

“I’m sure if we make it four in a row and we beat them we’ll send a big statement to the rest of the comp, which would be huge for us to let everyone know that Melbourne Knights is here and we’re going to be competing this year.”

MATCH DETAILS

NPL Victoria 2023 – Round 6: Avondale FC v Melbourne Knights

Avenger Park, Avondale

Saturday, 1 April (3:15pm KO)

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