Melbourne Knights pursuit of a first NPL Victoria finals appearance since 2015 hots up with a trip to face Altona Magic at Paisley Park on Saturday evening.
Knights come into Saturday’s clash off a week that saw them qualify for the Australia Cup Round of 32 for the fourth time with a 3-1 win over Yarraville before being edged out 1-0 by Port Melbourne in league action.
Altona, who sit seventh on the NPL Victoria standings also suffered defeat in their last outing going down 5-2 to Green Gully on the road in last weekend’s Round 18 action.
Knights start the weekend in fourth position on 34 points with an 11 point buffer on the seventh placed Magic.
Knights were victorious when the pair went head-to-head in the reverse fixture at Knights Stadium earlier this season running out 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Gian Albano, Ciaran Bramwell and Mohammad Sumaoro.
Jonas Markovski, who scored a late penalty for Magic that night shapes as the home sides danger man with the 24-year-old leading the competition’s goalscoring charts with 14 goals so far this season.
Saturday’s match will be the seventh NPL Victoria meeting between Knights and Magic with Knights winning on four occasions, Magic once and there having been one draw between the two.
Ben Cahn’s side will have two new faces available to make their debut on Saturday evening with Anton Kinannder and Ben Collins signing on in red, white and blue after the June transfer window opened on Wednesday.
Collins, a 23-year-old central defender joins from Western United where he was part of their 2021/22 A-League Championship winning squad, while Kinnander arrives from Werribee City where he was the NPL 2 top scorer with eleven goals to his name from the opening half of the season.
Kinnander could make his Knights debut against his former club on Saturday, with the former Swedish U19 international having spent the back half of the 2022 season at Magic scoring two goals in six appearances during his time at Paisley Park.
Saturday’s NPL Victoria Round 19 clash kicks off at 6:15pm at Paisley Park and will be live streamed on NPL.TV.
NPL Victoria 2023 – Round 19: Altona Magic v Melbourne Knights
Paisley Park, Altona North
Saturday, 24 June (6:15pm KO)