Victorian Premier League
Round 14 Preview – Melbourne Knights v Northcote City
Knights Stadium, Sunday 21 July 2013, 3pm.
Melbourne Knights host table-toppers Northcote City in a battle of the top four at Knights Stadium this Sunday afternoon.
Fourth placed Knights have only managed to take all three points once against the visitors since they joined the Victorian Premier League in 2010, defeating them 4-2 at home that same year.
A win against the undefeated side could see Knights jump up to second place on the table, only 8 points behind Northcote with eight rounds remaining in the season.
It will also do wonders for the hosts finals ambitions in arguably their best season since 2008, their last appearance in the VPL finals series.
Knights will be without Anthony Colosimo, still unavailable following his knee injury against Oakleigh, while there are still doubts over Shayan Alinejad and Hassan Daramy who are both carrying minor injuries.
However, the club has benefited by the seamless transition of mid-season signings William McLachlan, James McGarry and Milan Batur into the first team.
Andrew Barisic could make a return to the squad this week, after picking up an injury in the first week of the mid-season transfer window. His last stint at the Knights saw him score 19 goals in 21 games and will undoubtedly boost the hosts presence up front.
Despite his nervy return to the VPL against South Melbourne, Ljubo Milicevic has also stood solid in defence alongside Captain Adam Zilic, with the side conceding only three goals since Round Nine.
Chris May is enjoying a respectable season between the sticks, keeping his third clean sheet in a row last week against Richmond, something that the Knights have been unable to do in four seasons.
On the other hand, Northcote are missing James Kalifatidis after his red card against Pascoe Vale last week however will be boosted by the signing of South Melbourne midfielder Marinos Gasparis midweek.