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Match Preview: Melbourne Knights vs South Melbourne

Jasmine Ceni

Victorian Premier League
Round 20 Preview – Melbourne Knights v South Melbourne
Knights Stadium, Sunday 1 September 2013, 3pm

Melbourne Knights host traditional rivals South Melbourne in the 87th Melbourne Derby on Sunday afternoon.

With Football Federation Victoria adamant to implement the NPLV next season, it could be the final time these two Victorian football powerhouses go head to head, making the fixture a little more sentimental for supporters of both clubs.

Taking a short trip down memory lane, the first ever fixture between the two clubs was contested in 1960 where South Melbourne came out 2-1 victors, while the first win the Knights had over the visitors in the VSL came five years later, with a 3-2 win at Olympic Park.

In more recent times, both clubs could not be separated after their Round 9 clash which also saw the return of Ljubo Milicevic, who last week left the club to join A-League outfit Perth Glory. His unfortunate second-half own goal saw scores locked at 2-2, allowing both teams to take a point from the contest.

Melbourne Knights and South Melbourne are in great form heading into the 2013 VPL finals series, with the hosts now four points clear in second position, three points behind table toppers Northcote City.

The visitors are sitting fifth, only goal difference separating themselves and Bentleigh Greens in fourth place.

They have also been in brilliant goal scoring form, netting 18 goals in their past five appearances, including two six-goal performances against Dandenong Thunder and Hume City, while only conceding 7 in the process.

The Knights defence, bar Milicevic, was tested last Friday night against a determined Dandenong, however stood solid to ensure their side claimed their first ever win at George Andrews Reserve.

Goal scorer Andrew Barisic has been a regular on the board for the hosts, bringing his goal tally up to seven in seven appearances for the Knights.

With a clustered mid-table, South Melbourne need a win to all but seal their finals spot, while Knights will be looking to capitalise on any slip up by leaders Northcote to try and clinch first place with only three games remaining.

Keep up to date with all the latest news leading up to Sunday afternoon’s Derby on Melbourne Knights’ Twitter and Facebook pages.

Twitter: @MelbKnights
Facebook: Melbourne Knights FC

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