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NPL R12 Preview – Hume vs. Knights

It’s a short time between drinks Knights fans! We’re back on the road tomorrow night, this time making the trip to ABD Stadium to face off against Hume City FC, with kick off set at 5:30pm.

Round 12 comes only three days after our last competitive match – against Fitzroy City SC – who the Knights drew for their round five FFA Cup match. With a large supporter turnout from both sides, the Knights comprehensively defeated the north based side 3-0 at Kevin Bartlett Reserve. Despite Fitzroy committing their entire team in their half at the whiff of any possible Knights attack, the Knights were able to find the back of the net on three occasions, once in the first half thanks to Gian Albano’s screamer beyond the 18-yard box and then twice in the second half thanks to Hamish Watson and Tomislav Uskok. The win sees the Knights advance to the next round of the national competition, drawing long-time rivals Avondale FC in round six of the FFA Cup. Details to be confirmed.

Despite the short turn around between matches, Hume City also find themselves in the same situation, having also played their FFA Cup match on Wednesday night, defeating Heidelberg United 4-3, in a 7-goal thriller.

At the end of round 11, the Knights retained third position on the ladder, despite only walking away with a point against Kingston City. The Knights need err on the side of caution when approaching round 12 as Bentleigh Greens, who are hot on their heels, are on equal points but in fourth position due to goal difference. Key Knights striker Gian Albano has finally settled into his position at the club and is proving to be difficult to contain on the field. That, combined with his speed and tenacity, and when coupled with Hamish Watson up front has been a deadly combination for opponents. Watson, who is the sides leading goal scorer (seven goals) is a strong talisman for the side up front, often selflessly laying the ball onto Albano or Ofli when a better opportunity presents itself.

Hume City thus far sit mid table in seventh position on 17 points. After only winning five of their matches so far and losing four, including their latest NPL match, their season performance is best reflected by their mid table place. Most wins have come via teams in the bottom half of the table, with their best performance against a top half team being their 1-1 draw against league leaders Avondale FC away. For Hume, former A league player, James Brown has been lethal in front of goal, scoring 11 goals thus far, earning himself third position on the league top goal scorers tally.

Both teams, coming off the back of recent FFA Cup wins, look to come into the match strong. Despite the disparity in table standings, the matchup between the two sides is more or less equally weighted. Both sides come off a two-day break, both sides have prolific goal scorers and both are hungry for the win. The deciding factor will most likely come down two which team can outlast the 90 minutes, given the short turn around between matches.

Round 12 Match Details

Date: Friday 11th May 2019

Kick-off: 5:30pm

Venue: ABD Stadium

Match Official: Bruno D’Aniello

Team News

Melbourne Knights FC Squad:

  1. Harry Cakarun, 2. Luke Jurcic, 4. Tom Podaridis, 5. Ayden Brice, 6. Tomislav Uskok, 8. Gian Albano, 9. Hamish Watson, 10. Marijan Cvitkovic, 11. Nikola Jurkovic, 12. Corey Sewell, 13. Ivan Grgic, 14. AJ Inia, 15. Adrian Tardio, 16. Marcelo De La Plaza, 17. Daniel Visevic, 19. Anthony Duzel, 20. Jordan Gifkins, 25. Atila Ofli, 27. Joseph Franjic.

 

Hume City FC Squad:

  1. Michael Weier, 4. Paul Wilson, 5. Daniel Dixon, 6. Harry Monaghan, 7. Ersin Kaya, 8. James Brown, 9. Bradley Blumenthal, 10. Steven Hewitt, 11. Theodore Markelis, 12. Francesco Paladino, 13. Matthew Lazarides, 14. Mitch Cooper, 15. Hayden Tennant, 17. Gideon Sweet, 18. Benjamin Bowler, 19. Marko Delic, 20. James Kapuranovski, 24. Umut Bozdugan, 25. Will Hendon

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