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NPL R13 Preview – Dandenong Thunder SC v Melbourne Knights FC

NPL R13 action arrives this Saturday as the Knights begin a three week away circuit which will see them first travel the distance to the furthest club in the competition from home, Dandenong Thunder SC. 

As the midpoint of the season fast approaches, the Knights are priming themselves for a strong second half, with recent international signing Andelo Svalina joining the club from Croatia’s second division. Although not available for selection against the Thunder, measures are being put into action to ensure a strong 2018 finish for the club. Read more here (link).

After securing back to back wins against Port Melbourne FC and FC Bulleen Lions respectively, the Knights will be keen to further progress their winning streak by claiming all three points this Saturday night. Last weeks win saw the Knights jump from 10th position to 8th position on the ladder, with a total of 15 points. Another three points in the bag will see the side potentially move up to 6th position behind Pascoe Vale FC. Importantly, after relying heavily on set piece action in past weeks, this week sees the return of Kym Harris, with the striker hopefully adding some fire power to Knights’ front line.

Dandenong Thunder SC currently share equal points with the Knights (15), but sit one place lower in 9th position due to larger goal difference deficit (-8). So far, the Thunder has been a black and white side, only winning or losing matches and never drawing. The opening rounds of the season saw the side string four consecutive losses, ending the streak after a 1-0 win against Kingston City in round 5, with their most comprehensive win against second from the bottom Hume City FC 3-0. Key for the Knights will be containing Brandon Barnes, who is easily the Thunders most prolific scorer, already claiming two hat tricks in the season thus far.

A win this weekend will go a long way for the side in setting them up for a strong end of season push for the NPL title. With all heads in the game and some good insulated cleats, the side should be able to eliminate the danger of playing in the Thunder.

Team News

Melbourne Knights FC squad: 1. Harry Cakarun, 2. Luke Jurcic, 3. Shaun Timmins, 4. Ben Surey, 6. Tomislav Uskok, 7. Nate Foster, 8. Brody Taylor, 9. Kym Harris, 10. Marijan Cvitkovic, 12. Anthony Dezic, 13. Ayden Brice, 17. Nicholas Jurcic, 19. Anthony Duzel, 20. Jordan Gifkins, 21. David Stojic, 23. Tim Purcell

Ins: NA

Outs: NA

Unavailable: 5. Milan Batur (injury), 11. Nikola Jurkovic (injury)

Kick-off: 7:00pm

Venue: George Andrews Reserve

Forecast: 19°C, Sunny

Referee: Paschalis Natis

Assistant Referee 1:  Laura Moya

Assistant Referee 2: Marc Tito

4th Official: Nicholas Babinczky

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