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Jul 22, 2022   |  5:13PM AET

NPL preview: Ballarat City v Victory

NPL preview: Ballarat City v Victory

Ballarat City v Victory
Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Kick-off: 3:00pm AEST

Preview

Melbourne Victory will look to bounce back from successive defeats when they travel to take on Ballarat City this Saturday afternoon.

The longest away trip in the NPLM 3 will see Victory fighting to keep their slim hopes of automatic promotion alive.

Victory will be desperate to return to the winners’ list following their defeat last week to Western United.

The game at Epping Stadium was a frustrating affair for Victory, who dominated the majority of the game but were unable to convert their dominance into goals.

Western meanwhile were clinical when presented with their few opportunities, eventually running out 2-0 winners.

The result created an eight-point gap between Victory in third and Preston Lions in second, as well as allowing Western to draw level with Victory on 32 points.

However, Joe Palatsides’ side are benefitting from the gradual return of several more senior players to the squad.

Victory will therefore be confident of reversing their recent fortunes against a relegation-threatened Ballarat side.

Ballarat currently occupy 10th spot on the ladder and face three of the top four sides in their final four games of the season.

The pressure will be on the hosts on Saturday as a result.

Ballarat have the worst defensive record in the division having conceded 50 goals so far this season.

The two sides met at Epping Stadium earlier in the campaign where Victory romped to a 6-0 win.

Player in focus

Lleyton Brooks was a key figure in Victory’s 6-0 win over Ballarat, scoring a hat-trick in a player of the match performance.

As one of the returning senior players, Brooks will be eager to re-find his scoring touch to help reignite Victory’s charge towards the end of the season.

This week

Women’s State League 4 West: BYE
NPLM 3 Victoria: Ballarat City v Melbourne Victory (Saturday, July 23 at 3:00pm AEST at Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility)
U21 NPLM 3 Victoria: Ballarat City v Melbourne Victory (Saturday, July 23 at 1:00pm AEST at Ballarat Regional Soccer Facility)
U18 NPL 1: Melbourne Victory v South Melbourne (Sunday, July 24 at 1:15pm at State Football Centre)
U16 NPL 1: Melbourne Victory v Port Melbourne Sharks (Sunday, July 24 at 11:15am at State Football Centre)
U15 NPL 1: Melbourne Victory v Port Melbourne Sharks (Sunday, July 24 at 9:45am at State Football Centre)
U14 NPL 1: Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City (Sunday, July 24 at 9:45am at State Football Centre)

Last week

Women’s State League 4 West: Victory Afghan Women’s Team 0 Sydenham Park 1
NPLM 3 Victoria: Victory 0 Western United 2
U21 NPLM 3 Victoria: Victory 3 Western United 2
U18 NPL 1: Victory 2 Eastern Lions 1
U16 NPL 1 (Sunday, Round 13): Victory 5 Altona Magic 1 U16 NPL 1 (Wednesday, Round 12): Victory 4 Green Gully 1
U15 NPL 1: Victory 4 Berwick City 1
U14 NPL 1: Victory 1 North Geelong Warriors 3