NPL preview: Victory v Nunawading City

Victory v Nunawading City
Epping Stadium
Saturday, August 20, 2022
Kick-off: 3:00pm AEST


Melbourne Victory’s final game of the regular season sees Nunawading City make the trip to Epping Stadium this weekend.

The clash is one of six concurrent kick-offs at 3pm on Saturday to determine the final standings in Victoria’s NPLM 3 competition.

The stakes are high for both Victory and Nunawading ahead of the final round, ensuring this weekend’s game will be compelling viewing.

Victory currently sit in third position, two points clear of Western United, meaning a win will guarantee a play-off tie against Goulburn Valley Suns who are winless in this season’s NPLM 2.

Alternatively, a Victory loss combined with Western winning against Geelong SC would mean Joe Palatsides’ side finish fourth and instead have to play whichever team finishes second-bottom in NPLM 2 (either Werribee City, Brunswick City or Kingston City).

If Victory draw and Western win, then the situation boils down to goal difference.

Nunawading will themselves be hoping Western suffer defeat over the weekend to keep their own promotion play-off hopes alive.

Nunawading currently sit three points behind Western, meaning that if Western lose and Nunawading win, they may be able to jump into fourth spot and earn a play-off of their own, although goal difference could again become relevant.

With so much on the line both teams are sure to bring plenty of intensity to Saturday’s meeting.

Victory are coming off the back of a heroic 2-0 win over Geelong at Stead Park last weekend.

Goals from Adem Duratovic and Alex Menelaou sealed the three points, but more notably Victory held on for the win despite playing the second half with just nine players.

A win which showcased the team’s resilience, Victory will need to put out a similarly impressive display this weekend against a Nunawading team unbeaten in their last five matches.

The reverse fixture was a six-goal thriller which Nunawading won 4-2, no doubt serving as further motivation for Victory to claim the three points this weekend.

Player in focus

Alex Menelaou played a starring role in last week’s win in Geelong, scoring the second goal with a remarkable solo run from his own half of the pitch.

Menelaou’s performance came just days after the conclusion of Trevor Morgan’s Young Socceroos Talent ID camp to which he was called up (alongside Franco Lino) for his excellent season to date.

The midfielder is playing with barrels of confidence right now and will be difficult to contain in whichever capacity he plays this weekend.

This week

Women’s State League 4 West: BYE
NPLM 3 Victoria: Melbourne Victory v Nunawading City (Saturday, August 20 at 3:00pm AEST at Epping Stadium)
U21 NPLM 3 Victoria: Melbourne Victory v Nunawading City (Saturday, August 20 at 12:30pm AEST at Epping Stadium)
U18 NPL 1: Melbourne Victory v Avondale (Sunday, August 21 at 3:15pm at State Football Centre)
U16 NPL 1 (Round 18): Melbourne Victory v Hume City (Sunday, August 21 at 1:15pm at State Football Centre) U16 NPL 1 (Round 17): Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory (Wednesday, August 24 at 7:15pm at Casey Fields)
U15 NPL 1: Melbourne Victory v St Albans Saints (Sunday, August 21 at 11:30am at State Football Centre)
U14 NPL 1: Melbourne Victory v Glen Eira (Sunday, August 21 at 10:00am at State Football Centre)

Last week

Women’s State League 4 West: Victory Afghan Women’s Team 3 Barnstoneworth United 0 (forfeit)
NPLM 3 Victoria: Victory 2 Geelong SC 0
U21 NPLM 3 Victoria: Victory 7 Geelong SC 0
U18 NPL 1: Victory 0 Melbourne City 1 (Thursday)
U16 NPL 1: BYE
U15 NPL 1: Victory 2 Whittlesea Ranges 2
U14 NPL 1: Victory 1 Altona Magic 0