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Jun 03, 2022   |  9:44AM AET

NPL preview: Whittlesea Ranges v Victory

NPL preview: Whittlesea Ranges v Victory

Whittlesea Ranges v Melbourne Victory
Epping Stadium
Saturday, June 4, 2022
Kick-off: 3pm AEST

Preview

Melbourne Victory is looking to bounce back on Saturday against Whittlesea at Epping Stadium after their first loss in nine games.

Victory remain second on the table despite last week’s 4-2 defeat in Nunawading, which snapped an incredible eight-game unbeaten streak.

Despite Nishan Velupillay, Lleyton Brooks, Birkan Kirdar and Marko Bulic returning from A-League Men duties, Victory were outplayed in the first half by the hosts.

On a positive note, the second half was a vastly improved display as the returning names found their groove following their lay-off periods.

Velupillay was the standout performer, threatening on both wings and scoring a superb goal to give his team hope.

It sets up an important three points up for grabs against Whittlesea, who sit bottom of the table on five points.

Victory and Whittlesea met in Round One this year, ending in a 1-1 draw.

They faced off twice last season, Ranges earning a 2-1 win in the first fixture before a 1-1 draw in the return bout.

The two teams both play home fixtures at Epping Stadium, creating a rare ‘away’ afternoon for Victory in Epping.

Player in focus

Birkan Kirdar returned to the NPL squad last week and threatened the goalmouth on several occasions, including a powerful free kick finding the crossbar late.

The midfielder plays an attacking role at NPL level and is a key creator in the attacking third.

This week

NPL 3 Victoria: Whittlesea Ranges v Melbourne Victory (Saturday, June 4 at 3.00pm AEST at Epping Stadium)
U21 NPL 3 Victoria: Whittlesea Ranges v Melbourne Victory (Saturday, June 4 at 12.30pm AEST at Epping Stadium)
U18 NPL 1: Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City (Sunday, June 5 at 3.15pm AEST at Parade College)
U16 NPL 1: Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City (Sunday, June 5 at 1.15pm AEST at Parade College)
U15 NPL 1: Melbourne Victory v Whittlesea Ranges (Sunday, June 5 at 11.30am AEST at Parade College)
U14 NPL 1: Melbourne Victory v Altona Magic (Sunday, June 5 at 10.00am AEST at Parade College)
Women’s State League 4 West: Barnstoneworth v Melbourne Victory Afghan Women’s Team (Sunday, June 5 at 3.00pm AEST at JT Gray Reserve – Pitch 4)

Last week

NPL 3 Victoria: Victory 2 Nunawading City 4
U21 NPL 3 Victoria: Victory 4 Nunawading City 0
U18 NPL 1: Victory 2 Bentleigh Greens 0
U16 NPL 1: Victory 2 Bentleigh Greens 0
U15 NPL 1: Victory 1 Bentleigh Greens 1
U14 NPL 1: Victory 1 Brimbank Stallions 0
Women’s State League 4 West: Victory Afghan Women’s Team 8 Point Cook 1