NPL preview: Brunswick v Victory

Melbourne Victory looks to return to winning ways when it faces Brunswick City in the NPL2 West on Saturday.

Summary

After a strong opening round, Victory has suffered back-to-back defeats against Geelong and Werribee City.

Victory had its chances against Werribee, having taken an eighth-minute lead through Josh Hope.

Hope, 21, scored his first goal of the season from the penalty spot after being brought down in the area.

Brandon Lauton, 19, struck the crossbar for Victory during the second half, but it was unable to find an equaliser.

With one win and two losses, Victory is seventh on the table ahead of Saturday's clash at CB Smith Reserve.

The encounter was moved to CB Smith Reserve from Brunswick's usual home, Dunstan Reserve.

Victory and Brunswick last met in June last year, when the latter recorded a 2-0 win.

Head coach Gareth Naven's pre-match thoughts

"Brunswick are competitive, like to play football, have got a coach who allows and wants his players to express themselves on the ball, well-balanced across the whole group. From our game against Werribee to this week, we're looking to do things better, control possession, create goalscoring opportunities, do more things better than we did last week. I thought we controlled possession really well last week and even at times we switched the play really well and defended as a group totally and collectively.

"We keep reinforcing the most important thing for our team is the challenge of our own performance and how we execute that week in, week out and another opportunity for us to get better at it against Brunswick."

This week

NPL2 West 2019 Round 4
Brunswick City v Melbourne Victory
Saturday, March 9, 3.00pm AEDT
CB Smith Reserve, Melbourne

U20 NPL2 West 2019 Round 4
Brunswick City v Melbourne Victory
Saturday, March 9, 1.00pm AEDT
CB Smith Reserve, Melbourne

U18 NPL West 2019 Round 3
Melbourne Victory v Moreland City
Sunday, March 10, 10.45am AEDT
Partridge Street Reserve, Melbourne

U15 NPL West 2019 Round 3
Melbourne Victory v Moreland City
Sunday, March 10, 9.00am AEDT
Partridge Street Reserve, Melbourne

Last week

NPL2 West: Victory 1 (Hope 8') Werribee City 2
U20 NPL2 West: Victory 0 Werribee City 1
U18 NPL West: Ballarat City 2 Victory 7 (Duratovic 2'/72'/77', Coskundag 28', Thomason 37', Anastovski 50', Serra 89')
U15 NPL West: Ballarat City 0 Victory 16 (OG 5', Karvounis 7'/17', Minutoli 9'/31'/40'/62', Krysinski 22'/24'/48', Cianci 27', Kapaklis 45'/68', Theodorou 63'/66', Tanic 69')