NPL preview: City v Victory

Melbourne Victory is aiming for a third straight win in the NPL2 West when it faces City in a Derby clash on Saturday.

Victory heads to La Trobe University in Bundoora on the back of consecutive wins.

After beating Murray United, Victory overcame Sunshine George Cross 2-1 last time out.

Birkan Kirdar, 16, scored a dramatic 92nd-minute winner for Victory after Jack Palazzolo, 18, had drawn it level.

Kirdar's goal was his equal team-high fourth of the campaign, while Palazzolo – playing up front after being used on the wing earlier in the season – has netted three.

The win lifted Victory into fifth on the table, just six points off top spot and five adrift of second.

Victory and City last met during the 2017-18 Foxtel Y-League season, with the former winning 2-1 in Epping.

Head coach Gareth Naven

"I say to my group that every game is a big game, considering we're in the NPL2 competition, a lot different to an under-20 or youth team competition. The group of players understand that every match is a big game, so we're trying to handle that, make sure it's important, that it's no different to the big game we played last week against Sunshine George Cross and that we approach it the same way. That's obviously the thing we'll be working hard on this week – that no matter who we play in this NPL2 competition, that every match will be a testing, big match for us. The most important game is always the next one."

This week

NPL2 West 2018 Round 14
City v Melbourne Victory
Saturday, May 26, 3.00pm AEST
La Trobe University, Bundoora

U20 NPL2 West 2018 Round 14
City v Melbourne Victory
Saturday, May 26, 12.30pm AEST
La Trobe University, Bundoora

U18 NPL West 2018 Round 13
Melbourne Victory v Sunshine George Cross
Sunday, May 27, 10.45am AEST
Partridge Street Reserve, Melbourne

U15 NPL West 2018 Round 13
Melbourne Victory v Sunshine George Cross
Sunday, May 27, 9.00am AEST
Partridge Street Reserve, Melbourne

Last week

NPL2 West: Victory 2 (Palazzolo 22', Kirdar 90+2') Sunshine George Cross 1
U20 NPL2 West: Victory 2 (Bello 27', Diaz 64') Sunshine George Cross 2
U18 NPL West: Ballarat City 2 Victory 2 (Georgiadis 56'/66')
U15 NPL West: Ballarat City 1 Victory 0