NPL preview: Preston v Victory

Melbourne Victory resumes its NPL 3 Victoria campaign with a trip away to the Preston Lions on Friday.

Summary

Victory is unbeaten in its two games to begin the season, but the competition had a break over Easter.

After a win over the Springvale White Eagles and draw with Western United, Victory visits B.T Connor Reserve.

Victory came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Western, including earning a point after Steven Havales was sent off early in the second half.

Lleyton Brooks had cancelled out Western's opener before William Wilson came off the bench to score an 88th-minute equaliser.

Victory had its chances for a late winner, but ended up with four points from its opening two games of the season.

It is fourth on the table, two points adrift of Preston and Doveton, the only teams with perfect records through two encounters.

General Manager – Football Drew Sherman's pre-match thoughts

"We've made a solid start to the season, obviously being unbeaten in the opening two games but face a Preston Lions that are coming off the back of a resounding win and sitting at the top of the table at this early stage, so we're under no illusion that this is going to be a very tough test for us, and one in which we will need to be on top of our game. There's a strong belief amongst our club that we've some talented players in this group, many of whom have trained with the A-League this week, and it's imperative that they're able to show their capabilities now in the most challenging of matches, if they're to take that next step.

"Preston Lions are a club we've got a lot of respect for, they're the epitome of Australian football, a club with a rich history in the game and proud connection to the Macedonian community they represent. These matches provide experiences to our young players that are fundamental in their development. I know we're looking forward to Friday and what promises to be a great occasion, but most importantly for us putting in a performance and hopefully coming away with the three points."

This week

NPL 3 Victoria: Preston Lions v Melbourne Victory (Friday, April 9 at 8.00pm AEST at B.T Connor Reserve, Melbourne)
U21 NPL 3 Victoria: Preston Lions v Melbourne Victory (Sunday, April 11 at 3.00pm AEST at B.T Connor Reserve, Melbourne)
U19 NPL 3 Victoria: Preston Lions v Melbourne Victory (Sunday, April 11 at 1.00pm AEST at B.T Connor Reserve, Melbourne)

Last week

U17 NPL North: Brunswick City 3 Victory U16s 6 (York 10', Pennisi 18'/28'/38', Kapaklis 54', Mejia 67')
U16 NPL North: Brunswick City 1 Victory U15s 6 (Kellis 8', Coveny 24', Mandic 34', Polyzoudis 42', Harris 60'/74')
U15 NPL North: Brunswick City 0 Victory U14s 3 (Gottoli 28', Harris 30', Marmura 47')
U14 NPL North: Brunswick City 2 Victory U13s 1 (Muller 39')