NPL preview: Victory v Geelong

Melbourne Victory looks to continue its unbeaten run in the NPL2 West when it hosts Geelong on Sunday.

Summary

Victory is on a four-match undefeated streak after playing out a 0-0 draw with Ballarat City in Round 17.

Goalkeeper Branko Skocic, 20, made a crucial penalty save in the first half of the goalless draw in Ballarat.

The clean sheet was Victory’s second in three weeks as it prepares to host Geelong at Epping Stadium.

Victory has collected eight of its 19 points this season at home, with two wins and two draws from eight matches.

Jack Palazzolo, 19, has led Victory on the goalscoring front this campaign with eight, while Yazid Said, 19, has netted six times.

Victory is eighth on the table, four points behind Sunday’s sixth-placed opponent Geelong.

The teams last met in February, when Geelong recorded a 3-0 win at home.

Head coach Gareth Naven's pre-match thoughts

"We got a lot out of last week in regards to the whole match in managing the match and making sure that a lot of energy was spent getting shots, crosses. In saying that, I thought Ballarat stayed in the fight as well. I think history says that previously we may have come away with nothing against Ballarat in previous campaigns against them so good learning for our boys to stay in the match and create a lot of chances, a lot of opportunities and we've just got to polish them up at the end of the day so all that good work is rewarded.

"Our training week has been what we need to develop, what we need to get better at in regards to how we perform and even though we were a little bit slow during the first half, second half just asked them to understand what concepts we're looking at to try and hurt teams and looking at concepts on how we get better at that."

This week

NPL2 West 2019 Round 18
Melbourne Victory v Geelong
Sunday, June 23, 3.00pm AEST
Epping Stadium, Melbourne

U20 NPL2 West 2019 Round 18
Melbourne Victory v Geelong
Sunday, June 23, 12.30pm AEST
Epping Stadium, Melbourne

U18 NPL West 2019 Round 17
Altona Magic v Melbourne Victory
Sunday, June 23, 11.45am AEST
Paisley Park, Melbourne

U15 NPL West 2019 Round 17
Altona Magic v Melbourne Victory
Sunday, June 23, 10.00am AEST
Paisley Park, Melbourne

Last week

NPL2 West: Ballarat City 0 Victory 0
U20 NPL2 West: Ballarat City 0 Victory 9 (Lethlean 11’/28’/44’, Velupillay 31’/69’, Bassal 34’/60’/65’, Deme 51’)
U18 NPL West: Victory 2 (Lupancu 6’, Anastovski 89’) Moreland Zebras 1
U15 NPL West: Victory 0 Moreland Zebras 0