NPL preview: Victory v Moreland City

Melbourne Victory looks to continue its unbeaten run in the NPL2 West when it welcomes Moreland City to Epping Stadium on Sunday.

Victory battled to a hard-fought 0-0 draw against the North Geelong Warriors in Round 16.

Goalkeeper Majak Mawith kept his second clean sheet in as many games during a tight clash at Elcho Park.

The 18-year-old shot-stopper again made a couple of fine saves as Victory kept its opponent scoreless for the fifth time this season – more than it managed throughout the entire 2017 campaign.

Led by captain Benjamin Carrigan, the back four – which included Aaron Anderson, Andrew Visciglio and Luke Goulding – held firm in Geelong.

Victory struggled to find a final pass throughout the encounter, unable to find the back of the net for the first time since Round 4.

The result saw Victory remain fifth on the table, but it is just three points off second spot.

Victory and Moreland City, which is second in the NPL2 East, last met in 2017, the latter winning 3-2.

Head coach Gareth Naven

on defensive improvement…
"In a physical aspect, their ability to get into position earlier, read play, use their bodies, they're working hard at training and it's helping that. In regards to the tactical, just working a lot more on defensive applications in training, seeing where danger is, how to defend, when to tackle, when not to tackle, just them understanding the basics better and better.

"You probably underestimate the value of simple things like knowing how to tackle, knowing when not to tackle in certain areas of the pitch, when to keep pressure on, when to release. I think they're underestimated skills. I think it's important for us to get really, really good at that, especially in the competition we're in with the teams and players we're facing week to week. The same challenges occur, you've got to be smart in defending and it'll set us up for progressing forward up the field so I'd like to think that we're looking to try and do the same thing again against Moreland City this week."

This week

NPL2 West 2018 Round 17
Melbourne Victory v Moreland City
Sunday, June 17, 3.00pm AEST
Epping Stadium, Melbourne

U20 NPL2 West 2018 Round 17
Melbourne Victory v Moreland City
Sunday, June 17, 12.30pm AEST
Epping Stadium, Melbourne

U18 NPL West 2018 Round 16
Moreland City v Melbourne Victory
Sunday, June 17, 1.30pm AEST
Campbell Reserve, Melbourne

U15 NPL West 2018 Round 16
Moreland City v Melbourne Victory
Sunday, June 17, 12.00pm AEST
Campbell Reserve, Melbourne

Last week

NPL2 West: North Geelong Warriors 0 Victory 0
U20 NPL2 West: North Geelong Warriors 0 Victory 4 (Urbina 7', Marth 23', Lethlean 32', Constantinou 50')
U18 NPL West: Victory 2 (Georgiadis 30', Ciantar 60') Melbourne Knights 2
U15 NPL West: Victory 2 (Najdovski 7', Karvounis 46') Melbourne Knights 8