NPL preview: Victory v North Sunshine

Melbourne Victory is bidding to continue its unbeaten run when it hosts North Sunshine Eagles in the NPL 3 Victoria at Epping Stadium on Sunday.

Summary

After thrashing Nunawading City, Victory drew 1-1 with Geelong to be unbeaten in two games.

Victory squandered numerous chances at home to Geelong, with Adem Duratovic's opener cancelled out in the second half.

The goal means Duratovic has now scored for Victory in the NPL at four different age groups – Under-18, Under-20, Under-21 and the senior competition.

Duratovic scored four goals in two games in the U21 NPL 3 Victoria this year, while he has made four appearances at senior level this season. 

Victory is back at Epping Stadium as it hosts North Sunshine in Round 7.

Ahead of the encounter, Victory is sixth on the table, four places higher than the Eagles, who are 10th with five points.

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

"Of course at the time we were disappointed to pick up just a point last weekend, however on reflection and analysing our performance, in hindsight I think we can be very happy with the way we played against Geelong. It is very important that we take belief from that, continue to execute the style of football we want to see and bring a positive mindset into the North Sunshine game.

"The focus for us on this weekend is undoubtedly going to be ensuring that we are a little braver in possession of the ball and willing to commit greater numbers to the attacking moments of the game. It's been nice to see opportunities afforded to some of our attacking players in recent weeks and we need to ensure that we continue to pose the same threat as a team regardless of which individuals we may have available on matchday.

"The next couple of games for us are undoubtedly really important to our season, and this month we play teams who have had very different starts to their campaigns. We are of course focusing on improving our play and taking things game by game, but our players will know we still need to collect points if we're able to achieve our goals."

This week

NPL 3 Victoria: Melbourne Victory v North Sunshine Eagles (Sunday, May 9 at 3.00pm AEST at Epping Stadium, Melbourne)
U21 NPL 3 Victoria: Melbourne Victory v North Sunshine Eagles (Sunday, May 9 at 12.30pm AEST at Epping Stadium, Melbourne)
U19 NPL 3 Victoria: Melbourne Victory v North Sunshine Eagles (Sunday, May 9 at 10.00am AEST at Harvest Home Recreation Reserve, Melbourne)
U17 NPL 2: Melbourne Victory v Bulleen Lions (Sunday, May 9 at 3.15pm AEST at Harvest Home Recreation Reserve, Melbourne)
U16 NPL 1: North Geelong Warriors v Melbourne Victory (Sunday, May 9 at 1.15pm AEST at Elcho Park, Lara)
U15 NPL 3 North/West: Melbourne Victory v Caroline Springs George Cross (Sunday, May 9 at 1.45pm AEST at Harvest Home Recreation Reserve, Melbourne)
U14 NPL 3 North/West: Melbourne Victory v Heidelberg United (Sunday, May 9 at 12.15pm AEST at Harvest Home Recreation Reserve, Melbourne)

Last week

NPL 3 Victoria: Victory U21s 1 (Duratovic 52') Geelong 1
U21 NPL 3 Victoria: Victory U19s 2 (Parish 15', Kuol 39') Geelong 0
U19 NPL 3 Victoria: Victory U17s 5 (Vuletic 10', Stamatelos 32', Karlovic 42', Di Meo 61'/76') Geelong 1
U17 NPL 2: Heidelberg United 0 Victory U16s 5 (Kapaklis 7', Minutoli 13'/31'/35', Muhindo 80')
U16 NPL 1: Victory U15s 6 (Polimenakos 29', Kellis 47'/63', Lumu 52', Tanic 59', Mandic 67') Box Hill United 0
U15 NPL 3 North/West: Eltham Redbacks 5 Victory U14s 2 (Wico 49', Lackay 54')
U14 NPL 3 North/West: Victory U13s 3 (Al Sheikh 47'/51', Caputo 96') Werribee City 0