NPL preview: Victory v St Albans

Melbourne Victory looks to return to winning ways when it hosts the St Albans Saints in the NPL2 West on Sunday.

Summary

Victory dominated possession for long periods but suffered a 3-1 loss to the Eastern Lions in Round 10.

Jack Morton, 17, pulled a goal back for Victory during the second half with his third of the season and it had chances to equalise before the Lions' sealer.

Fresh off making his senior debut, Jack Palazzolo, 19, went closest, having a second-half effort from inside the area saved.

It was Victory's second straight loss in the NPL2 West, leaving it in sixth on the table.

Victory is back at Epping Stadium in Round 11, hosting a St Albans side sitting in second in the NPL2 West.

The teams last met in August last year, the Saints recording a narrow 1-0 win at Churchill Reserve.

Head coach Gareth Naven's pre-match thoughts

"Usually if you shoot more, you get more opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net. It's something they said in our review – we need to take opportunities where we're in front of goals, pull the trigger and shoot a lot more than we have. In saying that, looking back, there was some good possession of play and we just need to understand that with that good possession that we can penetrate in certain ways and make sure we finish off every action, especially when we're in the front third. We want to make the goalkeeper make saves, we want to take people on in the box, we want to finish the action off more this week than we did last week and learn from the things that are hurting us at times. At times, understand when we have to play and when we just can't play. There's no advantage in playing if we're putting one of our team-mates in trouble when we have an option where we may be able to deliver an educated pass­­­­ longer. Pick those moments, especially in the first 10 or 15 minutes of the match when the match is usually hot, so less risk at times."

This week

NPL2 West 2019 Round 11
Melbourne Victory v St Albans Saints
Sunday, May 5, 3.00pm AEST
Epping Stadium, Melbourne

U20 NPL2 West 2019 Round 11
Melbourne Victory v St Albans Saints
Sunday, May 5, 12.30pm AEST
Epping Stadium, Melbourne

U18 NPL West 2019 Round 10
Melbourne Victory v Whittlesea Ranges
Sunday, May 5, 10.45am AEST
Partridge Street Reserve, Melbourne

U15 NPL West 2019 Round 10
Melbourne Victory v Whittlesea Ranges
Sunday, May 5, 9.00am AEST
Partridge Street Reserve, Melbourne

Last week

NPL2 West: Victory 1 (Morton 61') Eastern Lions 3
U20 NPL2 West: Victory 4 (Bello 7', Hamakiotis 51', Bassal 81', Paneras 83') Eastern Lions 1
U18 NPL West: Green Gully 0 Victory 3 (Moukachar 16', Duratovic 52', Coskundag 66')
U15 NPL West: Green Gully 1 Victory 1 (Kapaklis 26')