NPL preview: Victory v Western

Melbourne Victory is eyeing back-to-back wins to start the NPL 3 Victoria season when it hosts Western United on Saturday.

Summary

Victory started its campaign with a 2-1 win over the Springvale White Eagles in its season opener.

It was particularly dominant in the first half against the White Eagles and Ryan Lethlean and Jack Morton scored prior to the break.

Lethlean got on the end of a Lleyton Brooks pass before the striker was fouled to win a penalty, which Morton converted.

Victory managed to see out its win against a 10-man Springvale to make a winning start to the season.

For the first time, it will take on Western United at NPL level when the teams meet at Epping Stadium.

It is the first of 12 games Victory will play at Epping Stadium this season.

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

"First and foremost this weekend is a chance to establish some momentum for two teams coming off the back of opening-round wins. Western United has assembled a good team, they certainly will be well organised, and of course this match is against a club that we unfortunately have yet to win a game against in competition football.

"Peer-to-peer games like these give us the chance to assess perhaps more so where our individual players are at by comparison to those on a similar journey and aspiring to A-League contracts in the future. However, there's the danger that the mindset to need to compete physically isn't quite the same as when we line up against men. It's the responsibility of the players to ensure that that isn't the case.

"Competition to feature has been strong, with some newer faces putting in excellent performances last week and from the standard in training this week, you can tell there's a real hunger from this group to get out there, perform and get us that first win against Western United in our opening home match."

This week

NPL 3 Victoria: Melbourne Victory v Western United (Saturday, March 27 at 3.00pm AEDT at Epping Stadium, Melbourne)
U21 NPL 3 Victoria: Melbourne Victory v Western United (Saturday, March 27 at 12.30pm AEDT at Epping Stadium, Melbourne)
U19 NPL 3 Victoria: Bye
U17 NPL North: Goulburn Valley Suns v Melbourne Victory (Saturday, March 27 at 3.00pm AEDT at John McEwen Reserve, Shepparton)
U17 NPL North: Melbourne Victory v Essendon Royals (Sunday, March 28 at 3.00pm AEDT at Harvest Home Road Reserve, Melbourne)
U16 NPL North: Goulburn Valley Suns v Melbourne Victory (Saturday, March 27 at 1.15pm AEDT at John McEwen Reserve, Shepparton)
U16 NPL North: Melbourne Victory v Essendon Royals (Sunday, March 28 at 1.00pm AEDT at Harvest Home Road Reserve, Melbourne)
U15 NPL North: Goulburn Valley Suns v Melbourne Victory (Saturday, March 27 at 11.30am AEDT at John McEwen Reserve, Shepparton)
U15 NPL North: Melbourne Victory v Essendon Royals (Sunday, March 28 at 11.00am AEDT at Harvest Home Road Reserve, Melbourne)
U14 NPL North: Goulburn Valley Suns v Melbourne Victory (Saturday, March 27 at 10.00am AEDT at John McEwen Reserve, Shepparton)
U14 NPL North: Melbourne Victory v Essendon Royals (Sunday, March 28 at 9.00am AEDT at Harvest Home Road Reserve, Melbourne)

Last week

NPL 3 Victoria: Springvale White Eagles 1 Victory U21s 2 (Lethlean 41', Morton 45+1' pen)
U21 NPL 3 Victoria: Springvale White Eagles 1 Victory U19s 6 (Parish 4', Duratovic 23' pen, Gust 55', Brown-Shaw 77'/88', Stamatelos 81')
U19 NPL 3 Victoria: Springvale White Eagles 0 Victory U17s 3
U17 NPL North: Moreland Zebras 0 Victory U16s 7 (Minutoli 6', Connel 15', Muhindo 18', Spaseski 54', Kapaklis 55'/79', Razmovski 61')
U17 NPL North: Murray United 1 Victory U16s 5 (Minutoli x5)
U16 NPL North: Moreland Zebras 2 Victory U15s 7 (Mandic 3'/10', Coveny 33', Kellis 36'/52', Lumu 62'/64')
U15 NPL North: Moreland Zebras 3 Victory U14s 1 (Harris)
U15 NPL North: Murray United 1 Victory U14s 1 (Marmura 28')
U14 NPL North: Moreland Zebras 2 Victory U13s 0
U14 NPL North: Murray United 2 Victory U13s 3 (Durando 12'/16', Klanja 33')