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NPL Match Preview: Melbourne City vs Western United

Western United Academy

Western United will look to continue its strong form in both senior NPL 2 Victoria competitions with two blockbuster contests against Melbourne City.

Match Details

NPL Victoria Round 8

Melbourne City vs Western United

Saturday, 8 April

Kick-off: 12:30pm AEDT (Under 21’s), 3:00pm AEDT (Under 23’s).

Parade College, Bundoora

Last time out

Western United produced arguably its best win of the NPL 2 Victoria season, earning its third in a row with a hard fought 4-2 victory over Manningham United.

Coming from 1-0 down at half-time, United put in a stunning second-half display with two goals each from Max Bisetto and Abel Walatee securing all three points.

The Under 21’s had earlier cruised to an 8-0 win in their match, with Obiora Eze and Campbell Dovison both scoring twice.

The wins maintained a wonderful start to the season for the Western United Academy. The Under 23’s are level on points at the top of the league while the Under 21’s lead their league with one of only two perfect records left – the other being this weekend’s opponent.

The Opponent

Melbourne City have had many a fierce battle with Western United in NPL football over the last three years, with both sides having come through NPL 3.

City have been a leader in youth development and facilities, producing the likes of Jordan Bos and Max Caputo from their academy who have both made recent impacts on the first team.

City earned automatic promotion last season after finishing second in NPL 3, but it hasn’t been all smooth sailing so far in the new division with one in six matches leaving them on the bottom of the table.

Their Under 21’s have adjusted much better to NPL 2, though, with a perfect seven wins from seven alongside United this season after having won the Grand Final in the NPL 3 competition last year.

City will be eager to get their Under 23’s back on track and take the outright lead in the Under 21’s in what should be two fantastic matches.

Junior Academy sides head into final grading round

Western United’s Junior Academy sides approach the final round of grading against Geelong Soccer Club with only one team left to secure a division one spot.

The Under 14’s have wrapped up a mini league championship in the West division, while the Under 16’s and Under 18’s have already wrapped up their places in the top three.

The Under 15’s currently sit in third place on goal difference ahead of Caroline Springs George Cross, so a win for them against Geelong SC would ensure all four of Western United’s teams will be playing in the top tier.

After this round, the geographical boundaries are removed and three new divisions for each age group are created based on performance during this initial grading period.

Western United Junior Academy Match Details

Saturday, 8 April

Geelong SC vs Western United

Kick-off times: 9:30am (Under 14’s), 11:10am (Under 15’s), 1:00pm (Under 16’s), 3:00pm (Under 18’s)

Stead Park, Geelong

Calder United takes first bye of the NPLW Victoria season

Calder United will have an extra week to prepare for its next fixture as it takes its first bye of the new NPLW season.

The week off will give the team the chance to reflect on what has been a challenging start to the season, with no wins across the first three matches.

The Under 19’s will hope to carry their momentum through the bye and into next week as they sit top of the league with three wins to begin the season.

Calder United junior sides face Southern United

Calder United’s junior teams will head to Box Hill United for their Round 8 clashes as they look to continue building in the first half of the season.

Calder sits above Box Hill in all three junior divisions and will be eager for maximum points as each side seeks to climb up their respective tables.

Calder United Junior’s Match Details

Saturday, 8 April

Box Hill United vs Calder United

Kick-off times: 8:45am (Under 13’s), 10:15am (Under 17’s), 12:00pm (Under 15’s)

Wembley Park, Box Hill