NPL Match Preview: Preston Lions vs Western United

Western United Academy

With four games remaining in the NPL 3 season, Western United approaches a massive meeting with Preston Lions in the race for promotion on Friday night.

Match Details

Preston Lions vs Western United

Friday, 22 July

Kick-off: 6:15pm (Under 21’s), 8:30pm (Senior’s)

B.T. Connor Reserve, Reservoir

Broadcast: Fans unable to attend the match can tune in to the live stream on Preston Lions’ Facebook page.

Last time out

Western United’s senior side scored a big win last week, defeating Melbourne Victory 2-0 at Epping Stadium.

Yianni Panakos opened the scoring with a searing strike from long-range before Sabit Ngor put the icing on the cake with a second late on in the match.

The win saw United go level on points with Victory in third and remain eight points adrift of Preston in second.

The Under 21’s fell just short of becoming the first team to take points of Victory this season after carrying a 2-0 lead into the final 20 minutes.

A late Victory fightback saw the hosts win the game 3-2, though, with the result seeing United remain in third place on the table.

Previous Meetings

Anthony Frost’s side will be out to avenge defeat against Preston the last time the two teams met back in May.

Preston ran out 3-0 winners on that night at City Vista Recreation Reserve, following an exciting 1-1 draw between the two sides last year.

The Under 21’s side suffered a 3-0 defeat to Preston in 2021 but overturned that with a 5-1 triumph this season on the back of a Greg Siamoa hat-trick.

The Opponent

Preston Lions have been the form team in NPL 3 in recent weeks with seven wins in a row and just one defeat since Round 5 in mid-April.

With just two defeats all season, Preston have created some distance in the race for the automatic promotion spots and are even beginning to chase down Melbourne City at the top of the league.

They have conceded a league-low 11 goals in 18 games, while attackers Connor Bell and Christopher Davies have combined for 20 goals.

The Under 21’s have been slightly less successful but still more than competitive, sitting right in the middle of the table in sixth place.

Calder United out to bounce back against Bulleen Lions

Western United and Calder United will bookend the weekend in Victorian football with the latter facing Bulleen Lions in a crucial meeting on Monday night.

Mark Torcaso’s senior women fell to defeat last week after winning 10 games in a row prior to that, but will be out to bounce back against Bulleen to maintain control of the Premiership race in NPLW.

The game will be a rematch of the NIKE F.C. Cup semi-final from less than two weeks ago, where Melissa Taranto’s late stunner sent Calder into a fifth-straight grand final.

The Under 19’s are also locked in a race for first place, where they currently sit four points clear of second-placed South Melbourne.

Josip Loncaric’s side will kick off at 6:15pm at the Veneto Club before the Senior’s begin at 8:15pm, with two huge games for each side heading into the final rounds of the season.

Calder United Match Details

Bulleen Lions vs Calder United

Monday, 25 July

Kick-off: 6:15pm (Under 19’s), 8:15pm (Senior’s)

Veneto Club, Bulleen

Broadcast: Fans unable to attend the match can catch this game, and every NPLW game, live on NPL.tv.