NPL Match Preview: Western United vs Geelong SC

Western United Academy

It’s the final round of the NPL 3 regular season, and Western United needs a result against Geelong SC to secure a place in the promotion play-offs.

Match Details

Western United vs Geelong SC

Saturday, 20 August

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

Valley Park Events Centre, Meadow Heights

Broadcast: The Senior’s match will be broadcast live on NPL.tv. Download the app or visit npl.tv on your browser, make a free account and tune in live.

Last time out

United left it late to secure a thrilling 3-3 draw against North Sunshine Eagles last weekend, putting the team within touching distance of the promotion play-offs.

Oli Lavale and Khoder Kaddour both struck in injury time to earn the Green and Black a point, one which keeps Anthony Frost’s men in fourth place on the table.

A 3-1 win for the Under 21’s ensured Vaughan Coveny’s side would all but wrap up third place on the table heading into the final match of the season.

The promotion picture

Spots in the promotion play-offs are up for grabs for the teams finishing third and fourth in NPL 3, currently Melbourne Victory and Western United respectively.

Third place in NPL 3 will face the last-placed team in NPL 2, while NPL 3’s fourth-placed side will play against second bottom in NPL 2 in one-off matches. The winners of both of those matches will play in NPL 2 in 2023, while the losers will compete in NPL 3 next year.

Melbourne Victory are currently two points ahead of United while Nunawading City sit three points behind the Green and Black in fifth.

To increase the drama, all six NPL 3 matches will kick off at the same time on Saturday, with Victory and Nunawading meeting each other at Epping Stadium.

That means United can still finish anywhere from third to fifth, so Frost will be looking for a big performance from his players to all but ensure a spot in the play-offs.

Previous Meetings

Western United’s Senior’s drew 1-1 with Geelong back in May, while the Under 21’s secured a strong 4-1 victory at Stead Park.

United has remained unbeaten against Geelong after meeting them twice last season. A 2-1 win for the Senior’s in July last year saw Rhys Bozinovski announce himself on the senior stage with an outstanding late brace, including an injury time screamer to hand the side all three points.

Overall, the Senior’s have drawn twice and won once against Geelong, with the Under 21’s slightly better in their head-to-head record with two wins and a draw.

The Opponent

Geelong have been competitive in both competitions in 2022, with the Under 21’s sitting in fifth while the Senior’s are in seventh.

They have travelled well throughout the season with four wins and a draw on the road, and they will be out to end their season on a high with a big win.

Calder United aiming to put one hand on the Premiership against South Melbourne

Mark Torcaso’s Calder United Senior’s can move within one game of claiming the NPLW Victoria Premiership against South Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.

Kicking off at 4pm at Lakeside Stadium, the re-match of the NIKE F.C. Cup Final will begin the final week of the season for Calder.

The South Melbourne clash will take Torcaso’s side into a midweek game against Box Hill United on Tuesday, with wins in each game crowning Calder as back-to-back NPLW Victoria Premier’s.

One Premiership can be clinched on Saturday, though, with Calder’s Under 19 girls one win away from sewing up top spot.

Josip Loncaric’s side has continued its remarkable form after going unbeaten through the first eight matches, with a run of eight wins in the last nine matches putting the team on the cusp of the title.

Calder United Match Details

South Melbourne vs Calder United

Saturday, 20 August

Kick-off: 1:00pm (Under 19’s), 4:00pm (Senior’s)

Lakeside Stadium, South Melbourne

Broadcast: The Senior’s match will be broadcast live on NPL.tv.