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Western United meets Preston Lions in NPL 3 promotion battle

Western United Academy

Western United’s NPL 3 Senior side is within reach of automatic promotion to NPL 2 but will need to get past Preston Lions to remain a chance in a blockbuster fixture on Friday night.

Anthony Frost’s side is coming off a big 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory last weekend to stay in the hunt for promotion.

The Green and Black is currently sitting in fourth place on the table, level on points with Victory in third and eight points adrift of Preston in second.

The top two teams come the end of the season will earn a rise into NPL 2 while third and fourth place will go into a promotion play-off involving the bottom two sides in NPL 2.

With four rounds remaining in the season, United is within striking distance of Preston but will need a win at B.T. Connor Reserve on Friday.

It will be far from straightforward, though, with Preston coming as the form team in the competition on the back of seven wins in a row, with six clean sheets in that time.

They are now just two points away from Melbourne City in first place and have a formidable record, with just one defeat in their nine games as hosts this season.

The two sides played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in 2021, but United fell to a 3-0 defeat in the earlier meeting in this season at City Vista Recreation Reserve.

Frost and his players will be out to avenge that result to not only retain hope of automatic promotion, but also to keep distance between the likes of Nunawading City and Doveton SC right outside the top four.

United will be due to face Ballarat City, North Sunshine Eagles and Geelong SC to finish the season with everything still on the lines.

The Green and Black army can get down to show support for the Club’s Academy on Friday night and back the players to a crucial result heading into the end of the season.

Match Details

Preston Lions vs Western United

Friday, 22 July

Kick-off: 8:30pm AEST (Under 21’s at 6:15pm)

B.T. Connor Reserve, Reservoir

Broadcast: Fans that can’t attend the match are encouraged to tune into the stream on Preston Lions’ Facebook page.