Match Day 24 – PREVIEW

Avondale will face one of their toughest tests of the season this weekend when they take on the Altona Magic at Paisley Park.

Fresh off a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat to the Oakleigh Cannons, the Avengers will be desperate for a win as they continue to battle it out first place on the NPL ladder.

Avondale’s lead on top of the table was once as large as six points after round 12, but has since shrunk to just two points – the lowest gap Avondale has had since moving into outright first after round four.

Heidelberg United are hot on the Azzurri’s heels in second place, two points behind with a game in hand.

Avondale, who have only won one of their last five games, will have to overcome a Magic side sky-high on confidence in order to maintain their status as NPL Victoria’s top dogs.

Despite being winless in their last four games, Altona will enter the game with a tonne of belief after pulling off a miraculous comeback last week against Port Melbourne.

The Magic trailed 4-0 at half time but scored four goals in the last half hour – including a 92nd-minute equaliser – to earn a draw and salvage one of the most unlikely of points.

The Magic, back in Victoria’s top flight this season for the first time since 2010, sit in 10th spot on the ladder with only a slim chance at making the finals.

Game time:
6:00pm
Saturday August 3rd
vs Altona Magic
@ Paisley Park

Form Guide:
Avondale
4-3 L @ Oakleigh Cannons
1-1 D @ Dandenong Thunder
3-0 W vs Hume City
2-0 L @ Melbourne Knights
2-1 L vs Green Gully

Altona Magic
4-4 D @ Port Melbourne
2-1 L vs Dandenong City
2-1 L @ Bentleigh Greens
1-0 L vs Heidelberg United
3-1 W vs Kingston City

Last time they met:
Avondale 3 – 0 Altona

Avondale squad:
1. Chris Oldfield (GK)
2. Scott Hilliar
3. James Riccobene
4. Charles Beverly
5. Matthew Reid
7. Stefan Zinni
8. Jem Berkant
9. Liam Boland
10. Jonatan Germano
11. Joshua Addo
12. Yusuf Ahmed
13. Yitay Towns
17. Phillip Riccobene
18. Tasuku Sekiya
19. Brandon Lundy
22. Stefan Valentini
23. Christian Inglese
24. Dillon Jakupi
33. Joey Katebian
37. Jye Spiteri
44. Rory Brian (GK)

By Bransen Gibson

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