The Expert Hypotheses – NPLVIC Elimination Finals Predictions

Week one of the NPL Victoria finals kicks off tomorrow night at CB Smith Reserve when Pascoe Vale take on Oakleigh Cannons, followed by Saturday afternoon’s clash between Avondale and Port Melbourne Sharks at the Reggio Calabria Club. We’ve compiled the predictions of a number of NPL Victoria writers and commentators to give you the most in-depth preview of the first week of the finals series.

Pascoe Vale FC v Oakleigh Cannons

Brandon Galgano: This is set to be a tight clash between two sides who can beat anyone on their day.  Oakleigh come into the contest in hot form despite a disappointing loss last week, but I feel the quality in the Pascoe Vale side should be enough to get them over the line, particularly if Davey Van’T Schip turns up in the mood for goals.

Score Prediction: Pascoe Vale 2-1 Oakleigh Cannons

Chris Gleeson: I’m looking forward to this game, it should be a very even match.

It wasn’t that long ago that Oakleigh defeated PascoeVvale at home, but now they have to travel to CB Smith to take on a side that has had a very solid season. Mid-season signings John Vakirtzis and Hakeem Alaraibi have strengthened the defence, while Argentinian Nicholas Abot is a great finisher and has complimented Davey Van’T Schip in attack, so Oakleigh’s defence will have to be at its best.

Oakleigh have had a strong second half of the season and have a great finals record in the NPL era. Both sides are fairly even, so it should be an excellent match.

Score Prediction: Pascoe Vale 2-1 Oakleigh Cannons

Jarrod Febbraio: Pascoe Vale will be too strong from the get-go, they are better in all areas of the pitch in my opinion. I’m predicting a brace for Davey Van’T Schip and a comfortable win for Pascoe Vale; Oakleigh have done well to get this far and won’t lose any admirers.

Score Prediction: Pascoe Vale 3-0 Oakleigh Cannons

Bilal Ali: Pascoe Vale have been comfortably the fourth best side in the competition this season, and with the likes of Davey Van’T Schip and Nicholas Abot in their arsenal, they will be too strong for an Oakleigh side that will be nothing if not resillient throughout the game.

Score Prediction: Pascoe Vale 2-0 Oakleigh Cannons

Credit: Mark Avielino Photography

Avondale FC v Port Melbourne Sharks

Brandon Galgano: This is set to be the clash of the round in my opinion. It is a welcomed return to finals for Port after a few disappointing seasons in the NPL, and they will be full of confidence after defeating rivals South Melbourne on Sunday.

Avondale though have a top quality side brimming with attacking quality that might just be enough to get them over the line.

Score Prediction: Avondale 3-1 Port Melbourne

Chris Gleeson: Avondale were one of the real front-runners early in the season, but dropped away from Heidelberg and Bentleigh, to find themselves having to play in the first week of finals.

They possess so much star-power, with Elvis Kamsoba, Kaine Shepard, Liam Boland and Joey Katabian forming a formidable attack.

Michael Eager has been an excellent signing for Port, and the former South Melbourne champion will have to marshal his defence to perfection to stop Avondale. I do believe Port will win the midfield battle in this game, with Alan Mulcahy and Daniel Clark being a brick wall for oppositions, but Avondale will just be too strong going forward.

Score Prediction: Avondale 3-1 Port Melbourne

Jarrod Febbraio: Port have shown that they can match it with the best all season and they will take this one down to the wire. Their resilience will take them a fair way but ultimately, Avondale will have too much scoring power.

Score Prediction: Avondale 3-2 Port Melbourne (After Extra-Time)

Bilal Ali: Avondale are one of the best teams in the country; they play scintillating football and are utterly a joy to watch when they’re in full flight. They have the ability to blow teams away, and as good as Port Melbourne have been in a large portion of games this season, they’re facing the very real possibility of a humbling at the hands of the ‘Avengers.’

Score Prediction: Avondale 4-1 Port Melbourne

Credit: Natasha Morello Photography

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