Friday, 29 February 2008

South still looking for first points - Round 3, South Melbourne vs Western Suburbs

Last time they met:
Round 25, 2007 at Ralph Reserve

Western Suburbs 3 South Melbourne 0

With their season on the line and yet with the finals still realistically within reach, South fielded both a weakened and unfit squad and paid the price for it. Suburbs thoroughly deserved their victory, with two goals in the first half-hour enough to kill off what was left of South's season.

Most armchair pundits have listed Suburbs to be among the relegation favourites this season, and their form so far has been far from stunning. But they did pick up a 1-0 home win against outright relegation favourite Fawkner last week, which means they have three more points than South does and some sort of confidence going into this week's clash. The game will also likely see the return to Lakeside of former South defender Arthur Tsonis, who was let go last season to much anger from a certain section of South's support, as well as Evan Karavitis and perhaps most notably that of former South and Perth Glory striker Vas Kalogeracos.

Despite all of that though, South are still the better team on paper (the famous quote of playing on grass not paper notwithstanding), and have shown enough glimpses of what they're capable of to win this game, but don't expect it to be pretty. Injury and structural concerns still plague Hellas, but if Armenian, Zoric and De Nittis, the three best looking attacking players so far, can get the game time they need to make an impact, South should be able to overwhelm Suburbs on the wide expanses of Lakeside.

Final prediction: South to win 1-0, in a hard fought, tight affair.

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