Thursday, June 11, 2009

Zebras can extend their lead at the top in the south

Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League leaders Tilford Zebras take on second-placed Glenorchy Knights at KGV Park on Friday evening in an important game in the title race.

Zebras lead the Knights by 8 points and a win could increase the margin at the top even further, depending on the result of third-placed South Hobart’s game against Clarence United at South Hobart on Sunday.

Zebras are in outstanding form and knocked in 8 goals against bottom-side University on Monday.

This will be a much more difficult game, but the Zebras have the class to win.

Aaron Brazendale returns to the squad, but may not necessarily start as coach Nick Lapolla was pleased with the team that started against University.

Youngster Kurt Engels impressed with a hat-trick and would be unlucky not to retain his place, while another relative newcomer on the left flank, Jayden Welch, is playing very well.

It will be interesting to see if the experienced retiree Brett Pullen plays after making a comeback to senior soccer against University.

Pullen, who had a fine match and was an influential figure in the side, is well worth a place, but it probably depends on whether he wants to continue at this level or return to the reserves.

Knights are in excellent form and will be formidable opponents, especially if they can get an international clearance through in time for their new Brazilian import, Breno Bianchini Joviano Dos Santos.

Knights were beaten 6-1 by Zebras in an earlier round but the landscape has altered significantly since then.

South Hobart will have their strongest available squad for the clash with fifth-placed Clarence, but the side is still feeling the effects of the absence of the injured Greg Downes and Sam Kruijver.

Downes was in outstanding form for one so young when he broke his leg and he has been a huge loss for South.

Bart Beecroft, the captain, has missed months because of a facial injury, may play in the reserves, but he is still some way away from senior football.

Clarence will have their strongest possible line-up and cannot be discounted, despite losing 3-0 to South in an earlier round.

Fourth-placed Kingborough Lions United will have Charles White and Damien Pearce back for their home against second-last Hobart Olympic at Lightwood Park on Saturday.

But, striker Greg Freeman still has hamstring problems and is unlikely to be risked.

Kingborough trained indoors during the week and this is not exactly the perfect preparation, but many other clubs have been facing the same situation.

Olympic will be pleased that Michael Bulis and Peter Tsakiris will be back, but memories of the 2-1 loss to the Lions in the first round add to the gloom caused by the club’s current predicament.

Bottom-side University must recover psychologically from a humiliating loss to Zebras on Monday as they face sixth-placed New Town Eagles at home at Olinda Grove on Saturday.

University’s morale was improved with their first win of the season last Friday and this success will give them some confidence against a promising Eagles outfit, but one that runs hot and cold.

Eagles beat University 3-0 in the first round and must go into this contest as favourites, but the Students could be a tough nut to crack at home on the heights of Mt Nelson.

Eagles will be without Shane Kent and Alex Leszczynski, but Jacob Malakoff returns to the line-up.


Anonymous said...

Two massive games. I think Zebras will defeat Knights quite easily. When will the Knights be able to use their new brazilians? Will be an interesting game, also interesting if Lapolla makes any changes...surely not after the problems they caused Uni.

Clarence and South, should be a cracker. Clarence need to return to form which gave them so much success in the early part of the season. Once again, if Brown moves players around, clarence will see yet another defeat. Use the same back four, and the same middle four which was used previously in the summer cup and early year. Only Ling out for young Mcintyre. They need to get back into form.

Surely no more games can be cancelled, roster looks in real strife if the council close grounds.

yellowgemi11 said...

tips for this week

Krauser said...

Heard an interesting rumour;
apprently the zebras south midweek game has been postponed, because south have to many players going to watch aus play...

ginger said...

gee Geoff big call to say zebras shouldnt make any changes. Brazendale is one of the most threatening players going around.
Agree completely that the zebras 11 caused uni plenty of worries but one would think azza would be able to squeeze into the 11 tonight. especially given the importance of the match.

looking forward to seeing the brazilian in action. he has a lot to live up to if igor is anything to go by.

Krauser - have also heard the rumour the south hob vs zebras match is off.