Two storied clubs of high pedigree and proud histories. A traditional rivalry that spans six decades – first in the Victorian State League, then in the National Soccer League, and as of late – the Victorian NPL competition.

The stakes are always high for the respective sets of diehards when these two teams meet on the pitch. It’s more than bragging rights over the old arch-rival – the passion runs far deeper than that.

This Sunday’s match at Lakeside has got more than its customary bluster about it. The ‘Bergers have a chance to create a significant piece of club history by winning the NPL Victoria Premiers’ Plate for a third successive season. But, to achieve this feat, they will have to overcome their oldest and fiercest rival away from home.

Although South Melbourne won’t be involved in finals football in 2019, it has festivities planned to celebrate its own 60th anniversary on the day.

It sets up a clash with a fascinating and extra spicy dynamic – where both sides are in effect, out to ‘spoil each other’s party.’ Of course, in a big derby of this status, is there really a need for extra motivation?

For Heidelberg United, the equation is not complicated of itself – a win and the three points ensures top spot for 2019 and another trophy. After playing second fiddle for a large part of this season, the 2018 Champion provided yet another barnstorming and dramatic finish last week at Avondale – snatching a last-gasp winner courtesy of Sean Ellis to wrest the league leadership from the Avengers’ hands.

Since the beginning of the NPL era in 2014, honours have been evenly shared – with Heidelberg United recording 5 wins, one draw and five losses against South Melbourne. The ‘Bergers will be looking to get one back on the old enemy, which took out the Round 13 Olympic Village encounter this season with a 3 – 1 win. With all NPL games due to kick off simultaneously at 3:00pm this Sunday, the game at Lakeside is sure to be an action-packed thrill ride.

The club encourages its fans to get down to Lakeside Stadium and get behind the team. F

or those unable to attend, HUFC TV will be live streaming the game on its Facebook platform from shortly before kick off.