by John Fotinos
Heidelberg United has an opportunity to narrow the gap to just three points when it hosts ladder leader Avondale in the Round 12 clash of heavyweights. The ‘Bergers will need no greater incentive than that, however they will also want to hit back hard at home after being knocked out of this season’s FFA Cup in a surprise midweek home loss to Hume City.
On a weekend where the two sides at the foot of the table meet, so too do those two at the top, meeting for their first encounter since Heidelberg United took out an epic 2018 Grand Final. Avondale has taken all before it thus far in the 2019 season, winning ten and drawing one of its 11 NPL matches, as well as progressing through to Round 7 of the FFA Cup following a midweek win over Preston.
The ‘Bergers, after a somewhat indifferent start to 2019, had gone on a six game winning streak before the dramatic Cup loss, will be keen to show the footballing pundits that they are still a major force, and what better way than to inflict upon Avondale its first loss for the year?
The visitors are playing with a great deal of confidence with match winners on all lines, particularly in attack. Led by Liam Boland (12 goals) and the pacy Stefan Zinni (9 goals), Avondale has shown that they fear no team in the competition, often running over the top of teams late in games.
Make no mistake, these are two very proud teams led by two very proud coaches, and it promises to be the most anticipated match of the 2019 season so far. To call it a classic six-pointer is perhaps the understatement of the year. Although going in as slight underdog for one of the few times in the last few seasons, the ‘Bergers, stung by the midweek result, might just edge out Avondale to grab the points on the back of a strong home ground advantage.
The action kicks off at 6:00pm on Saturday (May 11) at the Olympic Village – preceded by the Under 20s game at 4:00pm. For viewers of HUFC-TV, tune in to the live stream shortly before 6:00pm via the links at www.hufc.com.au/hufc-tv