ALBURY Wodonga’s state league hockey will play at the Hockey Centre in Melbourne today.
The men need a win over Melbourne Uni to stay alive and the women will be out to stamp their credentials as the title favourites.
The Spitfires sit one point outside the top four and need to win their last three games to make the play-offs.
The Strikers, on the other hand, are five points clear on top, playing a team they beat 6-3 last time.
Spitfires coach Andrew Maggs said there had been nothing between his team and Melbourne Uni when they played a 0-0 draw in the first round.
“The stats show we had the same number of shots on goal and circle penetrations but neither could find the back of the net,” he said.
“We are again light on for players — Brandon Purtell is back from the Australian National Championships but another one goes out so we will have limited rotations off the bench.
“Melbourne Uni rarely plays a running game, preferring to sit behind the ball.
“That might play into our hands but, at the same time, we will to have to tough it out.
“We need the three points to be in semi-final calculations.
“It’s our own fault. We lost and drew games we were entitled to win.”
The Strikers stocks, too, also suffered a blow this week — prolific goal scorer Nan Latta has an injured shoulder and Brooke Purtell won’t play after being rushed to hospital with appendicitis.
Coach Tony Jones said Uni was under-manned in the first round and would be a stronger team this time.
“But they are in a position where it is hard to see them playing finals so, from that point of view, they might lack some motivation,” he said.
“We have been working on our short-corner variations this week, given the doubt over Nan’s fitness and looking to find other ways to goal.”