Manchester head into this weekend’s clash with Oxford Lions knowing that victory would take them above their opponents in the FA National Futsal Super League Group ‘A’.
The North champions haven’t made the best of starts to the Super League campaign, with just one point taken from their opening two games.
With top two Baltic and Helvecia going head-to-head on Sunday, this has the potential to be one of the most crucial weekends in the Super League calendar as MFC could close in on or fall further behind the frontrunners.
Manchester and Oxford last met at the FA Futsal Cup finals back in June and played out a hard fought 1-1 draw in the Group ‘B’ opener. Prior to that, the Lions had cruised to a 9-4 victory at the 2012 Grand Finals.
Both sides have come unstuck at the hands of Baltic in this year’s Super League, with the South runners-up claiming 2-1 and 3-2 wins respectively. However, Oxford picked up three points with a 5-1 victory over University of York last month.
Felipe Barcelos will be highlighted as a danger man at the National Cycling Centre with 16 goals in a league campaign that saw the Lions finish second, twelve points behind eventual winners Birmingham.
Oxford suffered an inconsistent Midlands season and succumbed to an unwanted club record of five defeats, two more than in the previous three campaigns combined.
Now Manchester need to rediscover their league form that saw them claim the title with a 100% record, the first team in North history to achieve such a feat.
Can MFC close the gap on the leading pack? Find out on Sunday at 17:30.
Written by @ChrisWildgoose