After 7 months, 22 rounds and 137 games of football the 2012 Victorian Premier League season comes to what promises to be an exciting end this Sunday in the Grand Final at AAMI Park.

The top two sides on the ladder, Dandenong Thunder (1st) and Oakleigh Cannons (2nd), will battle it out at the best football ground in Australia to determine the champions of 2012. Here we preview Oakleigh Cannons’ chances in decider.

Last week:
After defeating Dandenong in the major semi-final a fortnight ago to qualify for the grand final, Oakleigh Cannons enjoyed the liberty of having last weekend off. It was a much welcomed rest for Peter Zois and Bill Theodoropoulos’s men after 120 minutes of action plus the stress of a penalty shoot-out against Thunder.

Why Oakleigh will beat Dandenong:
The major semi-final was contested in far from ideal conditions but Oakleigh were able to shut down the home side and eventually clinch a spot in the finals after penalities. Zois and Theodoropoulos did their research on Dandenong and it showed with a very impressive performance against the champions. After coming so close last year (lost 3-2 AET vs Green Gully in the GF), the Cannons will be determined to make sure this is their year.

Why Oakleigh won’t beat Dandenong:
Dandenong Thunder are the minor premiers and are no easy-beats. While the three games between these sides this season have ended in draws after the 90 minutes, Dandenong are arguably the stronger side. If Nate Foster, Luke Sherbon and co. are firing then Oakleigh will stand a tough chance.

Player to watch:
Lambros Honos made the switch from Greek club Ethnikos Piraeus F.C. during the mid-season transfer window and has been causing VPL clubs trouble ever since his arrival. The skilled midfielder has been one of, if not Oakleigh’s best player throughout the final series and is definitely one to look out for against the Thunder.

Prediction:
Being the Grand Final, it’s just one of the hardest games of the season to predict a winner. Add to the fact that nothing has separated these sides after 90 and even 120 minutes this season, it really is a difficult one. But if I really have to pick a side, I think Dandenong’s quality will just prove too strong for Oakleigh in the end.

Match details:
What: Victorian Premier League Grand Final
Who: Oakleigh Cannons vs Dandenong Thunder
Where: AAMI Park, Melbourne
When: 5.30 pm Sunday, 14 October 2012

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