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English Super League 2014/15 South Group
Team P W D L Pts
1 Baku United FC 5 5 0 0 15
2 FC Baltic United 5 3 0 2 9
3 Helvecia Futsal Club 4 2 1 1 7
4 Genesis Futsal Club 4 5 0 5 6
5 West London Futsal 4 1 1 2 4
6 City of London Futsal Club 4 1 1 2 4
7 FC Siauliai 3 0 1 2 1
8 Maccabi Futsal Club 3 0 0 3 0

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The FA National Futsal Super League to get underway

The opening weekend of The FA National Futsal Super League sees four games take place as the competing teams aim to make their mark on the group stage proceedings.

In Group A, Midlands Division runners-up Birmingham take on the Northern Division champions Manchester.

What has been outstanding about Manchester's season so far is their ability to keep clean sheets. Frank Chiarella's team have shut out their opposition three times during their title winning campaign, showing their defensive stability will be difficult to break down.

The FA National Futsal Super League gets underway this weekend

But it won’t be as easy to keep a clean sheet against their first Super League opponents, as Birmingham have scored 98 goals during their campaign, the second best total in the League this season.

They have attacking prowess in top scorers Emmanuel Geuyes, a French Under-21 international, and Jose Inigo-Martinez, who will play a pivotal role during this exciting clash.

Group B sees red hot favourites and current National Champions Baku United play host to Sheffield. The home side have been the team to watch so far in English Futsal and with a goal difference of a breath-taking 115, it would take a resilient defence to stop the runaway Southern Division champions from playing to their full potential.

However, the team have not been completely invincible. Baku were knocked out early in the main round of the UEFA Futsal Cup and they were held to a 2-2 draw by FC Baltic United earlier this month, ending a winning streak of 13 games.

Hot-shots

Baku United have a goal difference of 115 this season

Sheffield finished in third place during the Super League last season following a defeat to this Sunday's opponents in the semi-finals. Unfortunately, Daniel Berdejo-del-Fresno's side ended their Northern Division campaign on a sour note, losing 7-0 to eventual champions Manchester.

But Sheffield will definitely prove to be one of Baku's toughest challenges this season and they will have to be firing on all cylinders to defeat England's first professional futsal club.

An intriguing match-up in Group C sees an in-form Oxford City Lions up against Middlesbrough. Enrique Guillen's team have only been defeated once in the Midlands Division this season, conceding a mere 29 goals in their 12 matches and have also had a 100 per cent record since mid-November.

Former Helvecia player Lucas Toti and leading goalscorer Pete Vallance have played a major role in recent games, and providing the pair keep up their current form, Middlesbrough will have a hard time dealing with Oxford's attacking threat.

In stark contrast, Middlesbrough's form has nosedived following some impeccable performances at the start of the season. A five game winning streak was brought to a sudden halt by Manchester in January and since then the Northern Division side have won just once, losing their last three games on the trot. After a break of nearly two months for Chris Hodgson's men, they will be looking to regroup and regain confidence in order to progress from Group C.

Finally, the opening fixture in Group D will showcase FC Baltic United against Loughborough Students’ Futsal Club. FC Baltic have dramatically improved since their last campaign, in which they were knocked out in the Super League group stage.

Student union

Loughborough are the one of two university-based sides to make it to the Super League this season

Impressive performances in the Southern Division this season, particularly away from home where they are unbeaten, saw them finish runners-up to Baku United.

The home side have also proved to be defensively tight in recent months, conceding an average of only two goals in their last five games. Loughborough Students’ have already competed in a national final this year, finishing second to Durham University's Futsal team in the BUCS championships last week.

Loughborough are the one of two university-based sides to make it to the Super League this season and will be hoping to improve on their last Super League campaign, where they finished behind current champions Baku United in the group stages.

The Midlands-based side have strong international talent among their ranks, including three players who are currently representing the England Futsal team.

The opening day of The FA National Futsal Super League begins at 1pm on Sunday 6 April, where all of the mentioned games will take place across the country. 

 

http://www.thefa.com/news/my-football/small-sided-football/futsal/2014/apr/fa-national-futsal-super-league-preview-020414