NPL Queensland Round 15 Preview

A huge Match Week 15 in the National Premier Leagues is headlined by a top-of-the-table clash between Lions FC and Souths United in the women’s competition.

Four clubs are now battling for a spot in the top seven in the NPL Women’s, with just four points separating sixth-placed Eastern Suburbs and ninth-placed Sunshine Coast Wanderers.

Seventh-placed Western Pride will be up against a resurgent Gold Coast United, while eighth-placed Olympic FC host a struggling Gap side that has slumped to 15th on the ladder.

Moreton Bay United return to action after the bye last weekend, facing the QAS at home on Saturday night.

In the men’s competition, both Gold Coast sides will be at home this weekend, with United facing Olympic FC on Friday night and Knights up against Lions FC on Saturday.

In Mackay, Brisbane Strikers will take on a Magpies Crusaders outfit looking to bounce back after last weekend’s FFA Cup loss to Edge Hill United.

Fifth-placed Moreton Bay United and sixth-placed Sunshine Coast travel to Brisbane’s south-eastern suburbs this weekend, with MBU up against Redlands United and the Wanderers against Capalaba FC.

Meanwhile, Brisbane Roar play Eastern Suburbs on Sunday evening, with the Roar expected to have a few of their young A-League stars back in action.

But the big question is whether any team can catch league-leaders Peninsula Power, who are nine points clear at the top of the ladder and will be hoping to make it 13 wins in a row against Logan Lightning on Friday night.

Fans can watch all First Grade NPL Men’s and Women’s matches live on NPL.TV, free for Australian residents.

Feature matches:

Gold Coast Knights v Lions FC

Two heavyweight clubs will go head-to-head on Saturday night at the Croatian Sports Centre, with defending champions Lions FC up against 2019 champions Gold Coast Knights.

Lions have had two big wins in the league over the past three weeks, as well as a hard-fought win over Brisbane City in the FFA Cup.

Coach Darren Sime will be looking to build on those results after an inconsistent, injury-plagued start to the season.

Lions have won five, drawn five and lost three to sit seventh on the table, seven points behind third-placed Gold Coast Knights.

The Knights have won just two of their past five outings, losing to Peninsula Power and Olympic FC at home and Eastern Suburbs away.

Both clubs will be desperate for a win on Saturday night, with Lions coach Sime promising to “throw everything” at the Knights.

Match details:
Saturday 26 June, 6:30pm
Croatian Sports Centre, Carrara

Souths United v Lions FC

Souths United face their toughest test of the season against league-leaders Lions FC on Saturday night at Wakerley Park.

Lions, the defending champions, are yet to lose a game this season and have dropped points just once against Mitchelton in Round 6.

Importantly, Lions have registered big wins over their nearest rivals Moreton Bay United, Gold Coast United and Capalaba FC.

But Souths United, who currently sit second on the ladder, may present a more difficult challenge this weekend.

Souths have been the quiet achievers this season, and while their attack may not be as lethal as that of Capalaba, Moreton Bay or Gold Coast, they have conceded just nine goals in 13 games.

But it will be a huge challenge for Souths to contain a Lions outfit that has scored a staggering 76 goals so far this season.

Match Details:
Saturday 26 June, 6:30pm
Wakerley Park, Runcorn

Key players:

Maximilian Mikkola (Lions FC): The Lions top goal scorer this season will be confident after scoring four goals in the past three weeks, including a late winner in Lions’ FFA Cup victory last weekend.

Cyrus Dehmie (Brisbane Roar): After making six appearances for the Roar’s A-League side this season, the 19-year-old striker will return to the NPL side this weekend.

Isabella Habuda (Gold Coast United): Scored two important goals in United’s 3-0 win over Capalaba FC on Wednesday night to keep her team in the top four.

Mariel Hecher (Lions FC): The Brazilian playmaker ran riot last weekend, netting a hat-trick to take her goal tally to nine goals from eight games.

NPL Men’s Schedule:

Gold Coast United v Olympic FC
Friday 25 June, 7:30pm
Coplick Family Sports Park, Tallebudgera

Logan Lightning v Peninsula Power
Friday 25 June, 7:30pm
Cornubia Park, Loganholme

Redlands United v Moreton Bay United
Saturday 26 June, 7:30pm
Compass Grounds, Cleveland

Magpies Crusaders United v Brisbane Strikers
Saturday 26 June, 7:30pm
Sologinkin Oval, Mackay

Brisbane Roar v Eastern Suburbs
Sunday 27 June, 6:00pm
Heath Park, East Brisbane

NPL Women’s Schedule:

Olympic FC v The Gap FC
Friday 25 June, 7:30pm
Goodwin Park, Yeronga

Peninsula Power v Eastern Suburbs
Saturday 26 June, 5:00pm
A J Kelly Park, Kippa Ring

QAS v Moreton Bay United
Saturday 26 June, 6:00pm
Wolter Park, 6:00pm

Gold Coast United v Western Pride
Saturday 26 June, 6:30pm
Coplick Family Sports Park, Tallebudgera

Brisbane City v Logan Lightning
Saturday 26 June, 7:30pm
Corporate Travel Management Stadium, Newmarket

SWQ Thunder v Virginia United
Sunday 27 June, 3:45pm
Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba

Sunshine Coast Wanderers v Mitchelton FC
Sunday 27 June, 4:15pm
Ballinger Park, Buderim

BYE – Capalaba FC

Image: Lions FC