Round 11 of the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s Competition has arrived and we are at the half way point of the season.
Competition for positions on the table are heating up with the finals getting closer and closer each week.
This round features another six big matches including a battle between competition favourites Rockdale City Suns and APIA Leichhardt Tigers.
This week’s Match Of The Round is a Grand Final rematch from last season as league leaders Blacktown City host the red-hot Sydney United 58 FC. This game will be live streamed on Sunday at 3pm on the NPL New South Wales Facebook Page so make sure to check it out!
Blacktown City FC v Sydney United 58, 3pm Sunday at Lily’s Football Centre
After suffering their first defeat of the season Blacktown City is fired up to return to the winners circle.
There will be even more inspiration with Sunday’s clash being ‘Back To Blacktown’ day at the club.
However, Sydney United 58 will be determined to spoil the party and claim their eight-consecutive win.
Blacktown City were starved of attacking chances against APIA Leichhardt Tigers last round and paid the price as the went down 1-0.
On home soil they can’t afford to make the same mistakes, abasing arguably the competition’s most in form team.
They will need to do it without the influential Danny Choi who injured himself during their Westfield FFA Cup match against Mt Druitt Town Rangers which is sure to be a major loss for the club. Choi went under the knife on Tuesday and will be back in August so Mark Crittenden and co will need to do it without their main star.
United 58 will have a point to prove after their Grand Final loss to Blacktown in what is sure to be an exciting contest.
One player that has risen to the task apart from the usual suspect in Panny Nikas has been Matt Sim.
The former Hyundai A-League player has come to life in recent weeks and has bagged himself a couple of goals and will be on the hunt for more to spoil Blacktown’s party on Sunday.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC v Parramatta FC, 7pm Saturday at Bonnyrigg Sports Club
Brian Brown’s Bonnyrigg White Eagles have slowly started to find their feet in recent weeks and will be out to build on their recent form when they host strugglers Parramatta FC.
Hasan Jalloh has been a revelation for the White Eagles and the young gun striker will be relied upon once again to be the primary source of goals for Bonnyrigg while look for the defensive efforts of Sam Gallaway who has been impressive in the last couple of weeks.
The return of veteran goalkeeper James Chronopoulos from injury has given the White Eagles a much needed boost and they will only get stronger as their other stars are removed from the injured list.
Parramatta FC on the other hand is in desperate need of a win with relegation fears starting to creep in around the club.
With twelve weeks left to play this season, the time is now to make a stand and they will rely heavily on the combination of the Sama brothers Gosue and Marco who will do what they can to grab their club the three precious points.
Huge match across all grades for Club Championship points as well, rest assured, Bonnyrigg Sports Club will be a tense atmosphere on Saturday evening.
Manly United FC v Hakoah Sydney City East, 7pm Saturday at Cromer Park
Sitting on the edge of a top five spot and finals football, Manly United are desperate to crack into the field of competition front runners.
United started the season on fire but have cooled in recent weeks and will need to return to their early season form to ensure they are still playing come September.
The Northern Beaches side came tumbling back down to earth with a 2-1 loss away to Sydney United 58 but at Cromer Park, Manly United know that it is here where they will need to recommence their fruitful form seen at the start of the season.
Their challenge this week is Hakoah Sydney City East who have forged a reputation as the competition’s disruptors.
Gavin Rae’s team is on a three-game unbeaten run and has claimed points against Blacktown City, Sydney Olympic FC, Sydney United 58 and Sydney FC.
Manly will need to be at their best if they are going to come away from this match with all three points.
Sydney FC v Wollongong Wolves, 7.45pm Saturday at Lambert Park
It has been a season of so close yet so far for Sydney FC.
Robbie Stanton’s young team have played an exciting and quality brand of football but have dropped points in tight matches where only one or two mistakes have cost the game.
The young Sky Blues are finding their feet in this competition and with twelve weeks to go there is still plenty of time for them to turn their season around.
Wollongong Wolves are the challengers this week and are another team in desperate need of a win to keep their season and slim finals hopes alive.
The addition of former Central Coast Mariners captain Nick Montgomery to an already strong line-up has put extra pressure on the South Coast based side to win now.
They will need to contain the energetic approach from Sydney FC who will be looking to collect all three points.
Sydney Olympic FC v Sutherland Sharks, 3pm Sunday at Belmore Sports Ground
The upheaval of losing coach Jaime Monroy at a key point of the season is sure to have had an impact on Sydney Olympic in recent weeks.
A dour draw with Hakoah last week does not display bright signs for Olympic after what was a strong start to the campaign.
Against Sutherland they will need to build on their strong passing and possession game to defeat another young side brimming with energy.
Sutherland Sharks has also found themselves with a new manager after Grant Lee. A win last round could be the kick start his team needs to turn its season around.
Lee will be coming up against his former team and his beloved Blues.
Look to Yu Kuboki up font for Olympic while Max Burgess and Hagi Gligor will pull the strings in midfield.
For Sutherland, it is all about Tomohiro Kajiyma and what impact he can make alongside talented young marksman Jeremy Cox who has been a revelation for the Shire side in recent weeks.
A win for the Sharks could put a major dint in Olympic’s finals hopes.
Rockdale City Suns FC v APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 5pm Sunday at Ilinden Sports Centre
A blockbuster clash is set for Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday as title favourites Rockdale City Suns take on APIA Leichhardt Tigers.
Rockdale have lost the past two games after going undefeated during the first eight games of the season and will be focussed on returning to the winners circle.
So far this season Rockdale’s attack of Jordan Figon, Alec Urosevski and Harris Gaitatzis have been a prolific combination and will surely be a handful for APIA’s well drilled defence.
The return of all-action midfielder Blake Ricciuto in recent weeks has added another dimension to the Suns already potent attack.
APIA has had their own fair share of shock losses this season but that wasn’t the case last week as they defeated Blacktown City thanks to an all important goal by their diminutive Japanese import Tasuku Sekiya.
The Tigers are a well drilled team which boasts talent across the board and will be a handful for Rockdale.
Nothing short of a complete performance will be enough to win this battle of the big guns.