Blockbuster clashes headline Round 9 of the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s competition.
Top of the table sides Rockdale City Suns and Blacktown City FC remain the only undefeated teams in the competition but it will all go on the line when they face off on Sunday at Ilinden Sports Centre.
Manly United FC have dropped out of the top five for the first time this season and face a visit from APIA Leichhardt tigers who have dropped down from top spot after a defeat last round.
Sydney Olympic FC v Sydney United 58 FC, 3pm Sunday at Belmore Sports Ground
This weekend's Match of the Round features rivals Sydney Olympic and Sydney United 58 FC going head to head at Belmore Sports Ground in what is sure to be a spirited contest. Tune into the NPL New South Wales Facebook Page at 3:00pm Sunday to catch a live stream of the game!
Traditional rivals Sydney Olympic FC and Sydney United 58 go head to head this week in a match which will have plenty of play-offs implications come the business end of the season.
Olympic, currently in fourth spot on the ladder has regrouped after the shock departure of coach Jaime Monroy and backed it up with a win against previously top of the table side APIA Leichhardt Tigers.
Expect Olympic to stick to a similar pass and possession heavy game plan under interim coach Peter Zorbas for the remainder of the season and especially against a side as dangerous as United 58.
Much has been said about Sydney United 58’s resurgence in recent weeks after three consecutive losses to open the season.
The return of talismanic coach Mark Rudan has allowed United 58 to find it’s clinical edge with their star studded line-up hitting their straps to deliver five straight wins.
There is always plenty of heart in these derby matches and Sunday’s clash will be one you won’t want to miss.
Manly United FC v APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC, 7pm Saturday at Cromer Park
Manly United’s Premiership credentials go on the line this week when APIA Leichhardt Tigers come to Cromer Park.
The boys from the Northern Beaches have dropped out of the top five for the first time this season after a loss to Blacktown City FC and anything less than a win could see them fall dangerously behind in a tight race for a spot in the finals.
Warren Grieve’s team has been one of the most dangerous in attack scoring 20 goals from their eight matches. However, they will be up against the league’s second best defence in APIA Leichhardt who have shipped only eight goals in eight games.
APIA will also be out for a bounce back performance after falling to Sydney Olympic FC last round.
The defeat allowed Rockdale City Suns and Blacktown to leapfrog them on the table.
With so much on the line in this match, neither side will give anything less than their best.
Parramatta FC v Hakoah Sydney City East FC, 7pm Saturday at Melita Stadium
Parramatta FC will hope a return to Melita Stadium this week is the inspiration to spur them on to their first win of the season.
A matchup against the perennially difficult Hakoah City East FC means it won’t be easy for Franco Cosentino’s team.
Parramatta have shown glimpses of what they can do throughout the season. Sadly for them it has been compounded by a fair share of moments they’d prefer not to think too much about.
With a physical and at times suffocating defence, led by Ibrahim Haydar and Tomislav Mijic, and athletic midfielders like Jordan Crighton, Parramatta has the parts to turn their season around.
Hakoah on the other hand have played the role of disruptor to perfection this season.
Gavin Rae’s side has been a thorn in the side of the competition’s big teams and has helped them secure a win against Sydney United 58 and Sydney FC as well as a draw against Blacktown City.
Andre De Jong has been in scintillating form alongside Anthony Frangie and Alek Lekoski while the big presence of Bradley Walker has also made an impact on Rae’s squad.
Parramatta has struggled to put together a complete 90-minute performance this season, but if they do all three points are well in their grasp
Sydney FC v Sutherland Sharks FC, 7.45pm Saturday at Lambert Park
Sydney FC play hosts to Sutherland Sharks in a match which promises plenty of open attacking football.
A narrow defeat at the hands of Hakoah Sydney City East FC summed up the young Sky Blues season so far. Robbie Stanton’s side has been a tough competitor that has suffered from one or two minor lapses.
They will be hoping that they can get the job done on Saturday before their Hyundai A-League counterparts get the show on the road with their Grand Final match against the Melbourne Victory on Sunday.
Against Sutherland Sharks, Sydney FC will be expecting nothing short than a win.
Sutherland has moved on from coach Carlos Vilazon after a poor start to the year and will be looking to bounce back this week.
The club will be making an announcement on the replacement of Vilazon very soon, but until then, the Sharks will be hoping to prop up as many points as possible.
One thing is for sure. It will be an exciting match nonetheless.
Rockdale City Suns FC v Blacktown City FC, 2pm Sunday at Ilinden Sports Centre
First takes on second as Rockdale City Suns host Blacktown City on Sunday.
Split only by goal difference at the top of the table, the competition’s remaining undefeated sides will slug it out in what is sure to be a blockbuster clash.
Paul Reid’s Rockdale has gone from strength to strength this year but it has been their ability to win or fight back for a draw when they have been outplayed by their opposition which has them at top of the competition after eight rounds.
What can’t be discounted is the incredible form shown by the Suns attacking players Alec Urosevski, Jordan Figon and Harris Gaitatzis. With Toufic Alamaddine also finding form and Blake Ricciuto returning to health, Rockdale have all the potential to make a mark in 2017.
There were question marks around how Blacktown City would respond this year after the departure of its biggest contributors in last season’s grand final winning year.
Undefeated after eight rounds, Mark Crittenden has once again demonstrated why he is one of the best coaches the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s has ever seen.
Blacktown hasn’t lost any of the winning edge it has been known for and they have shown over the years it is the biggest games where they show their full potential.
This game has potential to be one of the match-ups of the season and will surely be a precursor for this year’s finals series.
Wollongong Wolves FC v Bonnyrigg White Eagles, 3pm Sunday at WIN Stadium
Wollongong Wolves FC has put back to back wins together for the first time this season and are determined to make it three from three when bottom side Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC travel to WIN Stadium on Sunday.
Former Japanese international Tashiro Yuzo was unlucky no to take home a hat trick last round and has been an inspired acquisition by Wolves coach Jacob Timpano.
Wollongong sit just one game outside the finals positions and will be knocking on the door of the top five if their recent form is to go by.
For Bonnyrigg White Eagles the battle to turn their season around continues. A win this week would be a huge morale booster for Brian Brown’s team.
It has been a tough first half of the year for the White Eagles but a team of their calibre should never be written off.