Two fixtures could see teams overtake their opponents on the ladder while big guns need to fire in PlayStation® 4 NPL Queensland Round 16.
Brisbane City FC v Moreton Bay United FC
Friday, 3 July / Corporate Travel Management Stadium / 8:30PM
If ever there was an opportune time to take on the league-leaders it might just be now for Brisbane City.
A come-from-behind 3-1 win away to FNQ Heat, courtesy of two second-half goals, sees City enter Friday’s match in their best touch to date.
Moreton Bay, meanwhile, passed up a host of chances in edging past the winless SWQ Thunder 1-0, a result that was enough to keep them top despite being unexpectedly slim.
Three points at Corporate Travel Management Stadium would again keep Brisbane Strikers at length, but perhaps more hinges on the circumstances of any such victory.
Redlands United FC v Palm Beach SC
Saturday, 4 July / Cleveland Showgrounds / 3:00PM
Like City, Redlands last week ventured north and returned to the capital with three more points to add to a sustained and exceptional turnaround.
Amazingly, after going winless in their first seven matches, Graham Fyfe’s side would now play finals football as the ladder stands with Young Roar ineligible under competition rules.
Their latest 3-1 win in Townsville tees-up a potentially season-defining fixture with sixth-placed Palm Beach SC, who last weekend were concerned with Westfield FFA Cup qualification.
It’s back to league matters for Grae Piddick’s outfit on Saturday as they aim to extend a four-match unbeaten run.
South West Queensland Thunder FC v Olympic FC
Saturday, 4 July / Clive Berghofer Stadium / 5:00PM
After labelling last round’s 1-0 defeat to Jets a platform on which to build, SWQ Thunder coach Chris Wilkes will hope for further encouragement when his team hosts Olympic FC on Saturday evening.
Goalkeeper Pierce Clark made one especially fine save in that match but the youngsters still looked vulnerable from set-pieces, a potential weakness Tim Smits will aim to exploit after twice heading home corners in Olympic’s defeat of Sunshine Coast FC.
Smits’ brace snapped a three-match winless run but the title hopefuls must be wary of not being caught cold early in chilly Toowoomba temperatures.
Brisbane Strikers FC v FNQ FC Heat
Saturday, 4 July / Perry Park / 6:00PM
Brisbane Strikers will be eager to approach their top-two tussle with Jets next week by first taking down fellow Westfield FFA Cup qualifiers FNQ Heat.
Jheison Macuace’s goal helped Strikers edge the corresponding fixture in March and contributed to the attacker’s equal-high haul of 12.
Kept goalless for the first time in seven matches, Macuace will look to add a 10th goal in eight outings against a Heat outfit desperately needing a confidence-boosting scalp to spark what has been a spluttering season.
In their favour is the belief gained from a 5-1 road win over Thunder a fortnight ago.
Western Pride FC v Brisbane Roar FC Youth
Saturday, 4 July / Briggs Road Complex / 7:00PM
Ipswich will be the scene of two young teams testing their mental fortitude on Saturday night.
Pride this week confirmed the loss of coach Karl Dodd to Brisbane Roar as High Performance Manager; while results have dipped since the start of the season, the young squad assembled by Dodd were given a clear direction and must now steer the ship without his guidance.
For Young Roar, the challenge has been posed to overcome defeat for only the second time this season.
On each occasion the losses were inflicted by Strikers but shortages in personnel presents a fresh obstacle for newcomers.
Sunshine Coast FC v Northern Fury FC
Sunday, 5 July / Sunshine Coast Stadium / 2:00PM
Home comforts could be a decisive factor in the weekend’s final fixture.
Sunshine Coast’s downturn in form – now at zero wins in six– coincided with the beginning of a run of five away fixtures in six that concluded in defeat to Olympic last week.
A home draw with Jets preceded that match and helped them to a fifth match without defeat at Sunshine Coast Stadium, where the similarly out-of-sorts Northern Fury arrive on Sunday.
Fury’s yielding of a trio of goals in three of their last four fixtures means they must tighten up in defence to keep from being leapfrogged.
For further news, match reports, video highlights and more from Football Queensland, visit www.nplqld.com.au