There’s no let-up in the jostle for top four positions in Round 17 of PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland with a number of make-or-break fixtures across the state.
Redlands United v Sunshine Coast FC
Saturday, July 9 | 3:00PM
Cleveland Showgrounds, Redland City
Squads - http://bit.ly/29sj4li
Fire return to the scene of last week’s upset win over Brisbane Roar Youth as they look to make Redlands the latest scalp in their late season resurgence.
Unbeaten in their past three outings, Fire not only need to defeat this week’s opponents but must rely on other results if they are to crack their first top four finish since 2013.
They will fancy their chances against a Redlands side that has gone off the boil in recent weeks – two wins in their past six league matches seeing the former Premiership contenders now in a battle just to make the top four.
Redlands will also need to turn around the history of the tie, with the bayside club yet to defeat Fire at Cleveland Showgrounds in three previous visits in the national second tier.
Match Officials – Lara SMITH (referee), Albert KRAUSE (assistant), Chris LONG (assistant), Cameron FAWCETT (fourth)
Brisbane Strikers FC v Olympic FC
Saturday, July 9 | 6:00PM
Perry Park, Brisbane
Squads - http://bit.ly/29r6nuU
Strikers are out to extend their unbeaten run in capital city derbies this season to five when they host cross-river rivals Olympic FC.
The hosts remain firmly nipping at the heels of top-placed FNQ Heat and know they must win every week to take advantage of any slip-up by the league leaders.
Standing in their way is an Olympic side in the midst of a late season charge for the top four – furthered by a dramatic last-gasp win over Redlands last weekend.
With only two teams able to better Strikers this year, a win for Olympic could well prove a ‘six-pointer’ in their quest for a fourth straight top four finish.
Match Officials – Adam KERSEY (referee), Dylan LAMBERT (assistant), Max CRANE (assistant), Joey LEE (fourth)
Moreton Bay United FC v SWQ Thunder FC
Saturday, July 9 | 6:00PM
Wolter Park, Moreton Bay
Squads - http://bit.ly/29B6R1r
Thunder are seeking to become the first team to notch a league double over Jets this season when they head to Moreton Bay on Saturday night.
Buoyed by the unexpected addition of three points during the week following the reversal of their defeat to Young Roar, Thunder can remain in the finals hunt if they repeat their upset of the defending champs from earlier this season.
However, Jets are looking to restore Wolter Park’s reputation as a graveyard for travelling sides with five of their final six matches on their home patch.
They lacked the clinical edge last week in a narrow defeat to Gold Coast City but are unlikely to be as forgiving this weekend with another defeat likely to make their title defence increasingly precarious.
Match Officials - David WALSH (referee), Ben COOK (assistant), Isidro Terol CRESPO (assistant), Charley MOORE (fourth)
FNQ FC Heat v Brisbane City FC
Saturday, July 9 | 6:30PM
Barlow Park, Cairns
Squads – http://bit.ly/29yJ3Ig
Heat hope to record their first ever league double over City when the sides meet in Cairns for the first time in two years on Saturday night.
The league-leaders continue to edge ever closer to their maiden title and returned to their best last weekend with a five goal demolition of regional rivals Fury in Townsville.
Heat are also unbeaten at Barlow Park this year, however City will need to overturn that record if they are to stay firmly in the fight for the finals.
City’s top four rivals Redlands and Gold Coast City have already taken points off Heat this season and, if the club from the capital is to keep pace, then they will want to do likewise before facing both sides again in coming weeks.
Match Officials – Jason CROW (referee), Chris DOHERTY-FISHER (assistant), Wayne KUYPERS (assistant), Chris DAWSON (fourth)
Western Pride FC v Brisbane Roar FC Youth
Saturday, July 9 | 7:00PM
Briggs Road Complex, Ipswich
Squads – http://bit.ly/29U2HOi
Pride are aiming to end a six match winless run when they close out the Saturday fixtures against Young Roar in Ipswich
With finals football seemingly out of reach for another year, Pride’s players will be motivated by the desire to finish the year strongly as they seek to secure their spots for next year’s squad.
They will face an uncertain opponent in the form of a Young Roar side that despite a recent run of form was uncharacteristically off their game in a last start shut-out loss to Fire.
Additionally, how the youngsters respond to the further disappointment of losing their previously hard-earned three points against Thunder midweek remains the great unknown in this match-up.
Match Officials - Rachel MITCHENSON (referee), Kehan RYLEY (assistant), Alex HOHN (assistant), Ryan MOONEY (fourth)
Gold Coast City FC v Northern Fury FC
Sunday, July 10 | 1:00PM
Duncan McKenna Field, Gold Coast
Squads - http://bit.ly/29B8YSE
City are out to tighten their grip on the top four when they host the winless Fury in the sole Sunday showdown of the round.
Despite being in the top half of the table throughout the campaign, back-to-back clean sheets in recent weeks have assuaged lingering doubts about City’s finals credentials.
They will fancy their chances against a Fury side that returned to bad habits in a five goal loss to Heat last weekend.
Fury’s defence will again come under heavy pressure this weekend against a City attack that has scored more goals than any other side this season.Match Officials - Matt Gillett (REFEREE), Thomas Cullane (ASSISTANT), Danielle Potticary (ASSISTANT), Sam OSBOURNE (fourth)