After a pair of games against Devonport it doesn’t get much easier for South Hobart when they host Hobart Zebras in a Sunday blockbuster at Darcy St.
Devonport Strikers v Northern Rangers, Saturday 25 June, Valley Road, 2.00pm
Last Time: NPL TAS Round 7, Northern Rangers 0-2 Devonport, NTCA
League Form: Devonport: WWWWW Northern Rangers: LLLLL
The Devonport Strikers, buoyed by a massive victory over South Hobart last week will play their second home game in a row, coming up against a Northern Rangers side still searching for their first win of the season.
Rangers were outclassed by Olympia at Warrior Park last week but they have been harder to break down in recent games. After keeping things tight against the Strikers last time they met in a 2-0 loss, they will be hoping they can be competitive here despite coming in as big underdogs in what is a first v last game in terms of standings.
The Devonport Strikers have opened up a gap of four points on top of the table with their win over South Hobart and after a three week stretch of Hobart Zebras and South Hobart x 2, they might welcome a game against an opponent that they should enjoy considerably more time on the ball against.
Launceston City v Olympia Warriors, Saturday 25 June, Mitsubishi Park, 4.30pm
Last Time: NPL TAS Round 7, Olympia 4-0 Launceston City, Warrior Park
League Form: Launceston City: WLLLL Olympia: LLWWW
Launceston City host Olympia in a game between two teams with contrasting form lines. The Warriors have won three games straight whilst City have lost three games straight and they will be desperate to get back on track with a strong showing on their home pitch.
The last time they met it was a comfortable 4-0 win for Olympia and if form holds for both of these sides a similar result would not surprise here. The pitch could certainly be a factor though, with heavy rain set to make for difficult conditions at Mitsubishi Park.
Clarence United v Kingborough, Saturday 25 June, Wentworth Park, 4:30pm
Last Time: NPL TAS Round 7, Kingborough 4-1 Clarence, Lightwood Park
League Form: Clarence: LWLLW Kingborough: LWLLL
Clarence continue their run home of games at Wentworth Park with a fixture they will be looking at as a genuine chance to make it two wins in a row in.
Despite being below them on the table and on the road it’s probably the Lions who will enter the game as favourites however. They have been playing good football lately without reward and know that they need to start converting performances into points. Last time they met it was all one way traffic in a 4-1 Lions win, but both sides have improved since that day.
Clarence have been very up and down in their debut season but a third win last week represents a successful season to date. They’ll be aware that games against the other 3 sides sitting in the bottom four represent their best chance of picking up further points and they'll be up and about for this clash.
South Hobart v Hobart JEEP Zebras, Sunday 26 June, Darcy St, 2:00pm
Last Time: NPL TAS Round 7, Hobart JEEP Zebras 2-2 South Hobart
League Form: Hobart Zebras: DWWLW South Hobart: WWWWL
The stakes could not be much higher with a loss for either side potentially ending their title push. It may sound overly dramatic with 8 weeks remaining after this round, but to fall 7 or 8 points behind would leave either side reliant on a lot of results to go their way and the bottom 4 sides this year have not looked likely to take points from the top sides, limiting the games you’d expect points to be dropped in.
South Hobart could so easily have headed into this game on top of the table; instead they sit five points behind Devonport and in third place after somehow losing 2-0 in a game they dominated.
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