A Northern Derby, a top four match up and all four games being played on Saturday is what Round 4 of PlayStation 4 NPL Tasmania has in store.
Clash of styles set to play out at the Den
Kicking off the round, Kingborough Lions are to set to host ladder leaders Hobart Zebras in a game that represents a real clash of footballing philosophies, not that Peter Savill believes in such things, as he told me a fortnight ago.“There’s no philosophy, its just a game with 11 players on each side and you try put it in their net more than they do yours.”
Nevertheless there is a distinct contrast between these two sides with Zebras very much a results based team, happy to play direct and win ugly, whilst Lions boss, Gabriel Markaj has consistently preached attacking, attractive football and stated that he is more concerned with performance than results.
He isn’t backing down from that stance either, despite the Lions shipping 10 goals over the past fortnight, stating that they would be “Taking the same approach, we are not adapting ourselves to anybody, we will try to play that style for 90 minutes rather than 72 minutes.”
Young Strikers set for next big test
Having claimed a 2-2 draw with Zebras in round 1, Devonport are set to entertain another of the competition favourites as they look to make it three wins in a row when they welcome the Olympia Warriors to Valley Road.
With Brayden Mann finally done winning Cricket premierships, he is set to return to try help the Strikers do likewise. Pre-season it seemed incredibly unlikely they would challenge given the massive list turn over they had, but they have been incredibly impressive through three weeks and there is just so much to like about this young side.
An attack the boasts the likes of Holden, Mann, Fischer and Dance is as good as any in the competition, and in midfield Henry Andrews and Raphael Reynolds are forming a powerful combination. The big question mark is whether their young defence hold out against the best sides?
Northern sides looking for first win in derby
The first Northern Derby of the season between Launceston City and Northern Rangers is set to play out Saturday evening at the NTCA ground.
With both sides yet to claim a victory and sitting on just the solitary point after three rounds this season, the pressure will be immense for both sides to get a positive result from the game.
They will both be desperate to get their seasons kick started and claiming a win over their rivals would be the perfect tonic for what has been a slow start out of the blocks. In addition to the all-important three points, the match represents the first leg of the Challenge Cup that is played for between the two sides over the course of their three league meetings this season. Launceston City are the current holders of the trophy and it is a trophy that means plenty to both clubs.
South looking to rebound at Clarence
South Hobart will be looking to get their title tilt back on track when they take on Clarence on Saturday night in the final game of the round under the lights of Wentworth Park.
Standing in their way will be a Reds side buoyed by a 2-1 win over Launceston City last week. It was an impressive three points for Clarence, they shook off a rather shaky start to the game and seemed to get stronger as the contest wore on. With Matthew Lewis set to return to the fold to take on his former side they should be stronger still this week.
Clarence seem to have built up some solid depth with a number of versatile players and with Demar and Lewis missing from last weeks side, they are certainly batting deep at Centre Back.
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Round 4 Fixtures
Kingborough v Hobart Zebras, Saturday 1 April, 2:00pm, Lightwood Park
Devonport v Olympia, Saturday 1 April, 2:30pm, Valley Road
Northern Rangers v Launceston City, Saturday 1 April, 4:30pm, NTCA Ground
Clarence v South Hobart, Saturday 1 April, 6:30pm, Wentworth Park