The final round of the Grade 20s is full of permutations and expectations.
Marconi Stallions and Rockdale City are battling it out for the Premiership, whilst Blacktown Spartans, Manly United, Blacktown City, South Coast Wolves and Central Coast Mariners Academy are all in the mix for fourth and fifth place.
Meanwhile, Sydney Olympic and Bonnyrigg White Eagles are trying to avoid the wooden spoon, in what will be a drama filled final 90 minutes of the regular season.
Sydney Olympic FC vs APIA-Leichhardt Tigers, 1pm at Belmore Sports Ground
APIA-Leichhardt Tigers’s Premiership hopes were dashed last night as Marconi Stallions beat Sydney Olympic to put themselves on top of the table.
Their goal difference means that APIA cannot finish ahead of them, but they can finish second, depending on other results.
For Olympic, it is a battle to avoid the wooden spoon, as they and Bonnyrigg both sit on 20 points heading into the final round.
Blacktown Spartans vs Sydney United 58 FC, 1pm at Blacktown Football Park
Blacktown Spartans can guarantee themselves fourth place with a win at home to Sydney United 58 FC.
A draw would be good enough for a finals place if there are draws in the Blacktown City vs Manly United and South Coast Wolves vs Mariners Academy.
It is a delicate situation for Spartans but it is in their hands, against a Sydney United team that can’t finish bottom, despite their slide down the table in recent months.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles vs Marconi Stallions, 1pm at Bonnyrigg Sports Centre
Bonnyrigg will be looking to avoid the wooden spoon, but they face a major task against Marconi Stallions.
A draw will be enough for the Stallions to take home the Premiership, given their superior goal difference to APIA-Leichhardt and Rockdale City, but the Suns are waiting in the wings in case Marconi slip up.
South Coast Wolves vs Central Coast Mariners Academy, 1pm at Hooka Creek Park
South Coast and the Mariners Academy are in a battle for fifth place, in what is also a huge match in terms of the Club Championship and the relegation battle.
These two sides will be hoping for a draw between Blacktown City and Manly, which would allow the winner of this match to jump into the top five. A win in that match though means that Spartans would have to lose to allow the winner of this match to qualify, due to the poorer goal differences of both Wolves and Mariners Academy.
Rockdale City vs Sutherland Sharks, 1pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
Rockdale City need to win at home to Sutherland, in order to take advantage of any slip up by Marconi Stallions.
If they don’t win, they are vulnerable to APIA-Leichhardt Tigers behind them, but they will be more concerned with being in pole position, in case Marconi blow their opportunity.
Sutherland have lost their influential captain, Jacob Tratt, to Sydney FC’s tour of Italy and may struggle without him against a very motivated Rockdale City.
Blacktown City FC vs Manly United FC, 1pm at Lily Homes Stadium
Blacktown City and Manly United find themselves in a virtual sudden death play off for fifth place, if Spartans beat Sydney United 58.
Their goal differences are identical and if Spartans win, the result of this match could deem the Wolves vs Mariners Academy result irrelevant.
The heat is right on for these two sides, but their destiny is well and truly in their own hands.
– By Matthew Connellan