ANOTHER busy weekend is ahead for the PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1.
With five games on Saturday and the Match of the Round on Sunday, there is a smorgasbord of football action for your delectation.
MATCH OF THE ROUND
Sydney United 58 FC v Sydney Olympic, 3pm Sunday, at Sydney United Sports Centre
Two old rivals go head to head in this week’s Match of the Round, as Sydney United 58 FC host Sydney Olympic at Edensor Park.
Both sides are coming off wins, United 58 against neighbours Marconi Stallions and Olympic against Sutherland Sharks.
Olympic is top of the table after ten rounds, losing only once, which sees them one point clear of the ever consistent Blacktown City.
United 58 sit fourth, two points adrift of APIA Leichhardt Tigers. The Reds have conceded 18 goals in 10 games though, an average that their coach Mark Rudan will be keen to lower, particularly against the other sides in and around the top five.
Richard Cardozo’s signing has had impact though and he is already delivering the goals of which he is very capable.
Olympic will attack with verve as always, but they will need to keep the back door locked tight.
ROUND 11 PREVIEW
Blacktown Spartans v APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 7.30pm Saturday, at Blacktown Football Park
Blacktown Spartans host the APIA Leichhardt Tigers on Saturday night, and Ben De Haan’s side will need to be at their very best if they are to cause an upset.
Spartans were easily beaten in the Blacktown derby last weekend and the heights of last year seem a long time ago now.
APIA Leichhardt is flying though, and the Tigers looked strong in their 0-0 draw with Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
Adam Griffiths will be suspended however after he was sent off in his brief cameo in that game, which could mean another opportunity for Stephen Kayes in midfield.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles v Rockdale City Suns, 7.30pm Saturday, at Bonnyrigg Sports Centre
Bonnyrigg White Eagles host Rockdale City Suns also on Saturday night.
The White Eagles sit fifth after their scoreless draw with APIA Leichhardt last week, and a win in their game in hand would see them leapfrog Sydney United 58 FC into fourth.
Ray Miller has been a decent pick up in the off season, and he was outstanding against APIA in a hard fought midfield battle.
He has to get on top of Paul Reid this weekend, and the Rockdale City player/coach will hope his side can bounce back from their loss to Parramatta FC.
The Suns’ have spluttered and coughed, but now is the time for them to string some results together and make their way up the ladder.
Marconi Stallions v South Coast Wolves, 7.30pm Saturday, at Marconi Stadium
The bubble burst for new Marconi coach Jeff Suzor, who after masterminding a win against Sutherland Sharks in his first game in charge, came crashing down to earth against Sydney United 58 FC.
The Stallions were 3-0 down at half time and eventually lost 3-1 as the Reds took their foot off the gas in the second 45′ minutes.
South Coast made the long trip to Cromer Park and came away with a hard fought point, which could have been three had James O’Rourke not scored into his own net.
This is bottom hosting second from bottom, and both sides are desperate for a win to get away from the wooden spoon fight.
Parramatta FC v Manly United, 7.30pm Saturday, at Melita Stadium
Parramatta FC will be on a high after knocking over Rockdale City Suns last weekend.
Their chance for back-to-back wins comes against Manly United, who are flying high in sixth place despite only taking a point from the home game against South Coast Wolves.
Manly is fast becoming the giant killing side of the competition, but they need to make wins against lower placed sides a routine.
Parramatta FC is scoring at a rate of less than a goal per game, which must improve if they are to start accumulating the points they need.
Sutherland Sharks v Blacktown City, 7.30pm Saturday, at Seymour Shaw Park
Blacktown City are in ruthless form at the moment, and have proven the loss to Manly United was only a temporary aberration.
They travel to Seymour Shaw Park confident they can beat any side in the competition, and with an attack featuring Mitchell Mallia, Travis Major, Danny Choi, Patrick Antelmi, and Joe Gibbs, you can see why.
The return of young midfielder Yianni Perkatis after a spell at Western Sydney Wanderers only adds to their depth.
The Sharks went down to top of the table Sydney Olympic last weekend, and they sit seventh with a game in hand.
Steve O’Connor’s side seem to be finding their feet after a bad start, but this will be a huge test.
– by Matthew Lopez, PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1 Editor