It’s Round 9 and we’re nearly at the halfway point of the 2016 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition.
The pressure is rising on all 12 teams as the business end of the season edges closer and closer.
Sydney United 58’s flawless run since round two continues but Rockdale and Blacktown City are ready to pounce if Mark Rudan’s side slips up.
This week’s Match of the Round features perennial rivals Sydney United 58 against Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
In other action around the grounds, the Blacktown derby will pit Mark Crittenden’s Blacktown City against the Ben De Haan coached Blacktown Spartans.
Match of the Round
Sydney United 58 FC v Bonnyrigg White Eagles, Sunday 2pm at Sydney United Sports Centre
One of the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition’s most storied rivalries will etch another chapter in its history when Sydney United 58 FC hosts Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
Sydney United 58 has been in incredible form this season with seven wins and only one loss from the first eight rounds. Mark Rudan has his side firing on all cylinders with a prolific attack and solid defence.
United has conceded only five goals this season including a run of four straight clean sheets thanks to the form of Thomas Manos in goals and a well organised back four.
It has been a mixed start to the year for Bonnyrigg which has included some quality results but also some frustrating defeats.
Brian Brown’s side should not be written off and the passion of the derby is sure to create a hard fought contest.
Sutherland Sharks v Rockdale City Suns, Saturday 6.30pm at Seymour Shaw
Sutherland desperate to return to the winners circle but with a clash against an in form Rockdale City Suns it could be another tough week for the Carlos Vilazon coached side.
In Round 8 Sutherland suffered a 3-1 loss to Wollongong at WIN Stadium with only a late Josh Da Silva goal saving the graces of the Sharks.
However, Sutherland’s attacking play can be some of the competition’s best and is sure to put an at times shaky Rockdale defence under pressure.
Rockdale comes into the match after an emotional 3-2 victory against Blacktown City.
Currently in third place on the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition ladder, Paul Reid’s side can’t afford to drop points.
Blacktown City FC v Blacktown Spartans, Saturday 7pm at Lily’s Football Centre
The Blacktown Mayor’s Cup will go on the line as local rivals Blacktown City and Blacktown Spartans square off at Lily’s Football Centre on Saturday night.
It has been contrasting fortunes for City and Spartans so far this season.
Blacktown City is once again near the top of the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition ladder and remains one of the toughest teams in the league.
However, It has been a difficult season so far for Blacktown Spartans with only two wins from eight matches.
Form goes out the window on derby day and the Spartans will be desperate to get one over its more favoured opposition.
Parramatta FC v Hakoah Sydney City East, Saturday 7pm at Melita Stadium
A confidence building 2-1 upset of Bonnyrigg last week has Parramatta FC in fine form going into its clash against Hakoah Sydney City East on Saturday.
Franco Consentino’s outfit has been one of the big improvers from last season and the Melita Stadium side will be focussed on getting three points against competition newcomers Hakoah.
Ibrahim Haydar has steeled the Parramatta defence and it could be a tough night at the office for the Hakoah forwards.
Hakoah Sydney City East has proven it is no shrinking violet and will rely on its high energy brand of football to secure the win.
Manly United FC v APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Sunday 3pm at Cromer Park
Paul Dee’s Manly United side has shown plenty of promise so far this season but the pressure is on the boys from the Northern Beaches to turn that promise into competition points.
This week they take on APIA Leichhardt who themselves need to live up to their preseason hype.
Manly was only able to secure a 1-1 draw against Blacktown Spartans last week in a performance well below their best.
A similar showing against APIA will surely not end so favourably.
Sydney Olympic FC v Wollongong Wolves, Sunday 3pm at Lambert Park
Sydney Olympic and Wollongong Wolves will be both out to make it back to back wins when the go head to head on Sunday.
Grant Lee’s side was able to upset Hakoah at Hensley Athletic last week while Wollongong tasted victory for the first time in a while when they defeated Sutherland 3-1 at WIN Stadium.
Both sides have displayed flashes of brilliance this season but consistency will be the key to victory.
Olympic should prepare for Wollongong’s ability on the counter attack which has been one of its best attributes this season.
It is sure to be a thrilling encounter.