Round 17 of the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition is set to deliver another six scintillating matches.
While Sydney United 58 FC, Blacktown City and Rockdale seem assured of a final spot, the battle for the final two places could go down to the wire.
This week’s Match of the Round features APIA Leichhardt at home against Rockdale City Suns.
Match of the Round
APIA Leichhardt Tigers v Rockdale City Suns, Saturday 7.45pm at Lambert Park
Danial Cummins’ APIA squad found their shooting boots last week on the road against Wollongong.
It was a return to winning ways for the Lambert Park side which has struggled for consistency this season.
APIA’s opponents this week are Paul Reid’s Rockdale City Suns who last week edged Blacktown Spartans 2-1 at Ilinden Sports Centre.
Rockdale has been a competition front runner all season and will be difficult opposition for APIA.
Players to watch will be APIA striker Tasuku Sekiya as well as Rockdale’s Peter Makrillos and Alec Urosevski.
Sutherland Sharks v Bonnyrigg White Eagles, Saturday 6.30pm at Seymour Shaw
After a run of positive results Sutherland was given a reality check last week by Parramatta.
Despite last week’s 3-0 loss, Carlos Villazon’s side has made significant steps in recent weeks and has added some substance to their attacking flair.
Tomihiro Kajiyama has been a star performer for the sharks and will once again be required to lead the sharks.
After a draw last week, Bonnyrigg will be desperate to win.
Brian Brown’s team has only flashed the form which made them PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Champions last season but they are still in with a shot of defending their crown.
Sydney Olympic v Parramatta FC, Sunday 3pm at Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney Olympic will be out to bounce back from their 2-0 loss to Sydney United 58 last week.
Olympic are still in with a small chance of making the top five but they will need to go almost undefeated through the final six rounds.
It is a huge game for Parramatta with their finals hopes on the line.
Franco Consentino’s side is one spot out of the playoff places but have a game in hand.
They cannot afford to lose.
Manly United v Wollongong Wolves FC, Sunday 3pm at Cromer Park
A six goal demolition of Hakoah last week Manly United is firing on all cylinders.
Wollongong Wolves will need to bring nothing short of their best to Cromer Park on Sunday if they are to come away with a win.
Manly’s ferocious attack is one of the competitions best and has torn apart defences week after week.
Wollongong has struggled to win in recent weeks but have the talent to spring an upset.
Richie Cardozo, Dejan Pandurevic and Brendan Cholakian are the ones to watch for Manly while Nicolas Bernal will be the man for Wollongong.
Blacktown City v Hakoah Sydney City East, Sunday 3pm at Lily’s Football Centre
Blacktown has lost ground on first placed Sydney United 58 in recent weeks and will almost need a perfect run to the end of the season if they are to pull off an unlikely PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Premiership triumph.
Mark Crittenden’s side is never to be doubted and will be out to add to the woes of Hakoah Sydney City East on Sunday.
Hakoah were thrashed 6-1 last round in one of their worst performances of the season.
Blacktown will target a fragile Hakoah defence short on confidence with Patrick Antelmi, Joey Gibbs, Mitch Mallia, Danny Choi and Travis Major all set to create chaos in the attacking third.
With the home crowd behind them, Blacktown could have a field day. However, Hakoah know how to unsettle City so the home side can’t rest on their laurels.
Sydney United 58 v Blacktown Spartans, Sunday 4pm at Sydney United Sports Centre
The final match of Round 17 features top of the table Sydney United 58 against cellar dwellers Blacktown Spartans.
Sydney United 58 has been the most consistent side this season and is unlikely to let that slip at home this week.
Panni Nikas and Chris Payne have claimed all the headlines with their attacking play, but United 58’s defence and the goalkeeping of Thomas Manos has been the real heroes this season.
The Spartans have made significant improvement and are playing an attractive brand of football.
An interesting subplot will be the battle of midfield between brothers Glen and Jason Trifiro.
Glen, a recent addition to United 58, and Jason, the Spartans big name acquisition, will bring plenty of excitement to the clash with the former A-League players set to be essential part of the game plan for both teams.