It’s Round 20 in the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s competition and with only three weeks to go the finish line is well and truly in sight.
That doesn’t mean there is a lack of thrilling match-ups with three massive derbies headlining this week’s action.
Blacktown City travel to Blacktown Football Park for the latest instalment of the Blacktown Derby against Blacktown Spartans, Rockdale City Suns host Sutherland Sharks in the Leader Cup, while Bonnyrigg White Eagles face off against Sydney United 58.
In other matches APIA will take on Manly United, Hakoah Sydney City East will look to end Parramatta’s finals aspirations and Sydney Olympic have a tough trip down to Wollongong to play the Wolves.
This week’s Match of the Round is Bonnyrigg White Eagles clash against the top of the table Sydney United 58.
Match of the Round
Bonnyrigg White Eagles v Sydney United 58, Sunday 7.30pm at Valentine Sports Park
Brian Brown’s Bonnyrigg White Eagles side have a chance to spoil Sydney United 58’s party when the two teams face off on Sunday.
A win for Mark Rudan’s reds team will mean Sydney United 58 is crowned PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s Premiers, but victory for Bonnyrigg will keep Blacktown City in with a long shot of snatching the title.
A double booking at Bonnyrigg has meant the match will be played at Football NSW headquarters at Valentine Sports Park.
Sydney United 58 were caught on the blackfoot by an energetic APIA team in Round 19 and with the same intensity the White Eagles will be in with a good chances of taking all three points.
There is plenty to play for and neither team will be happy to settle for a draw.
*In accordance to both club’s requests this game will be a closed match
Hakoah Sydney City East v Parramatta FC, Saturday 7pm at Hensley Athletic Field
When it comes to the race for the last finals spot Parramatta FC is hanging on by the skin of its teeth.
A win is an absolute must for Franco Consentino’s side.
Hakoah Sydney City East has impressed in their first season in the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s competition and are still mathematically in with a shot of finals football.
Both teams have show a penchant for sitting back and absorbing pressure before stinging the opposition late in the game with slick counter attacks.
It will be a hard fought match and the sort of high intensity football Hakoah and Parramatta must be ready to play if they make it to the postseason.
Blacktown Spartans v Blacktown City FC, Sunday 3pm at Blacktown Football Park
The horror season for Blacktown Spartans is almost over but the Ben De Haan coached side has a chance to take something away from its campaign.
The Spartans have not won the Blacktown derby since their promotion to the top flight and victory on Sunday would be a huge triumph in the history of the club.
The match is also the 200th match for Spartans shot stopper Carlos Saliadarre
For Blacktown City the game will be about consolidation.
While Mark Crittenden’s side is mathematically still in the running for the PlayStation®4 NPL NSW Men’s Premiership, the primary focus will be ensuring they are firing on all cylinders when it matters most.
Anything can happen on derby day and the outcome of this match is far from certain.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC v Manly United FC, Sunday 4.30pm at Lambert Park
APIA Leichhardt has shown that on their day they can beat any team in the competition.
It was on full display last week when Danial Cummin’s side pushed competition favourite Sydney all the way before succumbing to a 2-2 draw.
Manly United has been in impeccable league form and are only getting better.
Driven by the disappointment of their Waratah Cup defeat, Manly is on a mission and have become a real dark horse to take out the Championship title.
Manly play with speed but APIA are no slouches so it is sure to be an exciting clash of end to end action.
Rockdale City Suns v Sutherland Sharks FC, Sunday 5pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
It has been a horror few weeks for Rockdale with the team taking only a point from its past four games.
Dropping out of the top three, Paul Reid’s team are in desperate need of a win to build their confidence ahead of the finals.
Sutherland has come out of nowhere to be in with a shot of finals football despite sitting at the base of the ladder for most of the season.
Back to back wins has launched the sharks into contention as Carlos Villazon’s team is clicking at the tail end of the season.
Both teams have plenty to play as they try to close out their season in the best possible way.
Wollongong Wolves v Sydney Olympic, Sunday 5pm at WIN Stadium
Jacob Timpano’s Wolves team will be desperate to stay off the bottom of the table as the strive for victory against Sydney Olympic this weekend.
The Wolves will have one eye on their FFA Cup Round of 32 clash with Sydney FC in August and any momentum leading into that match will be priceless.
Sydney Olympic has silenced its doubters this season after the club went through a major roster upheaval before the start of the competition.
Olympic currently occupy fifth place and will be driven to lock down their post season performance.
For Wollongong keep an eye on attacking fulcrum Nicolas Bernal, while for Olympic Joshua Gaspari will be hoping to continue his rich vein of goalscoring form.