Manly United head into the penultimate weekend of the competition holding a two-point lead over second-placed Sutherland Sharks, while it’s last chance saloon for Sydney Olympic.
The match of the round sees the competition leaders’ travel to Sydney United Sports Centre.
Match of the Round
Sydney United 58 v Manly United, Sunday 3.30pm at Sydney United Sports Centre
Manly United know they could seal the premiership when they arrive at Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon should Sutherland Sharks and Bonnyrigg White Eagles both slip up 24 hours before hand.
With Andrew Christiansen’s side two points ahead of the Sharks and three in front of the White Eagles, Manly are well poised to claim the first piece of silverware of the season and will only enhance that probability with a win over eleventh-placed Sydney United 58.
Manly had won four in a row before they were halted by APIA Leichhardt in their 1-1 stalemate last Sunday – however they will be wary of a Reds side who shocked the tournament favourites 2-1 in the reverse fixture at Cromer Park in Round 10.
Sutherland Sharks v Blacktown Spartans, 4.30pm at Seymour Shaw
Sutherland’s frustrations at dropping points at Rockdale last week multiplied when they saw APIA Leichhardt had held Manly at Lambert Park on the same afternoon and as a result Allan Edmondson’s side know they must win and hope the competition frontrunners slip up when Blacktown Spartans come to Seymour Shaw.
The Sharks can go top with a win and put real pressure on Bonnyrigg White Eagles, who host Hakoah Sydney City East later in the evening, and Manly who travel to Sydney United the following afternoon.
But with the Spartans in desperate need of club championship points, it will be another tough test for Sutherland who on the back of consecutive draws look to have let their premiership tilt slip through their fingers.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles v Hakoah Sydney City East, 5.00pm at Bonnyrigg Sports Club
With Bonnyrigg three points behind Manly United going into the penultimate round of the competition, the White Eagles, like Sutherland Sharks before them, will be looking to take maximum points and pray that both Manly and Sutherland slip up in their respective matches with Sydney United and Blacktown Spartans.
Stephen Sigmund’s third-placed outfit host a Hakoah Sydney City East side who have disappointingly downed tools of late and lost their fourth match on the trot against lowly Parramatta last weekend.
After exceeding expectations and breaking into the top five with a standout win against Blacktown City last month, Hakoah are resigned to a mid-table finish and could be punished further as Bonnyrigg look to close the gap on the top two.
Parramatta v Wollongong Wolves, 5.00pm at Sydney United Sports Centre
A 2-1 loss at home to Sydney Olympic will go down as one of the most frustrating results of the season for Wollongong Wolves who must win both their remaining games and hope Blacktown City and Sydney Olympic lose theirs in order to re-enter the top five.
But with Alfredo Esteves’ side six points behind the reigning champions in fifth position, the Wolves will travel to Sydney United Sports Centre with an air of trepidation rather than genuine optimism as they look to make up what looks an impossible gap.
Parramatta on the other hand will be relishing another opportunity to display their newfound confidence at the tail end of the season. Mark Zecchin’s side notched consecutive victories for the first time this campaign over Hakoah Sydney City East and Bonnyrigg White Eagles as Parramatta FC outfit try to close a frustrating season on a high.
Sydney Olympic v Rockdale City Suns, 5.00pm at Seymour Shaw Park
Sydney Olympic kept their top five hopes alive with an outstanding away win in Wollongong last weekend and will look to keep the pressure on fifth-placed Blacktown City when they welcome Rockdale City Suns to Seymour Shaw.
Olympic are only three points away from Blacktown City with two weeks remaining and with the reigning champions facing a tricky home fixture against APIA Leichhardt Tigers on the same afternoon and a daunting fixture at Cromer Park to close the season next week, the Blues will fancy their chances.
Blacktown City v APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 1.00pm at Lilys Football Centre
After a dreadful second half of the campaign, Blacktown City still have work to do in order to cement their position in the top five and the reigning champions must first contend with APIA Leichhardt Tigers on Sunday afternoon.
Blacktown hold a three point advantage over sixth-placed Olympic with a fortnight of the competition remaining but with APIA Leichhardt and competition leaders Manly United still to play, Ben Wright’s side look to be on shaky ground as they await the visit of the third-placed Tigers.