Blacktown City FC will attempt to consolidate their position at the top of the ladder during round 16 of the PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition.
Mark Crittenden’s side snatched top spot after a slip up from APIA Leichhardt Tigers last round and will be determined to build on their lead with a win against Sydney FC on Sunday.
Round 16 also features the second derby clash of the season between the Bonnyrigg White Eagles and Sydney United 58 FC when they got head to head at Bonnyrigg Sports Club on Sunday.
One player that may make an appearance is Sydney United 58 star player Panny Nikas who has returned back to Sydney after a late decision to not pursue his ambitions in Thailand.
The battle for finals spots is also as tight as it has been all season with Wollongong Wolves and Manly United FC all determined to break into the top five.
This week’s match of the round features a battle for third spot on the ladder between Sydney Olympic and Rockdale City Suns at Belmore Sports ground on Sunday.
Match of the Round
Sydney Olympic FC v Rockdale City Suns FC, 3pm Sunday at Belmore Sports Ground
Third position on the ladder goes on the line when Sydney Olympic FC hosts rivals Rockdale City Suns at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday.
Both teams have returned to form in recent weeks after a lean spell at the end of the first half of the season.
Olympic has quietly kept pace with league leaders Blacktown City FC and APIA Leichhardt Tigers to sit only two games behind the top of the table.
A win against new look Parramatta FC outfit kept their winning run alive and victory on Sunday would make it three in a row for Peter Zorbas side.
Both imports, Jinya An and Yu Kuboki have been in terrific form for the Blues and will once again be the go to players on Sunday.
Rockdale easily accounted for Hakoah last week and showed signs or the early season form which had them flying high at the top of the table.
Jordan Figon found his shooting boots last week to score a double and will once again be a player to watch as will former Sydney Olympic skipper Harris Gaitatzis who will be returning to his old stomping ground at Belmore since his move this season.
There won’t be many better chances for either side to flex their premiership credentials than on Sunday so expect a thrilling contest.
Manly United FC v Parramatta FC, 7pm Saturday at Cromer Park
Manly United FC will be playing for their first back to back win in ten weeks when they host Parramatta FC at Cromer Park on Saturday night.
Warren Grieve’s side haven’t posted consecutive victories since they defeated Parramatta FC back in round five and will be hoping a visit from the side sitting at the bottom of the table is the perfect chance to claim another 3 points.
Despite their struggles this season, Manly sit only two points outside the top five and are still in the race for finals football.
It has been the season from hell for Parramatta FC who are yet to win a match this season, their three points coming after Wollongong Wolves were ruled to have fielded an ineligible player.
A massive player exodus after the sacking of coach Franco Cosentino has left new boss Marshall Soper with a hastily assembled squad lacking any established stars but players ready to take an opportunity of proving that they can cut it in the big league.
The pressure will be on Manly to take advantage of their favouritism at home, but with nothing to play for Parramatta could prove a tricky customer.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC vs Sydney United 58 FC, 2pm Sunday at Bonnyrigg Sports Club
All form goes out the window when the Bonnyrigg White Eagles and Sydney United 58 FC go head to head.
This Sunday afternoon expect a quality game when arguably the competition’s biggest derby takes place at Bonnyrigg Sports Club.
Bonnyrigg’s season was derailed before the season even started after an injury crisis took out a number of the team’s biggest stars and new signings. Ever since it has been an uphill battle for the Brian Brown coached side to get it together in what has been a difficult season for the club.
A huge boost was seen at the club last week however thanks to a 1-0 defeat of the high flying APIA Leichhardt Tigers via the boot of Ray Miller so could that be the match that changes the club’s fortunes?
For Sydney United 58, their horror start to the year has been long forgotten and a crazy twist of events will have their star and the competition’s leading player in Panny Nikas available after a move to Thailand backfired.
After an incredible run of victories, Mark Rudan’s side has plateaued in recent weeks and now they will need to adapt to life without their creative fulcrum.
No matter what this game always guarantees a fierce contest and neither side will want to give their rival anything to smile about.
Hakoah Sydney City East FC v Sutherland Sharks FC, 3pm Sunday at Hensley Athletic Field
It has been a tough run in recent weeks for Hakoah Sydney City East but they will aim to turn it around when they host Sutherland Sharks at Hensley Athletic Field on Sunday.
Former Scottish Premier League player Gavin Rae has Hakoah playing tough football but they have been let down by momentary lapses.
Their opponent Sutherland Sharks come into the game flying high with confidence after a win against Sydney United 58 last round.
It was coach Grant Lee’s biggest win since he took over as Sharks boss midway through the season.
Hakoah are desperate for a win and will hope a return to their home ground is the perfect recipe to get them back to the winners circle.
Blacktown City FC v Sydney FC, 3pm Sunday at Lily’s Football Centre
Blacktown City FC will look to build on their lead at the top of the competition ladder when they host Sydney FC on Sunday.
Mark Crittenden’s side took advantage of APIA Leichhardt’s shock loss last round to take a three point lead from their nearest rival.
Blacktown is in fine form and will pose an almighty challenge to competition new boys Sydney FC.
Mitch Mallia, Joey Gibbs and James Andrew have become one of the most potent strike forces in the competition and will once again be the players to watch on Sunday.
Sydney FC will need a big performance to challenge at Lily’s Football Centre and they will need to ensure they can remain disciplined for the whole 90 minutes
The young Sky Blues will have a mighty test ahead of them this week but anything can happen on a football field.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers FC v Wollongong Wolves, 4.45pm at Lambert Park
The pain of last week’s shock loss to Bonnyrigg White Eagles is sure to fire APIA Leichhardt to victory when they host Wollongong Wolves on Sunday.
Last round’s loss hurt in more ways than one for Danial Cummins side as Blacktown City was able to leapfrog APIA into outright first.
However, the hunted will become the hunter as APIA will have their sights set on chasing down City to reclaim first.
Their opponents this week is a Wolves team also desperate for victory as they attempt to keep their finals hopes alive.
While they have been hard to beat at home in Wollongong, the Wolves will need to bring nothing hey of their best to get all three points on the road against APIA.
Patrick Antelmi, Nick Montgomery and Yuzo Tashiro will be the players to lead the charge for the visitors but they will need to also stop the talented Tasuku Sekiya from guiding APIA’s attack.
Expect plenty of attacking football and a huge bounce back performance from the Tigers.