Round 21 PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s has arrived and with only two games to play before the finals the time is now for teams to make their mark.
Only five points split third to seventh spot on the ladder with plenty of movement expected between now and the final placings.
Wollongong Wolves and Sydney United 58 remain outside the top five but will hope to break in to playoffs contention with a win this round.
The PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Premiership could be decided on Sunday as Blacktown City FC host APIA Leichhardt Tigers in this week’s Match of the Round.
Blacktown City FC v APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 3pm Sunday at Lily’s Football Stadium
The entire premiership race goes on the line this Sunday when first placed Blacktown City host second placed APIA Leichhardt Tigers.
Two weeks ago it appeared as if Blacktown would win the competition in a canter, but results have gone the way of APIA leading to Sunday’s premiership decider.
Both teams come into the match off the back of FFA Cup matches midweek, however APIA’s trip to Tasmania to play on Tuesday night could take more of a toll on their squad after Blacktown hosted the Central Coast Mariners.
A slip-up against Manly United two weeks ago was a rare blip in what has been an incredible season for Mark Crittenden’s Blacktown team.
They have led the competition since the early rounds and have lost only two games all season.
APIA come into the match full of confidence after a good run of results since their heartbreaking Waratah Cup defeat to Hakoah Sydney City East.
Danial Cummins has his side firing on all cylinders and determined to snatch the Premiership title from Blacktown’s grasp.
With so much riding on this match expect the contest to be a hard-fought affair.
Parramatta FC v Sutherland Sharks, 7pm Saturday at Melita Stadium
Parramatta FC host Sutherland Sharks on Saturday in the penultimate round of the season.
While neither side can make the playoffs, they will be determined to end their season with a win.
Parramatta has lost 14 straight matches coming into Saturday’s clash and will be desperate to end their streak.
Sutherland will be out to make it two wins in as many games after a high scoring win last round.
Tomohiro Kajiyama of the Sharks leads the Golden Boot race on 13 goals and will be out to secure the scorers title.
Sutherland will be favourites for this clash but a desperate Parramatta team may be able to cause an upset.
Sydney FC v Bonnyrigg White Eagles, 7.45pm Saturday at Lambert Park
Sydney FC will be out to end their maiden season in the NSW top flight on a high note and what better way than a victory against their Round 21 opponents Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
It has been a season of ups and downs for the Young Sky Blues but they have been able to hold their own against the competition’s best.
Against Bonnyrigg they face another side which has struggled to find consistency this campaign and will be out to give their fans something to cheer about.
Bonnyrigg has been much improved over the second half of the season and will be a tricky customer for Sydney FC.
Manly United FC v Sydney United 58 FC, 3pm Sunday at Cromer Park
Manly United will be hoping to cement their finals place with a win against Sydney United on Sunday.
fourth placed Manly sit only three points ahead of seventh placed United 58 and will know the importance of claiming at least a point from the fixture.
A shock 5-0 loss to APIA last round stopped Manly in its tracks after a strong run of form leading up to the match.
They will be determined to bounce back this week and lock down a top five place.
United 58’s season goes on the line this weekend with defeat all but eliminating them from finals contention.
While they have been far from the side which dominated the competition last season, the Reds can on their day push any side in the completion.
With the stakes high, it should be a blockbuster match.
Rockdale City Suns FC v Wollongong Wolves FC, 3pm Sunday at Ilinden Sports Centre
Rockdale City Suns will be tasked with stopping Wollongong Wolves’ finals push when they go head to head at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday.
Rockdale were unlucky to come away with only a point against Blacktown City last round and will be focused on securing their third spot on the ladder.
Ante Covic has been in incredible form for the Suns and will be hard to beat while striker Jordan Figon will be out to add to his 12 goals this season and chase down the Golden Boot title.
Wollongong sit in sixth spot heading into this match and need a win to remain in control of their finals fate.
Jacob Timpano’s side has found top form at the right time with veterans Nick Montgomery and Yuzo Tashiro key to their chase for a top five finish.
Expect Wollongong to take the game to Rockdale early in search of a vital three competition points.
Sydney Olympic FC v Hakoah Sydney City East, 5pm Sunday Lambert Park
Sydney Olympic FC will hope to avoid a late season hiccup when the take on Waratah Cup Champions Hakoah Sydney City East on Sunday.
Fifth placed Sydney Olympic need a win to stay in the top five but Hakoah will be doing everything in their powers to upset the party.
Olympic claimed their first win in weeks last round and will hope to make it back to back victories on Sunday.
Hakoah were lucky to avoid a shock defeat against bottom side Parramatta FC in Round 20 with a narrow 1-0 win.
With a FFA Cup Round of 16 clash on the horizon, coach Gavin Rae will want to push his Hakoah side over the final two league matches.
With a win desperately needed, expect Olympic to control proceedings at Lambert Park, but Hakoah has proven they are not easy beats and will give Olympic one hell of a contest.