Top two Sutherland Sharks and Sydney United 58 face off at Seymour Shaw while APIA Leichhardt Tigers and Hakoah Sydney City East chase their first scalps against Rockdale City Suns and Wollongong Wolves.
Match of the Round
Blacktown City v Manly United, Saturday 5.00pm at Lily’s Football Centre
Fourth versus sixth takes place at Lily’s Football Centre on Saturday evening when Blacktown City welcome Manly United to Seven Hills for the match of the round.
John Carnevale’s side enter the clash with Manly after consecutive wins and clean sheets over Bonnyrigg White Eagles and APIA Leichhardt Tigers and look a side slowly edging their way into form.
City have dispatched their last two opponents with relative ease and resemble an outfit placing emphasis on control in the middle of the field thanks largely to a string of good showings from George Panayi and John Azar.
The likes of Jack Stewart and Adolph Koudakpo are also beginning to hit their stride from wide areas which should be of concern to the visitors.
Manly leaked goals for fun in 2017 but appear to have found some resolve in their opening three matches of the campaign under new coach Adam Griffiths.
However United will need to maintain their focus and grit against Blacktown in order to prevent the competition heavyweights from cruising to their third win in a row.
Sutherland Sharks v Sydney United 58, 4.30pm at Seymour Shaw
An exciting first versus second encounter awaits at Seymour Shaw in Saturday’s early kick off where defending champions Sutherland Sharks host Sydney United 58.
After flexing their considerable firepower in 6-3 and 6-1 drubbings of Hakoah Sydney City East and Sydney FC, Sutherland offered a performance of real grit in last round’s 1-0 defeat of Wollongong Wolves and might need to harness a similarly pragmatic approach when the Reds come calling on Saturday.
United 58 dropped their first points of the season in a 2-2 draw with Sydney FC last Saturday but have otherwise been faultless with Sam Perre, Anthony Pedavoli and Kyle Cimenti all impressing for the Edensor Park outfit.
Cimenti has four goals to his name thus far and the clash between the former Western Sydney Wanderer prospect and Sutherland’s James Temelkovski could prove to be an early litmus test in the race for the golden boot.
Temelkovski, who was hospitalized for the majority of last week before netting the winner against Wollongong, currently leads the competition with six goals and has spearheaded a star-studded Sharks frontline impressively in the season’s fledgling weeks.
Rockdale City Suns v APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 5.00pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
Rockdale City Suns are hoping for back to back victories when the side welcomes APIA Leichhardt Tigers to Ilinden Sports Centre on Saturday afternoon.
The Suns enter the clash on the back of a 2-0 away victory over Bonnyrigg White Eagles in a performance that opened their account for the season.
Opponents APIA Leichhardt kicked off their campaign with a 2-0 defeat to Blacktown City at home last Friday in a contest that saw the Tigers drop off physically in the Lambert Park heat and more generally exhibit signs of early season rustiness.
Although Franco Consentino’s men offered glimpses of excitement, particularly through young playmaker Luca Kmet, Rockdale may just be viewing this as a great opportunity to take advantage of the Tigers’ disjointed league start and cement consecutive wins.
Marconi Stallions v Sydney Olympic, 5.00pm at Marconi Stadium
Marconi Stallions and Sydney Olympic have endured stop start openings to the new campaign so far but both will be eyeing two wins a row on Saturday afternoon at Marconi Stadium.
The Stallions got their season up and running thanks to a 2-1 win over Manly United last weekend which saw James Andrew and Martin Fernandez get on the scoresheet.
It could spell trouble for Olympic if the former Blacktown City speedster features against the Blues on the weekend however the visitors should be buoyed by an excellent 3-0 win over Hakoah Sydney City East in round four.
Olympic largely had Radovan Pavicevic to thank for breaking their 2018 duck after contributing a brace against Hakoah while a first clean sheet of the season will bolster the visitors’ confidence against menacing attacking potential in Brandon Stojcevski and Martin Lo.
Sydney FC v Bonnyrigg White Eagles, 5.45pm at Lambert Park
Sydney FC host Bonnyrigg White Eagles at Lambert Park on Saturday evening looking to keep pace with early front-runners Sutherland Sharks and Sydney United 58.
The Sky Blues drew 2-2 with United 58 last weekend and despite a heavy loss to Sutherland in round two Sydney have looked in impressive nick with Giuseppe Tilio and Finn Ballard-Mcbride catching the eye.
Hamish Lamberton has also looked the part at the head of the Sky Blues attack after contributing four goals so far and will offer the central goal threat to a Bonnyrigg side who need to respond after turning in two poor performances in a row.
Hamish Brown’s men have been beaten 2-0 by Blacktown City and Rockdale City Suns in their last two fixtures but will take heart from a fantastic 3-2 win achieved over Sydney at Lambert Park in 2017 as they look to turn around their form.
Hakoah Sydney City East v Wollongong Wolves, 1.00pm at Hensley Athletic Field
Hakoah Sydney City East are hoping to finally get off the mark against Wollongong Wolves at Hensley Athletic Field on Sunday afternoon.
Despite opening their campaign with three losses and a draw performances have generally been encouraging for Paul Hubbard’s side who held their own against competition heavyweights Sutherland Sharks and Sydney FC.
A 3-0 defeat to Sydney Olympic last weekend should cause some concern for the hosts who will no doubt aim to get that particular result out of their system when Wollongong arrive for round five’s final encounter.
The visiting Wolves were downed 1-0 by Sutherland Sharks last Saturday but have started the season in a largely positive fashion and currently sit fifth on the ladder.
Wollongong attackers Tory Musumeci and Jordan Nikolovski have been causing headaches for defences so far this campaign having combined for five goals between them and will be a pair for the Hakoah defence – who have conceded 13 goals in four matches – to keep a stern eye on.
-By Jacob Windon