Two rounds of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Competition are in the book and things are only going to heat up even more when with this weekend’s round three action get’s underway on Saturday night.
Wollongong Wolves have had a perfect start under new boss Luke Wilkshire and are shock ladder leaders with two wins from two matches.
This weekend they will be out to make it three from three when they travel to take on a Sydney United 58 side who would love nothing more than to end the Wolves streak.
Saturday night will feature three matches headlined by Sutherland Sharks hosting APIA Leichhardt Tigers.
There will also be three matches on Sunday as reigning premiers Sydney Olympic host Blacktown City, while Hakoah Sydney City East travel to Rockdale.
If the first two weeks are anything to go by it is sure to be another blockbuster round of action.
Sutherland Sharks v APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 6.30pm Saturday at Seymour Shaw.
Sutherland Sharks will be determined to prove last week’s shock loss was a rare lapse and not a sign of things to come when they host APIA Leichhardt Tigers at Seymour Shaw on Saturday.
The Sharks made a fast start to the 2019 season with a stunning 1-0 win on the road against reigning premiers Sydney Olympic, but a loss to Hakoah Sydney City East last week was a sudden crash back to earth for the boys from the Shire.
Coach Terry Palapanis will be looking to Marc Warren to help marshall the defence as he did in week one, while the combination between Spanish midfield duo Juan and Raul Romero with Jeremy Cox up front will be the cornerstone of Sutherland’s attack.
Their opponents APIA Leichhardt Tigers come into the game with a similar point to prove.
John Calleja’s side was on the wrong side of a 3-0 thumping from Wollongong and are driven to bounce back in quick fashion.
New signing Chris Payne is hoping he can kick start his goal scoring tally with his new club against the Sharks after he had a number of flawed changes in the team’s humbling 3-0 loss to the Wollongong Wolves last Sunday.
Aside from Payne, Calleja is hoping his defence will keep it water tight as they were in 2018 so expect big games from Themba Muata Marlow and Josh Symons while expect the return from suspension of Paul Galimi to hype up his troops.
Early season results are important in setting the standard for the year ahead so expect nothing less than an all out grudge match when these sides face off.
Sydney FC v Marconi Stallions, 7pm Saturday at Lambert Park
Sydney FC have proven in the first two rounds they are no easy beats and they will be out to emphasise that with a win against Marconi Stallions on Saturday night at Lambert Park.
A hard fought 1-1 draw against Manly United in week two was a solid follow up from the young Sky Blue’s 2-1 win against Hakoah in week one as last season’s wooden spooners show they have come a long way.
One player that made the headlines was striker Hamish Lamberton.
Dubbed scoring a “Messi” like goal against Manly United, he will hope he can make it two from two with the clash against the winless Stallions.
Skipper Liam McGing has shown that he is one of the most consistent defenders in the NPL competition and will need to be at his very best in marshalling the Stallions attack.
The game will be a must win for Marconi who have had a horror start to the campaign with back to back defeats in their opening two games.
Stung 1-0 by APIA in week one, Marconi suffered a 2-1 defeat at home against Rockdale City Suns in their next fixture.
For a side featuring the attacking talents of Mirjan Pavlovic, James Andrew, Mitch Mallia, Anthony Frangie, Richie Cardozo and Marko Jesic goals shouldn’t be hard to come by.
Expect the Peter Tsekenis coached side to throw everything at Sydney FC in search of their first points of the season, a loss could really put pressure however on the side.
Manly United v Mt Druitt Town Rangers, 7pm Saturday at Cromer Park
A maiden win for the 2019 season will be on the cards when Manly United and Mt Druitt Town Rangers face off at Cromer Park on Saturday.
Sydney’s recent wild weather has meant the round three fixture has become a home game for Manly with Mt Druitt’s Popondetta Park still recovering from the heavy rain.
Manly will be out to make the most of the unexpected return to Cromer and claim all three points after last week being held by Sydney FC 1-1.
Sam Gallagher found the back of the net for Paul Dee’s Manly side for the second successive week and will be out to continue his impressive start to the campaign.
The pressure will also be on Manly’s attacking stars of Brendan Cholakian, Dejan Pandurevic and Adam Parkhouse to make the most of their chances after being some what stifled by the Young Sky Blues in round two.
Mt Druitt come into the match after an impromptu week off after their game against Sydney Olympic last week was washed out.
The long break between their 1-0 opening round loss to local rivals Blacktown City has given them time to regroup as they set out for their first win in the NSW state league top flight since earning promotion.
Despite the loss against Blacktown, Mt Druitt didn’t look out of place and hopefully Toufic Alameddine and Adrian Vranic can fire to help the Rangers on the scoresheet.
It is sure to be an exciting clash with both teams desperate to notch their first three points of the season.
Sydney Olympic v Blacktown City, 4pm Sunday at Belmore Sports Ground
Reinging National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Premiers Sydney Olympic will be hoping to kick-start their campaign with a win against Blacktown City this Sunday.
A shock round one loss to Sutherland Sharks and then a washed out match last week has made it a frustrating opening two weeks to the season for Olympic.
Hagi Gligor was a standout despite his side’s defeat in week one, while Alejandro Sanchez will be determined to carry the weight of Olympic’s attack with a bounce back performance of his own.
For Blacktown City it has been a mixed start to the campaign.
A narrow win against Mt Druitt in week one provided positive signs but City were unable to back up as they suffered a 1-0 loss to Sydney United 58 last week.
It is a season of transition for Mark Crittenden’s side this year after the departure of a number of his former stars and the veteran coach will need to show his best work to get his new squad firing.
Devante Clut has been a standout for Blacktown while new signing Leroy Jennings impressed in the round one win.
Skipper Matthew Lewis is hoping his experience can steer his young chargers towards the three points so expect plenty of excitement in this clash.
Rockdale City Suns v Hakoah Sydney City East, 4.30pm Sunday at Ilinden Sports Centre
Rockdale City Suns will be hoping to keep their unbeaten streak alive when they host Hakoah Sydney City East this Sunday.
Paul Reid’s side have shown why they will be a team to watch out for this season with two solid results to start the season including last week’s 2-1 win on the road against Marconi Stallions.
Big name star Panny Nikas has slowly worked his way into the team after returning from a serious knee injury and scored his maiden goal for his new club last week.
Matthew Lecce, a former Wanderer, has arguably been the club’s best performer in the two games played and the young gun is hoping to put in another huge performance against Hakoah.
Last round Hakoah showed a tonne of heart to win 1-0 against Sutherland Sharks.
The Eastern Suburbs based side had a tough defeat in week one but a courageous performance from shot stopper Ryan Norval and an impressive goal from Jack Green helped the Gavin Rae coached side claim all three points.
Rae will want his side to show that same spirit this week as they take on the biggest test they have faced this season so far.
Sydney United 58 v Wollongong Wolves, 5pm Sunday at Sydney United Sports Centre
Sydney United 58 will be hoping to end Wollongong’s rampaging start to the season when the two sides go head to head this Sunday.
Fourth placed United 58 have had a solid start to the season to remain undefeated with a draw and a win from their opening two games. Victory against Wollgongong could be the statement victory which really kicks Miro Vlastelica’s side into gear.
Last round they snatched a narrow 1-0 win against Blacktown City thanks to a brilliant Matt Sim free-kick.
Shot stopper Thomas Manos has been in sterling form and has kept two clean-sheets. Assisted by the defensive pairing of Yianni Fragogiannis and Petar Markovic, the Reds have assembled a tight defence with the club also expecting Adrian Vlastlecia to the fold.
Josh Macdonald made his debut for the Reds coming off the bench last week and he will look towards a start while Patrick Antelmi added some attacking power against his former club and will hope he can repeat the same effort against another ex-Club of his.
For Wollgonong their two wins from as many games has given new boss Luke Wilkshire the perfect start to his senior coaching career.
However, The Wolves face their biggest test yet this week.
English striker Thomas James has proven to be a shrewd signing for Wilkshire and last week’s incredible hat-trick against APIA proved what he is capable of.
James is sure to tie the United 58 defence in knots this week and he could be on the scoresheet again if they’re not careful.
Japanese import Takeru Okada has also been a strong contributor for the South Coast side pulling the strings in midfield.
Nick Littler has also been solid in the Wolves back-line and he is hoping he can further tighten things up against United 58.
Look out for former Wanderer Lachlan Scott to do some damage as the young striker goes in search for his maiden goal for 2019.
Wollongong has shot out of the gates to start the season but Sunday’s clash could be a match which proves if they are the real deal.