The penultimate round of the 2019 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 20s season could see a Premier crowned, with Blacktown two points ahead of Sutherland Sharks with a game in hand as they travel to Marconi Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Rockdale and APIA could send Sydney FC tumbling from third to fifth should they both win against Manly United and Wollongong Wolves respectively. The Sky Blues and Sutherland Sharks both have a week off after securing their place in the finals, with Sydney having completed the regular season and Sutherland having already played their Round 21 fixture.
Saturday 3 August
Marconi Stallions v Blacktown City, 5pm at Marconi Stadium
Blacktown City could wrap up the Premiership with a game to play should they win at Marconi Stadium on Saturday afternoon; the leaders two points in front of Sutherland having played on match fewer.
A draw would virtually secure first place, too, with Blacktown enjoying a goal difference of +10 over the Sharks.
Still, the team at the top will want to build up a head of steam going into the finals, and will surely look to beat Marconi for the second time this season when they meet on Saturday.
Marconi head into this match on the back of a 2-0 defeat away to Sydney Olympic, a result which left them twelve points off fifth ahead of this weekend’s match.
Blacktown arrive at Marconi Stadium following a 1-0 win over Wollongong Wolves last weekend. Any kind of result here would take an immense amount of pressure off the leaders in Round 22.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers v Hakoah, 5pm at Popondetta Park
Mt Druitt host Hakoah at Popondetta Park on Saturday afternoon following their worst defeat of an indifferent season; Yinka Sunmola scoring the only goal for the Rangers in a 6-1 loss to Sutherland Sharks.
The defeat means Mt Druitt head into Saturday’s match ten points off fifth place, while their opponents, Hakoah, sit eight points ahead of last-placed Sydney United in eleventh.
Hakoah have won just once in their last six matches, and travel to Popondetta after a 1-1 draw with Sydney United in Round 20; Oliver Kovarik scoring his side’s only goal.
Sunday 4 August
Sydney Olympic v Sydney United 58, 12.45pm at Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney Olympic and Sydney United meet at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday for a match with little meaning for either side; their fates in 2019 already sealed.
Olympic beat Marconi Stallions 2-0 last weekend, but results elsewhere mean they are almost certain to finish sixth, while Sydney United are eight points adrift of eleventh-placed Hakoah Sydney City East and are guaranteed to end the season in last place.
United, for their part, head to Belmore after a 1-1 draw with Hakoah in Round 20, earning their first point after a run of seven straight defeats stretching back to May.
Manly United v APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 1pm at Cromer Park
APIA Leichhardt will be looking to leapfrog Sydney FC into third place when they travel to Cromer Park to face Manly United on Sunday afternoon, with either a win or a draw enough for the Tigers to overtake the Sky Blues in Round 21.
APIA beat Sydney 3-0 at Lambert Park last weekend; Michael Trajkovski, Zeke Prisuda and Peter Nichols all scoring as the Tigers swept aside their top five opposition.
This week they take a trip north to Cromer Park to play Manly United, who gear up for this one after a 2-1 loss to Rockdale City Suns last Sunday.
William Martin put Manly ahead at halftime against Rockdale but two second half goals ensured United would finish the round in ninth place, with seventh now the highest they can finish in 2019.
Rockdale City Suns v Wollongong Wolves, 2.30pm Ilinden Sports Centre
Rockdale City Suns take on Wollongong Wolves on Sunday afternoon knowing a victory will take them above Sydney FC as high as third depending on APIA’s result at Manly United.
Rockdale return home to Ilinden Sports Centre following a 2-1 win over United; a Jake Cakovski double giving his side the edge as they came from behind in the second half to seal their place in the finals.
This week, they welcome Wollongong to Ilinden, with the Wolves making the trip up the coast on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Blacktown City in Round 21.
Like several teams around them, Wollongong cannot finish higher than seventh at the end of 2019, though they could yet drop as low as eleventh should they drop points in their next two games.