The National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Premiership goes on the line with round 11 this weekend set to be a blockbuster few days of state league action.
Rockdale Ilinden, Wollongong Wolves and Sydney Olympic and United 58 are in a four-way battle to finish the rebooted season on top and will leave no stone unturned in their mission to claim the title.
The battle for finals places are equally as tense. Only the top four qualify for the postseason in 2020 instead of the usual top five.
The final place in the finals will come down to a battle between Sydney United 58 and Sydney FC with both sides desperate not to miss out.
Individual honours will also go on the line with United 58’s Patrick Antelmi (9) and Sydney FC’s young gun Patrick Wood (10) in a race for the Golden Boot.
The round 11 action gets underway with a triple-header on Friday night as APIA Leichhardt host Sydney United 58, Marconi is at home against Sydney FC, while Blacktown City take on Western Sydney Wanderers at Lily homes Stadium
Saturday will feature one match with Sydney Olympic heading west to Popondetta Park for a match against Mt Druitt Town Rangers.
Two matches will wrap up the round, the regular season and the premiership race with second-placed Wollongong Wolves facing off against Manly United, while first placed Rockdale hope to make history with a win against North Shore Mariners.
It will be one of the most exciting finishes to a National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s season in recent history and not one to be missed.
APIA Leichhardt v Sydney United 58, 7:45pm Friday at Lambert Park
Sydney United 58’s slim Premiership title hopes will go down to the wire this Friday night as they travel to Lambert Park to take on APIA Leichhardt
It’s a complicated scenario for United 58, who must win this match and hope the three teams above them on the ladder lose if they are to be crowned premiers.
While they are in with a shot of finishing the season on top, a loss against APIA could also see them crash out of the finals altogether.
This match has plenty riding on it for the boys from Edensor Park.
A dramatic draw against Rockdale last week would’ve been a heartbreaking result for the Anthony Crea coached side but they will be determined to bounce back in this match against the team they faced in last seasons Grand Final.
Patrick Antelmi will be the man United 58 will lean on with the star striker arguably in the best form of his career.
Antelmi has nine goals for the season and trails Sydney FC’s Patrick Wood and his 10 goals in the golden boot race.
Looking to ruin all of United 58’s hopes will be an APIA side focused on ending their difficult season on a high note.
A big loss last week to Blacktown was just another painful defeat in a season of disappointment for the reigning league Champions.
This game is a chance for APIA’s big names to make their mark and deliver another savage blow to their rivals.
Look to Franco Parisi, Chris Payne and Sean Symons for a moment of magic.
Sydney United 58 will go into the match as favourites but with so much pressure on them, the question is will they be able to deliver when they need to the most.
Marconi Stallions FC v Sydney FC, 7pm Friday at Marconi Stadium
A historic maiden NPL NSW Men’s finals berth is on the line for Sydney FC as they travel to Marconi Stadium on Friday to take on Marconi Stallions.
The Young Sky Blues need to win their match and hope Sydney United 58 lose if they are to qualify for the postseason for the first time.
They come up against a frustrated Marconi side who blew their hopes of a top-four finish last week when they were stunned 3-1 by a well drilled North Shore Mariners outfit.
Sydney also suffered defeat in round 10, going down 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller against Wollongong.
The young Sky Blues have impressed during the rebooted season and have exceeded the expectations of many with their free-scoring style.
Patrick Wood has been the side’s breakout star and leads the golden boot race with ten goals. Expect to see Wood on the scoresheet again this week as he pushes for the scoring title.
Marconi pose a difficult challenge for Sydney and boast one of the best squads in the competition.
However, lapses in concentration have proved very costly for the Stallions
It will be interesting to see if coach Peter Tsekenis names a full-strength squad for this match now that his side is out of contention for the finals.
Marko Jesic has been one of the teams most consistent players so his inclusion would have a big impact on the match.
This game is very evenly matched, but the question is will a Marconi side with little to play for have the drive to challenge a Sydney FC team that still has everything on the line.
It is set to be an intriguing contest.
Blacktown City v Western Sydney Wanderers, 7.30pm Friday at Lily Homes Stadium
Derby honours go on the line in round eleven as Blacktown City take on Western Sydney Wanderers at Lily Homes Stadium this Friday.
Blacktown have found their groove in the last month and will be playing for a fourth straight win.
Mark Crittenden’s side struggled for goals for most of the rebooted season but rediscovered the way to goal in a big way in the last few matches scoring 10 goals in their last three games.
Leroy Jennings return to form has been a big part of the form turnaround and he will again be the dangerman for the Seven Hills-based outfit.
They come up against a dogged Wanderers team which has pushed the leagues best teams all season but have struggled get the rewards their efforts have deserved.
The Patrick Zwaanswijk coached team will be out to finish their first season in the NSW top tier with a win.
Rory Jordan was a standout player this season, as was Kosta Grozos and Ali Auglah.
While finals are out of the equation for both teams expect this derby match to be a thrilling contest.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers v Sydney Olympic, 7pm Saturday at Popondetta Park
Premiership success goes on the line for Sydney Olympic this Saturday when they travel to Popondetta Park to take on Mt Druitt Town Rangers.
Third-placed Sydney Olympic need to win this match and hope Wolves and Rockdale drop points if they are to lift the title.
The Ante Juric coached side claimed a narrow 1-0 win against Western Sydney Wanderers last week and will need to lift their game if they’re to take home all three points in round 11.
Olympic’s fearsome front three of Charles Lokolingoy, Adam Parkhouse and Fabio Ferreira will lead their side’s charge with a big scoreline very much on the cards in this contest.
Looking to stop them is a Mt Druitt side who have had their moments this season with strong performances but have struggled at the back end of the season losing their last four games without scoring a goal during that stretch.
Coach Franco Cosentino will hope to inspire his troops to a big performance to end the season.
With so much on the line, Olympic will be giving everything to make sure they lift the premiership trophy.
However, the Rangers will be out to deliver one final performance an pull off one of the upsets of the season.
Wollongong Wolves v Manly United, 2.30pm at Albert Butler Memorial Park
Wollongong Wolves Premiership defence comes down to their final match of the season as they host Manly United at Albert Butler Memorial Park on Sunday.
The Wolves come into this match in second spot on the ladder but equal on points to first placed Rockdale.
All they need is to better Rockdale’s result and the premiership is theirs.
It may seem simple but the Luke Wilkshire coached side will need to give everything to make an incredible second straight premiership a reality.
After a slow start to the rebooted season, the Wolves have found form when it mattered most.
Goal difference may come into play and it will mean Wollonong’s attack of Thomas James and Josh Bingham will need to deliver.
Bingham has been in great form in recent weeks and will be difficult for Manly to contain.
It has been a mixed season for Manly United who come into this match after a 1-0 win at home against Mt Druitt in Round 10.
Youth has been a big focus for the Northern Beaches based outfit this season so expect plenty of young players to be named in Adam Griffiths final team of the season.
Brendan Cholakian is the main man for Manly and their captain will play a big role if they are to snatch an upset.
It all comes down to this match for Wollongong so expect nothing less than a huge performance.
Rockdale Ilinden v North Shore Mariners, 3pm Sunday at Ilinden Sports Centre
Rockdale Ilinden can claim a historic first ever NPL NSW Men’s Premiership title this Sunday when they host North Shore Mariners at Ilinden Sports Centre.
All the Steve Zoric coached side need to do is match Wollongong’s result with a draw or win and the title is theirs.
It has been an incredible season for Rockdale which included a brilliant stretch at the start of the campaign where they went five games without conceding a goal.
The emergence of Tomoki Wada in the middle of the park has also been a major turning point for Rockdale with the Japanese import controlling the midfield and creating numerous chances.
In attack Alec Urosevski has for years been required to carry the responsibility of scoring for Rockdale, but in 2020 that hasn’t been the case with Nikola Taneski and Amaury Gauthier providing plenty of support upfront.
Looking to stop them is a North Shore side which is flying high after a shock 3-1 upset of Marconi in round 10.
The Mariners have flashed moments of brilliance all season but last week they were able to piece it all together in their best performance of the campaign.
Captain Chris Lindsay has put in his claim as the best free-kick taker in the competition with two stunning set-piece goals in as many weeks, while Nelson Pyl’s strike last week was a contender for goal of the season.
Rockdale will be favourites for this match and will leave nothing in the tank as they attempt to secure the premiership.
North Shore will try to be a thorn in their side but a repeat of their round 10 effort will be needed.
This game will likely decide who goes home as premier and is one not to be missed.