It’s round five in the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition, with another big weekend of football action ahead.
Sydney United 58 are the competition leaders going into this week’s fixtures with a flawless record of four wins from four matches.
They will be a tough team to catch this season, but there will be plenty of challengers looking to end their perfect start.
Seymour Shaw will host the first of Saturday’s two matches when Sutherland Sharks take on Mt Druitt Town Rangers, while APIA will play its first 2021 home match with new manager Paul Dee as they face Manly United.
There are four games on Sunday, with Wollongong Wolves taking on Northbridge Bulls, Blacktown at home against Rockdale Ilinden, Marconi Stallions facing off against rivals Sydney United 58 and Sydney FC close out the round at Ilinden Sports Centre with a clash against Sydney Olympic.
Remember, you can catch every game of the NPL NSW Men’s competition live on NPL.TV.
Sutherland Sharks v Mt Druitt Town Rangers, 3.30 pm Saturday at Seymour Shaw Park
After an impromptu week off, Sutherland Sharks will be looking to get back to business with a win against Mount Druitt Town Rangers at Seymour Shaw Park this Saturday.
The Sharks’ had a week to rest and recover after their match against APIA was postponed due to the extreme weather experienced across Sydney during the weekend.
It could prove to be a chance for Nick Dimovski’s side to rest and reflect on what has and has not worked in their opening matches.
Chris McStay has been a brilliant signing for Sutherland and is a true general in the middle of the park.
James Andrew has yet to hit the heights truly he is capable of this season but is always a threat to find the back of the net and shouldn’t ever be overlooked.
Looking to stop Andrew, and the Sharks will be a Mt Druitt Town Rangers side full of potential but lacking consistency.
The Rangers fought back to claim a draw in heavy rain and gale-force winds against Sydney FC last week but should’ve had the win after spurning more than their fair share of chances.
Making the most of opportunities is something the Rangers will need to work on, especially against a Sharks outfit that won’t give much away.
This is set to be an exciting clash to open Round 5.
APIA Leichhardt FC v Manly United, 5.15 pm Saturday at Lambert Park
New APIA Leichhardt Coach Paul Dee is set for a thrilling first match at Lambert Park against his former club Manly United this Saturday.
Dee, who was named John Calleja’s replacement in Leichhardt last week, will be out to make a positive start to his tenure at the struggling powerhouse who remain slumped at the bottom of the ladder.
A rained out round 4 match gave APIA a timely extra week off to help Dee get his squad together ahead of his first match in charge.
Fans will be looking to see what side Dee names for his first match and if he makes many changes to the team which has struggled in the opening weeks which is usually the case when new managers enter the fray.
Blake Powell has yet to truly fire this campaign, and a lot is riding on the shoulders of the marquee marksman.
Manly United will be determined to spoil their old boss’ party.
They will be full of confidence after a gallant 1-1 draw against Rockdale Ilinden last round.
Dejan Pandurevic found himself on the scoresheet and will be looking to keep his scoring run going against an APIA defence that has struggled to find its way.
Manly shot-stopper Sam Benton was in inspired form against Rockdale and should be up for another big game. Having replaced Dylan Mitchell as the number one for the club, Benton continues to impress week upon week with great performances underneath the sticks.
There is plenty on the line in this match for APIA, and with Manly out to cause an upset, expect plenty of action.
Wollongong Wolves v Northbridge Bulls FC, 1 pm Sunday at WIN Stadium
WIN Stadium will be the scene as Wollongong Wolves go head to head with Northbridge Bulls this Sunday.
The match, which will be on the undercard, of the A-League clash between Wellington Phoenix and Macarthur Bulls, so there should be a strong local crowd on hand to cheer the Wolves to victory.
The Wolves were out of action last week, with their game postponed due to the extreme wet weather, which inundated NSW.
While Luke Wilkshire’s side struggled in their opening two games, a big 3-1 win in round three has shown there is still plenty of life in this team.
Lachlan Scott was back on the scoresheet, which should only boost the confidence of the striker.
Hamish Lamberton’s first goal of the season was another positive sign as the Wolves look to regain their groove in attack while new signing Leroy Jennings is in need of a goal to his goalscoring tally in tact for the 2021 seaason.
Their opponents are a Northbridge Bulls side still hunting for their first win of the season.
It will be their second match this week after a thrilling midweek clash against Marconi Stallions on Wednesday night.
Coach Mile Sterjovski’s young squad has shown plenty of potential so far, but the challenge has been to turn that potential into results.
Rory Jordan remains their standout option in attack, but players such as Bul Juach and Michael Ruhs give the Bulls plenty of scoring talent.
The Wolves will be tough to beat at home, but with the travelling Macarthur faithful in the stands, it could lift the Bulls to an upset win.
Blacktown City v Rockdale Ilinden FC, 3 pm Sunday at Lily Homes Stadium
Blacktown City will be determined to get their season back on track with a victory against Rockdale Ilinden at Lily Homes Stadium this Sunday.
City slumped to a 4-1 defeat against rivals Sydney United 58 last week, their second consecutive loss after going down 1-0 at Manly United in week three.
Coach Mark Crittenden will be determined to get his side out of their slump and rediscovering their winning ways.
Suleyman Bangura and Carlos De Olivera have been two of City’s stand out players this season, with the young stars proving to be important cogs in the Blacktown machine.
Travis Major will again be the centrepiece of the Blacktown City attack, and his combination of speed, strength and finishing should create plenty of headaches for the Rockdale backline.
Rockdale comes into this contest after a 1-1 draw with Manly United and requires three competition points to stay in touch with runaway league leaders United 58.
After two wins to start the season, Rockdale has taken only one point from their past two matches.
Alec Urosevski was stifled by a desperate Manly defence last week, but that will only make him more determined to find the back of the net this week.
Tomoki Wada will be the man creating the midfield chances for the Steven Zoric coached side, and the Japanese maestro will be a tough man to contain.
Matches between these two sides are always exciting, and this one will be no different.
Marconi Stallions v Sydney United 58, 5 pm Sunday at Marconi Stallion
Old rivalries will be renewed on Sunday night as Marconi Stallions go head to head with Sydney United 58 at Marconi Stadium.
The Stallions have yet to find their groove this season, but all form goes out the window when these two sides face-off.
It will be Marconi’s second game this week after their midweek clash against Northbridge Bulls.
Coach Peter Tsekenis would’ve been happy with his side’s attacking output in their game against Rockdale in round three. However, he would’ve been less impressed with how his defence performed in the 3-3 draw.
Connor Evans remains the key man in the midfield centre for the Stallions and will play an important role in containing Sydney United’s slick ball movement.
United come into this game on top of the table and in scintillating form.
Tomi Vidovic has his team performing at both ends of the field with an incredible 12 goals scored in four games while only conceding three.
Strike partners Chris Payne and Patrick Antelmi are scoring at will so far this campaign and are a headache for opposition defences.
Matt Sim has also been in strong form, as displayed in his brace against Blacktown last week.
There is always plenty of feeling in games between these two, and it is set to be a match you don’t want to miss.
Sydney FC v Sydney Olympic, 6.30 pm Sunday at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre
Sydney FC will be looking for their third win of the season when they host Sydney Olympic at Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday night.
Since their first years in the NPL NSW competition, the Young Sky Blues have come a long way and are legitimate finals contenders this season.
Coach Jim van Weeren has moulded his youthful squad into a team capable of taking down anyone in the competition.
They will be out to take down another giant this week against Olympic, buoyed from their dogged 1-1 draw in testing conditions against Mt Druitt.
Patrick Yazbek has been in solid form this campaign and put his skills on display with a sublime lofted ball into the box to set up Callum Talbot for the equaliser last round.
Goalkeeper Levi Kaye is another player going through a purple patch of form. He made save after save against Mt Druitt despite the brutal winds and rain.
However, Sydney Olympic will be a completely different test, with the Ante Juric coached outfit desperate to make it back to back wins.
Olympic struggled to get going this season, but after a 1-0 win against APIA in round three will be hoping it is the start of a quick climb up the ladder.
While boasting plenty of attacking talent, it was central defender and captain Thomas Whiteside who has scored their only goal this campaign.
Juric will hope his dynamic attackers Brendan Cholakian, Oliver Pufflet and Jason Madonis find their scoring touch sooner rather than later.
Sydney FC has been in good form this season and will be a true test for an Olympic side struggling to get it together in the attacking third.
It will be an exciting contest to close out round five.