We are seven rounds into the 2021 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s competition, and the battle for the Premiership is heating up.
Adam Griffiths’ Manly United took the top spot at the end of last week’s matches and are the only undefeated team left.
Sydney United 58 will be looking to regain their position leading the competition, while Rockdale and Blacktown City will also have their eye on the frontrunners.
Manly United kicks off the action this week on Friday night as they host Sydney Olympic at Cromer Park, while on Saturday Northbridge will go head to head with Rockdale Ilinden FC.
Four games will take place on Sunday starting with three 3 pm kick-offs including APIA v Marconi at Lambert Park, Blacktown v Mt Druitt at Lily Homes Stadium and Sydney United 58 v Wollongong Wolves at Sydney United Sports Centre.
Sydney FC closes out the round on Sunday night as they play host to Sutherland Sharks at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre.
Remember NPL.tv has live streams and replays of every National Premier Leagues NSW match so there is no reason to miss any of the competition action.
Manly United v Sydney Olympic, 7 PM Friday at Cromer Park
Competition leaders Manly United will be out to add to their unbeaten streak with a win against Sydney Olympic at Cromer Park this Friday.
Manly have climbed to top spot on the back of three wins from their past four games and are in good form early in the season.
Coach Adam Griffiths has his team playing quality football and they’ll be determined to prove themselves against Olympic.
Manly have cruised under the radar a bit this season but will now need to prepare for life with a target on their back as rival sides look to knock them off their perch.
Jack Fulton and Ben Gibson were the goal scorers for manly last week and Griffiths will be hoping his young team continues their form in front of goal.
Looking to stop them is a Sydney Olympic side that has struggled for consistency so far in 2021.
Coach Ante Juric will have one eye on his Sydney FC W-League side who are set to play in yet another W-League Grand Final this Sunday but will want to get on the front foot with a victory in Manly before that clash.
Back to back wins in rounds four and five were undone by a poor performance in a defeat at Mt Druitt in round six.
Olympic’s goalscoring woes have returned and despite creating brilliant chances for Jason Madonis and Yu Hasegawa, couldn’t find the back of the net against Mt Druitt.
Sitting in ninth place on six points, Olympic will need a win to stay in touch with the competition leaders if they are going to keep their premiership hopes alive.
Manly United will be tough to beat at home and will be favourites for this clash.
A thrilling match-up to kick-off round seven.
Northbridge Bulls v Rockdale Ilinden FC, 7 PM Saturday at Sydney United Sports Centre
Northbridge Bulls claimed the upset of the season last week and will be out for another big scalp when they host Rockdale Ilinden on Saturday night.
The Bulls sent shockwaves through the competition in round six with their incredible 5-1 upset of competition leaders Sydney United 58.
It was a landmark victory for the Mile Sterjovski coached side and could be a major turning point in their season.
Michael Ruhs was in inspired form scoring two against his former side in a whirlwind opening first 45 by the Young Bulls.
Sterjovski will be looking to recapture the energy shown by his side this week against a talented Rockdale outfit.
It all depends on who Ante Milicic will use for this Bulls squad this Friday which will mean we will see more young gun youth stars from the senior squad take part in this game.
We were treated to the Jake Hollman and Rory Jordan show last week with both boys set for big games this weekend as will big defender Theph Theph.
Rockdale returned to winning ways in Round six with a victory against APIA.
Tomoki Wada and Kyle Cimenti were on the scoresheet as the Steven Zoric coached outfit took home all three points.
It was a return to Rockdale’s defensive best with shot-stopper David Bradasevic having an easy afternoon between the sticks.
Rockdale will be cautious of a Northbridge side brimming with confidence.
Ilinden will be favourites for this match but as the Young Bulls demonstrated last round, anything is possible.
APIA Leichhardt FC v Marconi Stallions FC, 3 PM Sunday at Lambert Park
A struggling APIA Leichhardt will be hoping to turn their season around with a win against Marconi Stallions this Sunday in the traditional ‘Italian Derby’.
APIA went down 2-0 to Rockdale last round days after they snagged their first win of the season against Sutherland Sharks.
Hard work will be the plan from coach Paul Dee as he pushes his side to find the high energy performance required to beat a side like Marconi.
APIA is still adapting to Dee’s style of football but signs are there that the team, in its rebuilding phase, will get the engine going shortly.
Ivan Necevski once again has been one of the club’s few standouts while the club will look forward towards seeing Josh Symons return to the squad after a week lay-off due to illness.
The club is hoping this will be the game Blake Powell breaks his goal scoring drought, with Will Mutch, Matheiu Cordier and Corey Biczo hoping to service the marksman.
Harry Callahan has yet to take flight at his new club since his move from the Wollongong Wolves, this game could be a turning point for him.
Marconi comes into this match desperate for a win after being forced to settle for a draw against Wollongong last round.
The Stallions have struggled to consistently deliver this season but a big 90-minute performance could be the first step towards turning their season around.
Marko Jesic netted a brace against the Wolves and has been in great scoring touch this season.
The aggression of defender Nathan Millgate will be there once more and his battle against yet another tough defender Paul Galimi in the opposing dressing room will be one to look out for.
The Speranza brothers Roberto and Giorgio have also been in decent form and will be key if the Stallions are to take anything from this game.
Don’t forget to keep your eyes on tricky attacker Anthony Frangie and his fancy footwork.
Marconi will be the favourites for this clash but APIA has plenty to play for.
This game could go either way. One you don’t want to miss.
Blacktown City FC v Mt Druitt Town Rangers 3 PM Sunday at Lily Homes Stadium
Derby honours go on the line as Blacktown City host local rivals Mt Druitt Town Rangers at Lily Homes Stadium this Sunday for the annual Mayoral Cup.
A win against Sutherland Sharks in round six lifted City into the top four and they will be looking to carry on their climb to the top of the ladder.
Mark Crittenden’s side have won back-to-back games and are starting to find their form.
Mario Shabow was the star against the Sharks, scoring a brace in a breakout performance.
Daniel Collins is another player to keep an eye on with the veteran defender a key piece in the Blacktown backline.
Mt Druitt will be out to cause an upset on Sunday and come into this game on the back of a solid win against Sydney Olympic.
The Rangers have struggled over the past month and their round six win was a much-needed morale boost for the Stewart Montgomery coached side.
Japanese imports Fumoto Kamada and Tsujimur Takumu are beginning to hit their straps and Kamada’s goal against Olympic is exactly what Mt Druitt fans have been waiting for.
Jack Stewart was another strong performer and his ability to break down an opposition defence will be vital for the Rangers chances against Blacktown.
Blacktown will be the favourites for this match but Mt Druitt will be up for this contest against their rivals.
Sydney United 58 FC v Wollongong Wolves, 3 PM Sunday at Sydney United Sports Centre
Sydney United 58 will be desperate to bounce back after their round six humiliation with victory against Wollongong Wolves on Sunday which saw the famous former NSL club slump to a second successive loss for the 2021 campaign.
United 58 suffered a 5-1 boilover to a young Northbridge Bulls side in a result nobody could’ve predicted.
Rookie NPL NSW Men’s 1 coach Tomi Vidovic will be pushing his side to respond positively against a Wolves side that has struggled.
Mat Sim showed some late enterprise to win a penalty against the Bulls in one of only a few bright moments for United 58.
More is expected from Patrick Antelmi this week after being subbed last weekend.
The Reds know what they need to do to win the respect for their vocal and passionate fans once more, many of which were left disappointed after last weekend’s display when a chorus of boos echoed out around the stadium.
The Wolves come into the game after a brilliant fightback to snatch a 2-2 draw against Marconi.
It was a great display of resilience from Wollongong who did not give up when they were 2-0 down.
Coach Luke Wilkshire will be hoping for more of the same from his side.
Stefan Dimoski played well last week and was a solid presence upfront.
Despite last week’s defeat, United 58 will be expected to win this game.
Wollongong will need another big performance but have shown they can take it to the best teams on their day.
Sydney FC v Sutherland Sharks FC 6.30 PM Sunday at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre
Sydney FC will be out for a return to the winners circle when they host Sutherland Sharks at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre this Sunday.
The Young Sky Blues have lost their past two games and have not tasted victory in over a month.
Coach Jim van Weeren will need to get his side hitting their straps once again and will target this match against a Sharks team that has also struggled to get results.
Goalkeeper Tom Heward-Belle was Sydney FC’s best in the defeat to Manly making several big saves to keep his team in the game.
Midfielder Jaiden Kucharski is a player who can turn a game for Sydney FC and he will be key to their chances on Sunday night.
The Sharks have suffered a similar fate to the Young Sky Blues in recent weeks with only one win from their past four matches.
Two losses last week in the space of a few days would’ve been a morale hit for the Shire based club and they will be desperate to get their season back on track.
Captain Lachlan Everett had a strong performance in the 2-0 defeat to Blacktown City, while Chris McStay has been consistently good all season.
Coach Nick Dimovski has praised the fighting spirit of his team but they will need to turn that into results if they are to stay off the bottom of the ladder.
This is a very evenly balanced match with either team a good chance of taking victory.