The season is getting spicy and Round 16 is set to add plenty of heat to the finals race.
With only five points separating first and seventh position on the National Premier Leagues Men’s ladder, every point counts and teams will be putting it all on the line this weekend.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers FC v Rockdale Ilinden FC
7:00pm, Friday 17th June, Popondetta Park
The Mt Druitt Town Rangers will host Rockdale Illinden on Friday night to kick off the Round 16 NPL NSW Men’s action.
Rockdale returned to winning ways against Marconi last weekend with a sensational hat trick from Alec Urosevski earning a well-deserved place in the Team of the Week alongside ever-consistent defender Mitchell Stamatellis.
The win will surely give Rockdale some momentum that they will bring as they took to trump the Rangers and get back in contention for the top spot.
Jack Stewart was the Rangers Team of the Week representative and has been selected plenty of times throughout the year as he leads the attacking force of Mt Druitt Town.
In their past five matches Mt Druitt Town have managed to hold out Sydney FC, Blacktown City and Sydney United 58’s to draws, with a win over Sutherland in Round 15.
With the confidence of holding out some heavyweights in the leagues, the Rangers will be ready to do the same with Rockdale at Popondetta Park.
Northbridge Bulls FC v Manly United FC
3:00pm, Saturday 18th June, Sydney United Sports Centre
Third-placed Manly United will be looking to upset the young Northbridge Bulls when they head out to Sydney United Sports Centre on Saturday afternoon.
With seven games undefeated, Manly will be the favourites in the match up and will be hoping for some important points to continue to fight for the 2022 Premiership.
Kieran Paull was the lone representative in the NPL NSW Team of the Week for both sides in Round 15 and has been a pillar of strength for Manly throughout the season.
Northbridge will enter the clash with only two wins to their name this season and will be hoping to use the match to continue to develop as young talent and hopefully get off the bottom of the ladder.
When the two teams met in Round 5, Manly came away with a 3-0 victory, will they be able to do the same again?
Wollongong Wolves FC v APIA Leichhardt FC
2:30pm, Sunday 19th June, Albert Butler Memorial Park
Back at the top of the table, APIA Leichhardt will be a force to be reckoned with as they travel down to Wollongong for this Sunday afternoon clash.
The impressive season for the inner west team has seen them use their experience to make their mark on the competition and it will be no different when they face up with the Wolves.
One goal from Sean Symons was all it took for the valuable three points in Round 15, but they’ll be hungry for more as they look to hold on to the top spot while Wollongong, who have been without a win for a month now despite some high-scoring performances, will be eager to be the ones to do so.
Josh Macdonald has been consistently impressive for the Wolves during their 2022 campaign and will be one to watch in the match.
APIA Leichhardt secured a 2-0 victory the last time the two met in Round 5 and will be hoping to hold out for another clean sheet this weekend.
Sydney United 58 FC v Blacktown City FC
3:00pm, Sunday 19th June, Sydney United Sports Centre
In what is set to be a fiery battle Sydney United 58 and Blacktown City will face off at Sydney United Sports Centre.
Danijel Nizic, Yianni Fragogiannis and Yianni Perkatis all earned Team of the Week accolades for United 58 after their 1-0 victory over Northbridge in Round 15, with a world-class goal from Perkatis the highlight of the match.
United 58 have returned to form after a period of struggle and with five games undefeated they will be looking to continue this form as they fight to stay in contention for a finals position.
Blacktown City on the other hand have only one win from their last six matches and will be looking to get a confidence boost in defeating fellow Western Sydney league heavyweights.
Will Blacktown City be able to secure an upset away from home in front of the loyal United 58 fans or will the hosts be able to get a crucial three points?
Sydney Olympic FC v Marconi Stallions FC
4:00pm, Sunday 19th June, Belmore Sportsground
Sydney Olympic will host the Marconi Stallions as two former NSL giants match up in Round 16.
Olympic, who enjoyed a brief stint at the top of the table, will need to bring their A-game and secure a win if they want to get back to being league leaders and will face a tough battle with Marconi to do so.
After suffering a 3-0 loss to Rockdale in Round 15, Marconi will be looking to ensure they don’t make a losing habit with a win over Olympic and will be looking to repay the home loss they suffered in Round 5.
Olympic shared points on the weekend in a 1-1 draw with Wollongong after a Roy O’Donovan goal within the first minute of play saw them ahead early in the game, but let in a late goal – something Marconi have proven they can capitalise on.
With plenty of talent experience on the park this is a must-see match, with high-calibre football expected from both sides.
Sydney FC v Sutherland Sharks FC
4:30pm, Sunday 19th June, Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre
After stunning the league with a sensational start to the season, Sydney FC have dropped down to fourth spot on the ladder, yet are still only three points from the league leaders.
The young sky blues will be eager to prove to the league that they’re real contenders that can hold out the entire season and a win over Sutherland is the perfect chance to reignite the flame they had in the opening rounds.
Their goal-scoring potential has never been in doubt, with an incredible 43 goals to their name in 2022, and if their last clash is anything to go off, this match should see goals galore.
Jaiden Kucharski represented Sydney FC in the NPL NSW Men’s Team of the Week for Round 15 and has been exceptional for the young sky blues and will be looking to net a few to keep his goal tally climbing.
While Sutherland have struggled to find their form in the competition and have secured only three wins this year, a win over Sydney FC would mean a lot to the Sharks as they fight to stay off the bottom of the ladder.