Round 17 of the National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s could see a reshuffle at the top of the table with the top four teams in action against each other.
This round is not one to miss with several must-watch encounters.
Sydney FC v Marconi Stallions FC
7:30 pm, Friday 26 May, Valentine Sports Park
Sydney FC host Marconi Stallions at Valentine Sports Park on Friday night, looking to continue their push back up the table.
The side came from a goal down beat Mount Druitt Town Rangers 2-1 in round 16 with Luka Smyth and Louis Agosti on the scoresheet.
That victory took them to fourth on the table now only eight points away from second.
Marconi also picked up an important win over the weekend narrowly defeating Sydney United 58 2-1.
Jordan Swibel and Domenic Costanzo both scored continuing their strong goalscoring form in 2023.
Peter Tsekenis’ team stayed in third, but they drew closer to Rockdale Ilinden in second now just three points away.
One huge out however will be that of the Stallions’ inspirational defender Roberto Speranza who came off injured in the first half last weekend. Speranza suffered a knee injury which could put the experienced defender out for quite some time.
With the two teams ahead of them going head-to-head this weekend, the side have a great chance to put the pressure on the lead of the competition.
The Stallions blew Sydney FC away in round two with a dominant 5-0 and will be eying off a similar result this time around.
This is an exciting match to get the round underway and will be one to watch with neither team able to afford dropping points.
Wollongong Wolves FC v Sutherland Sharks FC
7:30 pm, Friday 26 May, WIN Stadium
Wollongong Wolves take on Sutherland Sharks at WIN Stadium on Friday night with a change in fortunes since the last time these teams met.
Wollongong’s 3-0 victory at the start of the season against the Sharks seems like a long time ago with the side now languishing towards the relegation places.
David Carney’s men were swatted aside 3-0 by APIA Leichhardt last Saturday which leaves the Wolves dropping into the bottom four.
The side’s defensive solidity in the past few weeks has not translated into wins as well as having a detrimental effect on the attack with no goals scored in their last three games.
They need three points this weekend to push away from the bottom places but Sutherland will offer a tough challenge.
Damir Prodanovic’s team edged past Sydney Olympic 1-0 last weekend with youngster Oliver Randazzo bagging the winner on the hour mark.
Will we see more of Randazzo is the question? No doubt a future star in the making and a feature player that can light up WIN Stadium.
Sutherland remain in eighth but are level on points with Blacktown City in fifth meaning if results go their way in round 17, they could jump up to the top places.
It’s a big game for these teams this weekend with both eager to snatch the points and move closer towards their respective goals.
Sydney Olympic FC v Manly United FC
6:30 pm, Saturday 27 May, Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney Olympic face Manly United on Saturday at Belmore Sports Ground in need of a victory to avoid dropping further down the table.
Last weekend’s 1-0 defeat to Sutherland had seen the team drop into the bottom half of the table and closer to the relegation places.
With only one win in their last five matches, it is imperative they earn the three points in round 17.
Manly United lost 2-0 last weekend to Blacktown City but made up for it on Tuesday night with a 2-0 victory over Central Coast Mariners.
It’s a result that sends United six points clear of the relegation places relieving the worry of losses in recent weeks.
The side could go ahead of Olympic on Saturday if they manage to win by a big enough margin.
Sydney Olympic got the better of Manly earlier in the season with a 3-1 win coming back from a goal down to claim the three points.
This is an important match with both sides in need of the win to push back up the table.
Mount Druitt Town Rangers FC v Sydney United 58 FC
7:00 pm, Saturday 27 May, Popondetta Park
Mount Druitt Town Rangers welcome Sydney United 58 to Popondetta Park with the side needing to pick themselves up after last weekend’s loss.
Stewart Montgomery’s team went down 2-1 to Sydney FC which was their first loss since round 12.
The side couldn’t hold onto their halftime lead conceding with two minutes to play to see all three points slip away.
It leaves the team still just a couple of points clear of the relegation zone meaning the pressure is still on.
Sydney United suffered another defeat in round 16 going down 2-1 to Marconi Stallions.
After finding themselves 2-0 down at the break, Glen Trifiro’s goal in second-half stoppage time proved merely a consolation.
United fell to seventh on the table as the teams in the middle of the table drew closer.
The side staged a late comeback against Mount Druitt earlier in the season getting up 3-2 thanks to a last-minute winner.
However, since then, Miro Vlastelica’s team have won just five games from the next fourteen.
With some big clashes between the teams ahead of them, this could be a big victory to help them back up the table.
St George City FA v NWS Spirit FC
7:00 pm, Saturday 27 May, Penshurst Park
Two promoted teams clash at Penhurst Park with St George City and NWS Spirit in action on Saturday night.
St George’s winless run continued in round 16 sharing the points in a 2-2 draw with Rockdale Ilinden.
City fought back from two goals down with Kosta Petratos and Nathan Roberts each scoring.
The result has seen the team slip to sixth on the table and they’re only clear of tenth by three points.
Spirit have conversely been on the up earning their second victory in a row over the weekend.
David Perkovic’s men got up 2-1 against Bulls FC Academy last Saturday with Mitchell Davidson scoring the winner in the final three minutes.
Flair attacker Richard Darko also found the net making it goals in back-to-back games in the NPL NSW Men’s.
A win for Spirit would take them level on points with St George elevating them towards the top places of the competition.
These teams couldn’t be separated in round two sharing the points in a 2-2 draw.
All the goals came in the first half in an exhilarating fixture at Christie Park.
It’s hard to pick between these sides heading into this Saturday’s match, offering a great watch at Penshurst Park.
Central Coast Mariners FC v Bulls FC Academy
3:00 pm, Sunday 28 May, Pluim Park
Central Coast Mariners play Bulls FC Academy at Pluim Park on Sunday looking to carry on their meteoric rise in the competition.
The Mariners are one of the form teams of the NPL NSW with four wins in their last five games which have seen them fly six points clear of the relegation places.
Last weekend, they edged past Western Sydney Wanderers 2-1 with Olayinka Sunmola and Jordan Segreto scoring the goals.
The Mariners have a chance to move towards the middle of the table if they grab the win on Sunday.
Bulls FC Academy went into double digits for defeats this season following a 2-1 loss against NWS Spirit last Saturday.
After going behind early, Edward Caspers found the equaliser for the side before they conceded in the final three minutes.
That was the team’s fifth successive defeat seeing them remain in last, but with the teams above them also struggling to win, it’s still all to play for in the relegation battle.
These teams shared the point in round two with the Mariners withstanding a Bulls’ barrage in that one.
Rockdale Ilinden FC v APIA Leichhardt FC
3:00 pm, Sunday 28 May, Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre
The top two teams battle it out this Sunday at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre with Rockdale Ilinden and APIA Leichhardt facing off.
Ilinden gave up a two-goal lead against St George City to draw 2-2 in round 16.
Lochlan Constable and Bai Antoniou had the team 2-0 up by the 21st minute, but they conceded twice before the 55th minute to see two points slip away.
Additionally, coach Paul Dee will have to deal with the suspension of Brendan Cholakian who was sent off in stoppage time. Along with Cholakian, the loss of Jaden Casella what looks like for the rest of the season will be a blow for the hosts but will welcome back Mathieu Cordier.
The side will need a marked improvement on their outing against APIA which saw the side battered 6-0 at the start of the season.
With Rockdale currently three points away from APIA, avoiding defeat will be key to ensure the league leaders don’t get too far ahead.
APIA won their third match in a row downing Wollongong Wolves 3-0 in round 16 extending their lead at the top.
Diego Celis sent Franco Parisi’s team into the break with the lead before Jack Armson’s brace in the final 10 minutes sealed the result.
This is one of the matches of the season so far with the two frontrunners set to play out a match that could go a long way in deciding the title.
Blacktown City FC v Western Sydney Wanderers FC
3:00 pm, Sunday 28 May, Landen Stadium
Western Sydney Wanderers travel to Landen Stadium on Sunday to take on Blacktown City eager to end a run of three straight defeats.
The side went 2-1 down last weekend with Aidan Simmons’ goal late on not enough to get the team back in the game.
It leaves Western Sydney in the relegation zone, still just two points away from safety.
Blacktown City secured a vital victory getting up 2-0 against Manly United in round 16.
Two goals in the space of six first-half minutes guided the side to the victory with defender Lachlan Campbell and Charles Mendy the scorers.
It pushed City up to fifth on the table and narrowed the gap to second to ten points.
Mark Crittenden’s team also got up against the Wanderers earlier in the season with a 3-2 victory.
The hosts will be expected to win this one, but the Wanderers need to pick up some better results to get out the bottom places and victory this weekend would be a great place to start.
Preview by Timothy Gibson, on Twitter @Timg123_