It’s week eight in the National Premier Leagues NSW men’s competition, and the battle for the Premiership is heating up.
Rockdale Ilinden is back in top spot for the first time since week two, but Manly United and Sydney United 58 are in close pursuit.
This week’s matches get underway with four games on Saturday night, starting with Northbridge Bulls hosting Manly United and Sutherland Sharks at home against Rockdale.
Later on Saturday, Marconi and Sydney Olympic go head to head at Marconi Stadium while Mt Druitt Town Rangers and Sydney United 58 face off at Popondetta Park.
On Sunday afternoon, it’s Wollongong Wolves v Blacktown City, and in the final match of the round, APIA Leichhardt heads to Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre to play Sydney FC.
Remember, NPL.TV has live streams and replays of every National Premier Leagues NSW match, so there is no reason to miss any competition action.
Northbridge Bulls v Manly United FC, 3 pm Saturday at Sydney United Sports Centre
Northbridge Bulls will be looking to return to the winner’s circle when they host Manly United at Sydney United Sports Centre this Sunday.
The Bulls need the competition points to move back into the top five after dropping to seventh following last week’s loss against Marconi.
A dominant win against Sydney United 58 in round six sent shockwaves around the competition and was signs of what the Mile Sterjovski coached side is capable of on their day.
Northbridge has been able to share the goalscoring around this season, with eight different players finding the back of the net and four scoring two or more goals.
Rory Jordan is the Bulls leading scorer this season and has been a handful for opposition defences.
Moudi Najjar is another player who has been in top form and will be looking to carry that on against Manly.
Manly United come into this match on the back of their first defeat of the season as they went down 2-0 to Sydney Olympic.
It was the Northern Beaches side’s first slip up of the campaign, but coach Adam Griffiths will be confident his side will be back to business and keep the pressure on the Rockdale and Sydney United in the premiership race.
Experienced striker Richie Cardozo has been a strong veteran presence for Manly this season, and his ability to both score and create opportunities remains invaluable.
Manly will be favourites for the match, but Northbridge is more than capable of pulling off an upset.
Sutherland Sharks FC v Rockdale Ilinden FC, 3.30 pm Saturday at Seymour Shaw Park
A return home to Seymour Shaw Park could be the perfect formula for Sutherland Sharks as they host competition leaders Rockdale Ilinden this Saturday.
It could prove to be a chance for Nick Dimovski’s side to get back to basics and hopefully end their run of games without a win.
A dramatic 2-2 draw against Sydney FC last week helped the Sharks avoid suffering their third straight defeat with James Andrew scoring an incredible injury-time equaliser.
It was Andrew’s second goal of the game, and continues his impressive run of form.
Chris McStay has been a brilliant signing for Sutherland and is a true general in the middle of the park.
They will be up against a Rockdale team that is back on top of the table and will be determined to stay there.
A 1-0 win against Northbridge Bulls, courtesy of an Alec Urosevski penalty late in the contest, was a valuable three points for the reigning Premiers in their endeavour to defend their title.
Urosevski and the entire Rockdale attack were stifled by a desperate Northbridge defence last week, but the veteran striker could still find his way onto the scoresheet.
It is this game-changing ability that makes Urosevski such an important member of the team.
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 Olympic, 6 pm Saturday at Marconi Stadium
Marconi Stallions will be looking to turn their fortunes around on Saturday night when they host Sydney Olympic at Marconi Stadium.
The Stallions have only won once this campaign and in dire need of three competition points if they are to remain in the playoff hunt.
A 1-1 draw against APIA last week was a frustrating result for the Peter Tsekenis coached outfit, who were reduced to ten men for the final 25 minutes after the send-off of Mark Rodic.
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.
Mitch Mallia scored his second goal of the season against APIA and will hope it is the start of more goals to come.
They will face off against a Sydney Olympic team that will be riding high after a 2-0 win against Manly United in round 7.
The Ante Juric coached outfit are on the hunt for more victories for the 2021 campaign.
Olympic struggled to get going earlier in the campaign, but after their 2-0 win against Manly will be hoping it is the start of a quick climb up the ladder.
Jason Madonis has been rediscovering his best form in recent weeks and will be looking to add to his goal tally again this round.
Juric will hope his dynamic attackers Brendan Cholakian, Oliver Pufflet, Fabio Ferreira and Peter Kekeris can follow the lead of Madonis and improve his side’s goalscoring output.
This will be a tough contest between two sides brimming with talent. You won’t want to miss this.
Mt Druitt Town Rangers v Sydney United 58, 7 pm Saturday at Popondetta Park
The Mt Druitt Town Rangers tasted derby delight last round and will be out for back to back wins when they host Sydney United 58 on Saturday night.
A 1-0 win against local rivals Blacktown City helped the Rangers claim Mayoral Cup honours, and coach Stewart Montgomery will be hoping it is the start of plenty more winning results.
Jack Stewart has been a game-changer for Mt Druitt on several occasions this season, and it was his goal that snatched victory last round.
His ability to turn a game with a moment of brilliance is a true asset to the Rangers, and one opponent must consider when up against Mt Druitt.
Making the most of opportunities is something the Rangers will need to focus on against a talented side such as United 58, who won’t give their opponents many chances.
United come into this game needing a win to end a recent drop in form after taking only a point from their past two games.
Tomi Vidovic needs to find a way to get his team performing at both ends of the field and return to their earlier form, which saw them net an incredible 12 goals in four games while only conceding three.
Striker Chris Payne will be absent after receiving a red card last round, putting the pressure on Patrick Antlemi, who was subbed last week due to injury, to shoulder the goal-scoring load.
Mat Sim has had some impressive moments in recent weeks and was a real handful in the dying stages of last week’s 0-0 draw with Wollongong.
There is a lot on the line for both teams so expect this one to go down to the wire.
Wollongong Wolves v Blacktown City FC, 2.30 pm Sunday at Albert Butler Memorial Park
Wollongong Wolves will be desperate to move away from the bottom of the table, starting with a win against Blacktown City at Albert Butler Memorial Park this Sunday.
The Wolves have won only once this season and would have been left frustrated they didn’t add to their win tally last week against a Sydney United 58 side, which was forced to play with only ten men for nearly an hour.
Coach Luke Wilkshire’s young outfit has been lacking a winning edge, and a return home to Wollongong could be the perfect formula to rediscover their form.
Despite the difficult results, Taylor McDonald has been a leader for the Wolves and will once again be a vital part of their game plan.
They will take on a Blacktown City side desperate to bounce back after a loss.
Blacktown slumped to a 1-0 loss against Mt Druitt last week to end a run of winning results.
Coach Mark Crittenden will be determined to get his side to rediscover their winning ways as quickly as possible to remain in the playoff picture.
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 Wolves backline.
Blacktown will be favourites for this match, but at home, Wollongong could pull off an upset.
Sydney FC v APIA Leichhardt FC, 6.30 pm Sunday at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre.
Sydney FC will be out to get the better of APIA Leichhardt when the two sides face off at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre this Sunday night.
The Young Sky Blues were left heartbroken as they conceded an equaliser in Injury time to settle for a 2-2 draw against Sutherland Sharks.
The result stretched their run of games without a win to four and left them only three points above APIA at the bottom of the table.
Coach Jim van Weeran will need a big performance from his side and will look to players such as Callum Talbot, Jaiden Kucharski and Jordi Swibel to lead from the front.
They take on an APIA side that has failed to get going this season with only one win so far this campaign.
New coach Paul Dee has had a few weeks to find his feet, but results are needed sooner rather than later with the side at the bottom of the table.
Paul Galimi has had some brilliant performances this season and will once again be a rock at the back for APIA alongside another top performer for the club Josh Symons.
The pressure will be on Blake Powell to find his scoring touch, with goals so far being in short supply for the Lambert Park based side.
This is a crucial game for both teams, so neither side will want to leave with anything other than the full three points.