After a series of washouts in Round 2, teams will be hoping the weather holds up this weekend as many look to kick start their seasons.
Sydney FC are looking for their first win of the year as they take on Marconi Stallions in the Match of the Round, while Blacktown City FC will be hoping to extend their lead at the top of the table with a strong result against a tough Sydney Olympic outfit. APIA and Marconi both play for the first time in 2019.
Match of the round: Sydney FC v Marconi Stallions, Saturday 5pm at Lambert Park
Sydney FC fell to Manly United last weekend, losing 3-2 at Cromer Park to remain on a solitary point heading into the third round of the season.
This week they welcome Marconi to Lambert Park; the Stallions raring to go in what will be their first game of 2019. With their Round 1 fixture rescheduled and their Round 2 match washed out, Marconi have yet to kick a ball this season, and remain something of an unknown quantity.
The hosts ran out 4-0 winners when these sides met in Leichhardt in 2018. They’ll be keen to kick start their current season with a similar result when they face Marconi on Saturday afternoon.
Sutherland Sharks v APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 4.30pm at Seymour Shaw
Sutherland rallied for their first win of 2019 in Round 2, and will be looking to string a few results together when they take on APIA Leichhardt on Saturday afternoon.
The Sharks beat Hakoah Sydney City East 2-1 last weekend, while APIA are playing their first match of the year after taking part in the Viareggio Cup.
Saturday’s match gives the Tigers an opportunity to demonstrate early improvement this season, having lost this fixture 4-1 in 2018.
Manly United v Mt Druitt Town Rangers, 5.30pm at Cromer Park
Manly United picked up three points last week with a thrilling win over Sydney FC. Goals from Jack Berte, William Martin and Maximilian Rogers gave Manly their first win of the year, sending them into Round 3 confident of going back-to-back.
Their opposition this week is Mt Druitt Town Rangers, who travel to Cromer Park after their Round 2 match with Olympic was washed out. With a tough run of fixtures ahead, Mt Druitt will be keen to start picking up points to avoid sinking to the back of the pack.
Sydney Olympic v Blacktown City FC, 1.45pm at Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney Olympic’s match with Mt Druitt Town Rangers was washed out last week, giving the hosts extra time to prepare for the visit of Blacktown City in Round 3.
Blacktown sit in first place after the first two weeks of the season, having managed to play their game last weekend and record a second win of 2019.
This is a fixture Blacktown won 5-1 at Belmore Sports Ground last year. Olympic will be eager to stop them from pulling away at the top of the table when they meet on Sunday afternoon.
Rockdale City Suns v Hakoah Sydney City East FC, 2.30pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
Rockdale take on Hakoah Sydney City East on Sunday, after their Round 2 match against Marconi Stallions was washed out last weekend.
The visitors come into their match at Ilinden Sports Centre on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Sutherland Sharks, with last year’s champions able to hold off a spirited Hakoah outfit.
They travel to Rockdale to play for their first win of the year, while the hosts could potentially move into first place depending on results elsewhere. It ended 3-2 to Hakoah when these sides met in 2018, and it would seem similarly difficult to predict one way or the other.
Sydney United 58 v Wollongong Wolves FC, 3pm at Sydney United Sports Centre
Sydney United 58 host Wollongong Wolves for the first time since their meeting in the first week of the finals last season.
United blew Wollongong away at Lambert Park in 2018, with a 3-0 win in the elimination finals.
Both teams come into this match in decidedly different form, with United beaten 4-1 by Blacktown City last weekend.
Wollongong’s Round 2 match was washed out, robbing them of the opportunity to build on an impressive 2-0 opening round win over Manly United.
Still, they sit second behind Blacktown having played one game fewer, and a result here could put them top if Sydney Olympic can beat the leaders.
-By Max Grieve