Round 11 Preview - PS4 NPL NSW U20
Sutherland Sharks continue to lead the way at the halfway mark of the regular season in the PS4 NPL NSW U20 competition with Sydney United 58 and Blacktown City close behind.
With Sydney United 58 and Blacktown squaring off in Seven Hills on Sunday, Sutherland could have a chance to extend their lead at the top but face a difficult visit to reigning champions Sydney Olympic.
But the Match of the Round is at the foot of the table where Bonnyrigg White Eagles host Parramatta with both sides needing a win to ignite their faltering campaigns.
Match of the Round
Bonnyrigg White Eagles v Parramatta, 5.00pm at Bonnyrigg Sports Club
A crucial match at the bottom of the table will see Bonnyrigg White Eagles host Parramatta on Saturday evening with both sides needing a win to kick-start their campaign.
Visitors Parramatta are hoping to avoid a sixth consecutive defeat and one that would see Bonnyrigg leapfrog them on the competition ladder, while the White Eagles are coming off the back of a 6-0 defeat at home to Sydney FC.
With ten rounds already complete both sides have work to do to get their season back on track and will no doubt be keenly eyeing off a big three points on offer in the context of the club championship race.
The chance to leapfrog the opposition off the bottom of the competition ladder should give the White Eagles plenty of motivation as Hamish Brown’s side aim for just their second win of the season, but Parramatta put in an improved display against competition leaders Sutherland in round ten and will arrive at Bonnyrigg Sports Club desperate to arrest their run of form.
Manly United v Hakoah Sydney City East, 5.00pm at Cromer Park
Manly United entertain Hakoah Sydney City East at Cromer Park on Saturday with both sides looking to respond to round ten defeats.
Reigning premiers Manly were soundly defeated 3-1 by second-placed Sydney United 58 in Sunday’s Match of the Round and with three losses in their last four the Cromer Park outfit find themselves slipping down the table.
Hakoah Sydney City East are also at risk of losing touch with the top five with they fall to a second consecutive loss with Paul Hubbard’s side in seventh position.
The visitors have still produced some canny performances throughout the year and will fancy their chances at leaving the Northern Beaches with a crucial victory.
Sydney FC v Wollongong Wolves, 5.45pm at Lambert Park
Sydney FC ended their run of four consecutive draws with an emphatic 6-0 win over Bonnyrigg White Eagles last Saturday and will be aiming to keep the goals flowing at home to Wollongong Wolves at Lambert Park on Saturday.
Sydney’s fourth win of the season leaves them behind fifth-placed APIA Leichhardt on goal difference and with a series of winnable fixtures coming up David Zdrilic’s side will want to cement their position in the right half of the table.
However it won’t be easy against a Wollongong outfit that have claimed the scalps of Sutherland Sharks and Hakoah Sydney City East in recent weeks. The Wolves need a good result especially having dropped points to Bonnyrigg and Rockdale in their last fortnight.
Sydney Olympic v Sutherland Sharks, 12.45pm at Belmore Sports Ground
Reigning champions Sydney Olympic appear to be returning to form following two wins in a row and the Blues could make a big statement when leaders Sutherland Sharks arrive at Belmore Sports Ground on Sunday lunchtime.
Two clean sheets and victories over second-placed Sydney United 58 and finals hopefuls Hakoah Sydney City East has Olympic well-primed for the visit of Sutherland, who come into the match following a gritty 2-1 win over Parramatta.
The Sharks still remain the team to beat at the halfway point of the regular season and should provide a good measure of Olympic’s championship credentials when the two clash on the weekend.
Blacktown City v Sydney United 58, 1.00pm at Lilys Football Centre
Third-place will host second-place when Blacktown City entertain Sydney United 58 at Lilys Football Centre on Sunday afternoon.
With only a single goal conceded separating the two sides, who are equal on 19 points each on the competition ladder, it will likely be a tight contest in Seven Hills as both teams look to maintain pace with Sutherland Sharks.
Blacktown City dropped down into third courtesy of a 2-0 defeat to APIA Leichhardt Tigers and will be out to avoid consecutive defeats while Sydney United 58 are beginning to build a serious championship assault having accounted for Manly United 3-1 in last week’s Match of the Round.
Rockdale City Suns v APIA Leichhardt Tigers, 3.00pm at Ilinden Sports Centre
An excellent 3-2 win away at Wollongong in round ten gives Rockdale City Suns plenty to optimism heading into their clash with APIA Leichhardt Tigers at Ilinden Sports Centre.
The Suns moved above Manly United and the Wolves on the competition ladder and a win over high-flying APIA Leichhardt would see the Rockdale outfit on fifteen points, just one behind Sunday’s opponents.
But APIA Leichhardt have begun to hit their goal scoring stride of late and will brimming with confidence after defeating Blacktown City 2-0 last weekend.
-By Jacob Windon