The last round of the NPL NSW has finally arrived. After 21 rounds of exciting and captivating football, the regular season will come to a close this weekend before a select few teams go head to head in the finals series. But with just one game left to play, there are still several teams whose hopes of playing finals football are up in the air.
Hakoah Sydney City vs Blacktown City
Hakoah Sydney City (12th): LLLLL
Blacktown City (3rd): LWWDW
Hakoah Sydney City’s miserable season will finally reach its miserable end come Sunday when they take on Blacktown City at Hensley Athletic Field. Hakoah registered another loss last weekend when they took on Mt Druitt Town Rangers which brought up their tally of losses to five in a row. However, even with their disappointing season, they will be hoping to go out with a bang when they host Blacktown City this weekend with their relegation fast approaching.
The visitors, Blacktown City, will want to turn their form around this weekend before finals as they fell 2-0 to Marconi last weekend. No doubt a disappointing result as the club will need to be in form heading into finals. Many of the other teams in the top five are heading into finals with good form and Blacktown will not want to fall behind the pack by heading into finals off the back of two losses.
It was a tough day at the office for star striker Joey Gibbs last weekend who failed to get on the scoresheet against Marconi and the team will be looking to him for inspiration this weekend as he will need to get back to his goalscoring ways as Blacktown have a tough first game in the finals series as they will be taking on APIA Leichhardt who are currently undefeated in their last five matches.
Prediction: Blacktown City 5 – Hakoah Sydney City 0
Rockdale City Suns vs Sutherland Sharks
Rockdale City Suns (9th): LWLLL
Sutherland Sharks (10th): WLLLW
In the final round of the NPL NSW regular season we will have cross-town rivals Rockdale and Sutherland going head to head. Both of these teams are out of contention for the finals series but this should still be an exciting clash nonetheless as these two sides sit one point apart from each other on the table and will be out to claim bragging rights.
Rockdale’s hopes of playing finals football were shattered last week as the St George based side fell to newly-crowned premiers Wollongong Wolves 2-1. Rockdale striker Jonathan Grozdanovski found the back of the net again to make it 2 goals in 2 games and he will be looking to add to his goal tally again this week when his side host Sutherland Sharks.
Sharks have endured another disappointing season in NPL NSW but a 4-0 win over Sydney FC last week was a huge result for Sutherland as they snapped their three game losing streak. Jeremy Cox scored twice to bring his goal tally up to 11 and Charles Loko-lingoy also managed to find the back of the net twice before departing the club and securing a move to Hong Kong this week.
Both sides have endured tough seasons and bragging rights will be on the line when these two neighbours go head to head at Illinden on Sunday.
Prediction: Rockdale City Suns 1 – Sutherland Sharks 1
Sydney FC vs Sydney Olympic
Sydney FC (11th): LDWWL
Sydney Olympic (6th): WLLWW
It has been several weeks since Sydney FC have registered a win in NPL NSW with their last coming against Sydney United. Sydney’s youngsters fell to Sutherland 4-0 last weekend in a disappointing match and will be hoping to finish this season on a high as they come up a motivated Olympic side.
Sydney Olympic defeated Sydney United 1-0 last week in a huge result for the Belmore-based side. Olympic now sit just 1 point off United and a win over Sydney this weekend will be crucial as to whether or not they will play finals. 3 points this weekend does not guarantee a spot in the finals series but it will set them on their way to defending their championship.
The result over United last weekend was a much needed boost after back to back losses and favourable game against Sydney could secure their spot in finals. Sydney will also be out to get themselves a win and finish the season on a high after last week’s loss.
Prediction: Sydney FC 0 – Sydney Olympic 4
Mt Druitt Town Rangers vs APIA Leichhardt
Mt Druitt Town Rangers (7th): WWLDL
APIA Leichhardt (2nd): WDWDW
Mt Druitt will host APIA Leichhardt in this week’s NPL NSW clash to finish off the regular season and the visitors will be looking for all three points to continue their strong form heading into finals. Mt Druitt collected another win last week when they secured a comfortable 4-0 win over Hakoah Sydney City while APIA continued their undefeated run with a 1-0 win over Manly United.
APIA have been one of the standout teams in the competition this year and they will be hoping to do some damage in the finals series which is fast approaching. They will host Blacktown City in the first week of finals and a win heading into that game is an absolute must. APIA’s Ivan Necevski put in a strong performance last week to keep a clean sheet against Manly and he will need to do the same this week when his team travel to Mt Druitt.
Both of these teams have goals in them ㅡ Mt Druitt scoring 11 in their last 5 while APIA have managed 10 in their last 5 games. APIA will be out to continue their impressive form and Mt Druitt will be doing all they can to stop them and finish their season on a high.
Prediction: Mt Druitt 3 – APIA Leichhardt 4
Sydney United 58 vs Manly United
Sydney United (5th): LWLDD
Manly United (8th): LLWLL
Sydney United will host Manly United in the last round of the regular season in NPL NSW in an absolute must win game. United currently sit in 5th place ahead of Sydney Olympic by only one point after last week’s loss to Olympic and win is crucial if they want to secure their finals place. Manly will also be going into this game off the back of a loss as they fell to APIA 1-0 last week and will be hoping to finish the season a high after missing out on playing in the finals series.
The key player for Sydney United getting the win this week will be Tariq Maia, the star midfielder has netted 5 goals this season, with two of those goals coming in his last two games. United will need him to be on top form and dominate the midfield if they are to confirm their place in the top five.
Both clubs will be out for nothing less than the win as they are both currently still in the FFA Cup and will want to be heading into their respective Round of 16 clashes with some good form. United will want to bounce back from their disappointing game against Olympic with a win and that motivation should get them over the line.
Prediction: Sydney United 3 – Manly United 1
Wollongong Wolves vs Marconi Stallions
Wollongong Wolves (1st): WLWWW
Marconi Stallions (4th): WWWWD
Wollongong Wolves will host finals hopefuls Marconi in the final round of NPL NSW this Sunday at WIN Stadium in what is sure to be an exciting match. Marconi picked up all three points last weekend when they took on Blacktown City in a 2-0 victory which was a huge result for the club who have now all but secured their spot in the finals. Wolves were back to winning ways last weekend when they defeated Rockdale City Suns 2-1 and the newly crowned premiers will be out for nothing less than the win this weekend as finals is just around the corner.
Wolves have been the standout side this season in the competition and they will want to head into the finals series with some form as they will surely be hoping to lift the championship. A 2-1 win over Rockdale got them back to their winning ways but a clash with Marconi will be no easy task. Marconi are undefeated in their last five games and even with their finals spot secured, they will want all three points as they hope to send a message to premiers Wollongong.
The key player for Wollongong this weekend will be star forward Thomas James, the striker has netted 21 goals this season and was crucial in his team’s win over Rockdale. He has been one of the standout players in the competition this season and his team will no doubt be relying on him for goals come Sunday.
Prediction: Wollongong Wolves 1 – Marconi Stallions 0