Sydney Olympic FC v Blacktown City FC, 3pm Sunday at Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney Olympic has quietly emerged as a National Premier Leagues NSW Premiership contender during the opening weeks of the campaign but a clash against Blacktown City on Sunday afternoon could prove a true litmus test of their winning credentials.
Spanish striker Alejandro Sanchez has given the Abbas Saad coached side a truly dangerous front man and combined with the talented playmaking skills of Max Burgess makes Olympic a side which will challenge opposition defences.
Experienced shot stopper Paul Henderson has maintained his usual high standards this season behind a rapidly improving defensive unit.
Last week was a warning for their opponents Blacktown who conceded an added time goal which forced them to settle for a 1-1 draw with Manly United.
It was the first goal Blacktown had conceded all season underpinning their quality at both ends of the park.
Much is spoken about Blacktown’s incredible talent in attack, but their often overlooked defence, marshalled by former Olympic man Yianni Spyrakis who will face his former side for the first time this week, which has been the secret formula to their success.
Along with Spyrakis, the Speranza boys Giorgio and Roberto have also had great starts to the season as has Grant Lynch.
The Mark Crittenden coached side will be disappointed with their performance last week which could mean a huge showing on the road at Belmore.
This is sure to be one of the matches of the round and could have major implications on the premiership race.
APIA Leichhardt Tigers v Sydney FC, 4.15pm Sunday at Lambert Park
It’s the Lambert Park derby this week with APIA Leichhardt Tigers hosting Sydney FC on Sunday afternoon at the ground both sides call home.
After a minor blip in form against Blacktown City two weeks ago, APIA is back firing on full cylinders and sit out in front on top of the National Premier Leagues NSW standings.
Billy McColl’s side will be out to consolidate their position at number one with victory against the Young Sky Blues.
Tasuku Sekiya reiterated his talents and importance for the Tigers with a double in their 5-0 rout of Rockdale in Round 5.
Sekiya’s explosive acceleration and ability on the ball makes him a tough customer for opposition defences. He will be looking to build on last week’s display and further cement his role as APIA’s chief playmaker through the middle of the park.
Sydney FC come into the game full of confidence after an incredible 3-3 draw with Bonnyrigg White Eagles which required Rob Stanton’s side equalise three times.
Hassan Jalloh had a breakout season last year when he made his debut for Bonnyrigg and this year in a Sydney FC jersey he will be hoping to continue his development as a future star.
A tricky attacking player, Jalloh will be full of confidence after netting in last week’s match and will be determined to keep his scoring run going.
APIA will be an almighty test for Sydney, but memories of the Young Sky Blues 5-3 upset win from last season are sure to linger in the back of the Tiger’s minds.