TeleChoice Premier League Round 8 Preview


Sutherland Sharks, who hold a slender one-point lead over Manly, face a much reinvigorated Blacktown City Demons on Saturday night at Seymour Shaw, following the Demons first League win of the season last weekend.
Ken Schembri?s men finally got their game plan right against the ?luckless? Marconi Stallions, and secured the win with impressive strikes to both Ben Ellis and Bruno Salas, the latter scoring an absolute screamer from more than 30-metres out from goal.
Sutherland Sharks welcome back midfielder Nick Stavroulakis from suspension, and will be quietly confident following the hard fought draw against staunch opposition ? Bankstown City ? last weekend.
Second-placed Manly United have a Sunday afternoon fixture, and following the stresses of a late goal to salvage the side a point against A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt last weekend, Phil Moss? men will travel to Penrith?s CUA Stadium to meet Penrith-Nepean United.
Manly has made a habit of scoring late goals in recent weeks, though on both occasions the Cromer Park boys were playing at home.
Penrith-Nepean has become a bogey team for so many this season, especially when Abbas Saad?s men play at home.
Eric Anabalon has found his scoring boots, meanwhile Nic Tsattalios has certainly found his calling on the left-flank for Penrith.
In goal, Daniel Schwarzer has also lived up to his family name ? emulating the fine performances of his older brother Mark.
Back to Saturday evening matches and Sydney Olympic need a shake-up to overcome the shock home-loss against Penrith last weekend.
The Blues task will not be an easy one as Paul Carter?s Macarthur Rams search for their first win of the TeleChoice Premier League.
Across town, Marconi Stallions will need all hands ? and feet ? on deck as their chances of success of success this season continue to disintegrate with each passing week.
The Stallions are still searching for their first ?three-pointer? of the season and will need to make home advantage count against ?new boys? West Sydney Berries.
The Berries have not had the most luck this season in terms of results, though the performances of Scott Baillie?s side have certainly caught on-lookers unawares.
Kosta Lagoudakis and John Tsironis will again be pulling the strings in the attacking third, meanwhile the experience in defence of the likes of Angelo Petratos and Jack Sobczyk will be needed, despite the Stallions failure to ignite up-front.
Wollongong FC host Bankstown City on Sunday, at John Crehan Park, in a tussle that will be arguably the match of the Round.
Wollongong FC have hit their straps in recent weeks, throwing aside the tag of ?slow starters? inherited over recent seasons.
Ilija Prenzoski has been immense in an attacking third, meanwhile the scoring exploits of both Ballamadou Conde and Osagie Ederaro have John Turner?s men looking the goods for a top-four finish.
On the other side of the half-way line, Bankstown City will line-up ready to make some sense of a confusing first part of the season.
Bankstown has played arguably some of the best football in the competition, yet the team still languishes in the bottom-half of the ladder with only one win to show for from six matches played ? Bankstown City has a match in hand against Sydney Olympic.
Player/Coach Peter Tsekenis will sit out the last of his five-match suspension this weekend, though much of Bankstown?s energy will need to be spent in the attacking third.
The team from Jensen Park played great ?two-touch? football against Sutherland Sharks last weekend, though the ball would not find the back of the net. This task will fall onto the shoulders of the very mobile James Monie and Paul Harries, with the attacking presence of Robert Mileski supporting the attack.
In the final match of the Round, A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers host Sydney United at Lambert Park.
The Tigers have been improving with each performance though will be ?filthy? with their efforts in the final moments against Manly United last weekend.
The Tigers ? who played for one-hour with ten-men against Manly ? conceded a 90? minute equaliser to draw 3-3 away from home.
Coach John Romeo will request more of the same ? from an attacking point-of-view ? though defensively the team will need to tighten their performance against Sydney United.
The Reds have struggled to re-capture the form that saw Ivan Petkovic?s team storm to the top-of-the-table inside of the first four matches.
Luka Glavas and Elsid Barkhousir have, in patches, showed what they are capable of in recent weeks, though the team has struggled to run their opponents into the ground in recent weeks.
The Reds first task against the Tigers will be to contain Robbie Younis and Franco Parisi in the attacking-third, a job Damon Collina and Joe Vrkic will certainly relish as these two former NSL club-sides go head-to-head.
-By Joseph Carlucci