TeleChoice Premier League Round 11 Preview


With the ladder taking shape, Manly United and Sutherland Sharks lead the way with a four-point buffer over Sydney United and Wollongong FC, the latter pairing hold an additional four-point buffer over fifth-placed Sydney Olympic.
On Saturday evening, Blacktown City Demons need to make amends following the shellacking conceded at the hands of Bankstown City last weekend.
Ken Schembri?s side has shown signs of improvement following a slow start to the season, though the clash with Bankstown City brought the side back down to their knees.
Facing the Demons will be another side in need of ?re-finding? their better form following a slump of their own against Sutherland Sharks last weekend.
West Sydney Berries failed to ignite against the Sharks and despite the promising displays of the much coveted Sama-brothers pairing, Scott Baillie?s boys need to lift to avoid falling by the wayside.
Also on Saturday evening, two former NSL Clubs meet at Sydney United Sports Centre as the Reds meet Sydney Olympic.
Ivan Petkovic?s men have been in exceptional form in recent weeks, casting aside the drop in form experienced by the team following a promising start to the season.
Luka Glavas has been in good touch for the Reds, with his partnership alongside Ben Vidaic bearing fruit for Sydney United.
Sydney Olympic won?t have ?two-goal? hero Chris Triantis available after his much discussed sending-off against A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers in Round 10. One thing is for certain though, Sydney Olympic coach Milan Blagojevich will enter the encounter a whole lot more confident following the important three-point haul against the Tigers at Belmore.
On Mother?s Day, the remaining four matches for the weekend take place.
Macarthur Rams will make Manly United?s afternoon difficult at Campbelltown Sports Stadium following the Rams first win of the season last weekend.
Paul Carter?s men had been closing in on a win over the past four-weeks, though the clash at Penrith?s CUA Stadium proved to be a ?God-send?.
Manly United should be better-off for their home loss to Sydney United in Round 10, ensuring the team does not become complacent after a near flawless display in the competition to-date.
Coach Phil Moss will again point toward Robbie Cattanach as the man to lead the attack, meanwhile Craig Midgley again will be important in the attacking third.
Jensen Park will be the venue for Bankstown City?s clash against the win-less Marconi Stallions.
Bankstown has played brilliant football though ? until last weekend ? have not translated the good play into goals.
James Monie lifted the weight of expectation of his shoulders with a great double, meanwhile play-maker Robert Mileski will be thriving with confidence following his goal against the Demons as Peter Tsekenis? side aims to get their campaign on-track with a second consecutive win.
Marconi Stallions on the other-hand will be looking to close the first-half of the season with a win. The Stallions are five draws and five losses from their opening ten matches, signalling the disappointing run endured by the Bossley Park outfit.
Nahuel Arrarte was magical following his return from illness last weekend, though the Stallions may again need to rely on the brilliant form of goalkeeper James Chronopoulos who certainly earned his bacon with a series of exceptional saves against Wollongong FC ? salvaging a point for David Barrett?s men.
Wollongong FC has gone off the boil following two consecutive draws ? both away from home.
John Turner?s men return to John Crehan Park to face an in-form Sutherland Sharks ? the Sharks having shown against the Berries that they have certainly not lost their killer instinct in-front of goal.
Brian Brown has an in-form midfield line comprising the likes of Neil Jablonski, Nick Stavroulakis and the ever-impressive Jim Bakis ? along with the forward-forays of Ben Spruce, Pedj Bojic and Brendan Gan ? meanwhile striker Brad Boardman re-found his range against the Berries following a shortage of goals in the month of April.
The Sharks have been impressive defensively also; having not conceded a goal in the last five matches and keeping in mind the team is undefeated in all competitions this season ? over ninety minutes.
In the final match of the round, A.P.I.A.-Leichhardt Tigers will need to overcome the disappointment of the loss to Sydney Olympic in tough circumstances at Belmore Sports Ground in Round 10.
The Tigers failed to release their impressive striker Robert Younis into good goal-scoring positions against Sydney Olympic, something the side will need to do to beat Penrith-Nepean United.
Penrith-Nepean goes into the encounter with the ?discomfiture? of being the first Premier League side to loss against ?new boys? Macarthur Rams.
Abbas Saad will be hoping to find more goals via the boot of his leading marksman Erick Anabalon, along with another fine showing from his speedy winger Stewart Van Bentum.
-By Joseph Carlucci