Round 16 – NPL NSW Women’s Preview

KAREELA, AUSTRALIA - MAY 06:  Match action during the Women's National Premier Leagues NSW Round 9 match between Sutherland Shire FA and Blacktown Spartans FC at Harrie Denning Football Field on May 6, 2018 in Kareela, Australia. #NPLNSW @NPLNSW  (Photo by Jeremy Ng/ for Football NSW)

Still only two points separate the top five teams in the NPL NSW Women’s competition with seven games to play.

Blacktown Spartans v North Shore Mariners

At Blacktown Football Park on Sunday, the Blacktown Spartans host the North Shore Mariners.

The Spartans came away with a well-earned victory last week and will look to get on a run of good results as the season moves into the final third.

The Mariners have improved over recent rounds following a baron run. They fought the Stingrays till the death last week but weren’t able to get anything from it.

Blacktown won the earlier fixture between the two with a 3-1 victory.

NWS Koalas v Sydney University

Match of the round takes us to Christie park as the North West Sydney Koalas and Sydney University clash.

The Koalas through the finals race wide open with their victory over Manly last week.

A win here and a somewhat favourable run home could see the side really push for a finals position that look extremely unlikely only two weeks ago.

Uni sit on top of the pile with a game in hand with confidence running high within Alex Epakis’s side.

They’re currently on a six-match unbeaten run and if they are able to keep up this pace, will take home the Premiership.

It was one-way traffic back in round five but the Koalas will bring a different game to Sunday’s fixture.

Illawarra Stingrays v Manly United

South at JJ Kelly Park, the Illawarra Stingrays face off with Manly United in a massive top five clash.

One loss in eight has the Stingrays in a fine run of form as they look to challenge Uni for the Premiership.

Defensive frailties have outdone the Stingrays this season at times, something the Football NSW Institute took full advantage of.

Manly haven’t kept the shop closed very well this season either, unable to keep a clean sheet in their last five outings.

Only two wins in those five have put them in the final play off position and Chris Williams will need his side to get back into form as quick as possible.

The Stingrays came to Manly and took all three points when they met earlier in the season.

Northern Tigers v Sutherland Shire

Sutherland Shire travel to North Turramurra Oval to take on the Northern Tigers.

After a positive run of form, the Tigers haven’t won in six and their finals hopes have come to an abrupt end.

Sutherland remains at the bottom of the table with only one point but they have improved over the last month.

The Tigers came away with a tight 2-1 win last time out.

Football NSW Institute v Emerging Jets

At Valentine Sports Park on Sunday afternoon, the Football NSW Institute will host the Emerging Jets.

After a busy month with the NTC Challenge in between normal competition, both sides have pushed through a difficult period.

It’s the Institute’s second last home match of the season and they’d look for maximum points in both.

Wins in the two will almost secure their finals place as they look to challenge for the Premiership.

The Jets need points in an attempt to move up the ladder, currently sitting in 11th spot.

Four losses on the bounce have them in a rough patch but they’ll look to turn that around.

Macarthur Rams v Bankstown City

The Macarthur Rams and Bankstown City clash at Lynwood Park in the latter kick off on Sunday night.

Macarthur haven’t lost since round nine and have torn through their opponents in the last two games, scoring nine goals.

They’re one of those still fighting for the Premiership and cannot drop points here.

Finding the back of the net has been a problem for Bankstown, only scoring nine goals all season, as many as the Rams in their last two games.

The Rams steam rolled Bankstown 7-1 last time.

-By Nikola Pozder