It’s All Still To Play For

The NPL 1 competition has just 3 rounds remaining and almost every team still has a chance at something.

Let’s take Hakoah for example.

If by some miracle they manage full CC points over the next 3 weeks, they have a shot at staying in the league next season. However if Sydney United pick up 7 points, they’ll be heading back down to NPL 2.

Looking at the table, we can see that the Premiership is down to two teams; Wollongong Wolves and APIA Leichhardt Tigers.

The Wolves have a 7 point lead, meaning that a 3 point swing (really 2 when you factor in GD) is enough to take home the premiership and seal their spot in the NPL Finals Series. So a draw against Blacktown will suffice as long as APIA don’t beat Sydney FC.

The Wolves dominant season has also guaranteed them a home final with their lowest possible finish being 2nd. APIA can drop as low as 3rd, still getting a home final and Blacktown with their 7 point lead over Sydney United only need a win in their last 3 to secure the last home final spot. It is possible for the Demons to claim 2nd, but would require APIA to rack up a few losses.

For the last two finals spots, almost every team has a chance.

6 points is all that separates 4th and 10th and even Sydney FC is an outside chance to have a shot at making finals, albeit a very very slim chance.

A win for either Sharks or Rangers will lift their respective side towards the finals whilst a loss for either side would all but mean they miss out. Sharks definitely have the advantage with Rangers playing a grueling 120 minute match against Manly in the cup on Wednesday night.

Manly United and Rockdale will be a huge game with the two sides sitting 7th and 8th respectively, Manly only on goal difference whilst Rockdale is 1 win outside the 5. But much like Rangers, will the 120 minute match Manly played in the cup have an effect come game day?

We already know the stakes in the APIA v Sydney and Blacktown v Wolves games, with 3 of the 4 sides playing for positions/trophies.

Sydney Olympic v Marconi is a massive game and one of the ones to watch, with both sides sitting on 26 points. We could see the winner of this match playing finals football with the loser sitting out this year. Will Olympic have the chance to defend their championship?

Finally Hakoah v SU58. If they want to be playing finals this year, United must win this game. A slip here would be disastrous, especially to the last placed side and with the competition as tight as it has been in years, dropping points simply is not an option.

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