NSW NPL 1 – The Run Home

With 2 rounds to play in the NPL 1 competition, we thought it would be a good idea to have a look at the table, who can make the finals and who each team plays in these final 2 rounds.

Wollongong Wolves – 45 points – Rockdale (A), Marconi (H)

With 1 point needed from these final 2 games to mathematically secure the premiership it’s hard to imagine they won’t do it. I their reverse fixtures Rockdale did hand Wolves their first defeat of the season in Wollongong, but they bounced back the week after to beat Marconi 3-1 at Marconi stadium.

APIA Leichhardt Tigers – 39 points – Manly (A), Rangers (A)

APIA are still in a battle with Blacktown City for 2nd place and have a an arguably tougher 2 opponents. After drawing with Sydney FC the team will be looking to bounce back knowing that if they win both games they’ll wrap up 2nd. They will be looking to Payne to add to his tally towards the Golden boot, sitting 2 goals behind TJ. Their previous encounters saw a draw with Manly and a win against Rangers, however they were both at home and with both teams still in the hunt for finals they will be dangerous.

Blacktown City – 37 points –  Marconi (A), Hakoah (A)

Like mentioned above, currently in a battle with APIA for 2nd but the good news with their win against Wolves is they cannot drop lower than 3rd. Unbeaten in their 5 last they beat both sides 1-0 earlier in the season and will be backing themselves to win again, with a win against Hakoah all but guaranteed. If APIA drop points its game on for second, although they were a worse GD.

Sydney United – 30 points –  Olympic (A), Manly (H)

Currently occupying 4th there are plenty of teams below that would love to be in their position. 5 clubs can catch them and both of their opponents are still in the mix for finals. Winless in their last 4, the club needs a win or 2 draws and a bit of luck to be in the final 5. A draw to Olympic and a loss to Manly earlier on means that United will have to pull one out of the bag to keep their spot.

Marconi Stallions – 29 points – Blacktown (H), Wolves (A)

What a tough situation to be in. Blacktown are pushing for 2nd and Wolves will be looking to take a run into the finals. As they will get a rest for the first week it’s very unlikely they will bench their players for the last game, maybe 1 or 2 starters if there are injury concerns. Do not envy their position.

Sydney Olympic – 26 points –  Sydney United (H), Sydney FC (A)

Sitting just outside that finals spot they need to at least get a win and a draw, but that might not even be enough due to their poor GD. A draw and a loss in the reverse won’t give the team confidence, but if Marconi drop both their games they’re in with a chance.

Manly United – 26 points – APIA (H), Sydney United (A)

Another unenviable position considering APIA are pushing for 2nd and Sydney United will be fighting to play finals football. They’ve won 1 out of their last 5, but will be boosted knowing they drew with APIA away and beat United at home previously.

Rockdale City Suns – 26 points – Wolves (H), Sharks (H)

Again, a tough 2 games with Wolves on the hunt for a win after their loss to Blacktown. Likely to get a win against Sharks, but the team from the Shire will be looking to spoil the party. Looking like needing 2 wins with a poor GD.

Rangers – 24 points –  Hakoah (H), APIA (H)

Need to win both games and get some luck on their side. Likely to get a win against Hakoah but with APIA wanting to take momentum into the finals, it would be a massive ask for the club. And did I mention they would also need a lot of luck considering a win by Marconi would seal their fate of no finals.

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