Friday, 31 July 2015

PREVIEW: NNSW NPL Round 16

*NOTE: Apologies for the lack of 22's/19's Previews for this week, they will return as always for Round 17. I've written some quick 1st Grade previews tonight (Saturday) for tomorrow's fixtures. For those who don't know, Edgeworth beat South Cardiff 2-0 last night with two late goals.



1st Grade: Edgeworth F.C (1st) v South Cardiff (10th)
Kickoff: Friday 31/7 7:30pm
Last Time They Met: South Cardiff 1-3 Edgeworth

Edgeworth have been generously allowed to move their Sunday fixture to Friday night, allowing them ample time to prepare for what is the biggest game in the careers of many of their players when they host high-price A-League side Melbourne City in the FFA Cup Round of 32.

Before the FFA Cup, they have a tricky fixture against a desperate South Cardiff side. The Gunners stunned Broadmeadow last week and were unlucky not to score all three points against Hamilton before that. The Gunners aren't going down without a fight and it's something that Edgeworth will no doubt be worried about as they look to remain at the top of the table.

With all that's happened in recent times, a South Cardiff victory wouldn't surprise me tonight but Edgeworth really should be good enough to score the three points.

My Tip: Edgeworth 3-1 South Cardiff


Under 22's: Edgeworth F.C (1st) v South Cardiff (7th)
Kickoff: Sunday 2/8 12:45pm
Last Time They Met: South Cardiff 1-2 Edgeworth

Edgeworth were held by third-placed Lambton last weekend but will like their chances against South Cardiff on Sunday. The Eagles can seal the minor premiership depending on Hamilton's result this weekend and I can see them getting over the line against a South Cardiff side that haven't hit great heights in season 2015.

My Tip: Edgeworth 3-0 South Cardiff


Under 19's: Edgeworth F.C (3rd) v South Cardiff (8th)
Kickoff: Sunday 2/8 11:00am
Last Time They Met: South Cardiff 0-2 Edgeworth

South Cardiff's Under 19's aren't an easy team to beat and have tested some decent sides throughout the season. Consistency has let them down and some days they get brushed aside rather easily. Beating Edgeworth is a tough ask in any grade this season and I'm not sure I like the Gunners' chances in this one. A win for Edgeworth would keep the slim hopes of the Eagles claiming a three-peat minor-premiership winning season across all NPL Senior grades alive.

My Tip: Edgeworth 2-0 South Cardiff




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1st Grade: Adamstown Rosebud (6th) v Lambton Jaffas (4th)
Kickoff: Sunday 2/8 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Lambton 1-1 Adamstown

Adamstown's finals hopes may be unrealistically slim but the Rosebud are still mathematically alive in the race for the top four. A win over Lambton on Sunday would make things interesting but the Jaffas hold a fair advantage nonetheless over the sixth-placed Buds.

Last time they met, it was a 1-1 stalemate and looking over recent form, I'd expect another tight match tomorrow. I'm going to predict a Jaffas win as I feel they'll know how important this win could be. It could very well secure a finals spot for a third-straight season.

My Tip: Adamstown 1-3 Lambton




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Newysports.com's Match of the Round
1st Grade: Hamilton Olympic (2nd) v Weston Workers (3rd)
Kickoff: Sunday 2/8 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Weston 1-3 Hamilton

Hamilton Olympic have only lost one game all season but a string of draws has cost them top spot on the league table. Tomorrow they host 3rd-placed Weston in a battle that will determine who challenges ladder-leaders Edgeworth for the minor premiership. The Eagles would no doubt love a draw for this one.

Last time these sides met, Hamilton were 3-1 victors at Rockwell Automation Park and at their Darling Street home, they are incredibly tough to beat. Weston can forget about the minor premiership if they fail to get the three points in my opinion. Both teams will be fighting for a big win.

Weston have been rather unspectacular in recent weeks. A 0-0 draw with Maitland was hard-fought but still a poor result and last week's scrappy 1-0 win over Charlestown City left a lot to be desired. Hamilton on the other hand were 7-0 winners over a woeful Jets Youth side last week so I'm going to go with an Olympic win in this one. Hamilton have something to prove and I believe they'll do it tomorrow.

My Tip: Hamilton 3-1 Weston




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1st Grade: Charlestown City (8th) v Maitland F.C (9th)
Kickoff: Sunday 2/8 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Maitland 3-0 Charlestown

When Maitland put three past Charlestown earlier this season, the Blues looked in freefall and the wooden spoon looked a near-certainty. Fortunately for the Whitebridge-based Blues, they've picked up some crucial wins over both Broadmeadow and South Cardiff and have turned their season around.

With South Cardiff finding their feet as of late, there's no room for complacency, especially from Charlestown's visitors tomorrow, the Maitland Magpies. Maitland put up an admirable fight against Weston the other week in the 0-0 draw but fell to in-form Adamstown last weekend.

The winner tomorrow in my opinion will be safe of relegation. In fact, Charlestown still have a game in hand against the Jets Youth so I believe this is a more important game for Maitland. Neither team have been that impressive as of late but I have a feeling about Maitland in this one. They know a win is needed to avoid falling back into a relegation-scrap with South Cardiff.

My Tip: Charlestown City 1-2 Maitland



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1st Grade: Broadmeadow Magic (5th) v Newcastle Jets Youth (7th)
Kickoff: Sunday 2/8 2:30pm
Last Time They Met: Jets Youth 2-5 Broadmeadow

There's some harsh truths surrounding both these teams. Both Magic and the Jets Youth were simply not good enough last weekend. The Jets Youth especially lacked big time in their 7-0 loss to Hamilton. They were down on men and forced to play some younger players so I can't be too harsh. I believe the Jets Youth program needs a look at but that's a story for another day.

Broadmeadow Magic were blown off the park by Victorian powerhouse Heidelberg United in the first half of Wednesday night's FFA Cup tie. To their credit, the Magicians turned it around in the second half. Their last NPL result was a 3-1 loss to cellar-dwellers South Cardiff and I've heard it was one of the poorer displays Magic have put on this year, injuries played a part but it wasn't good enough.

Both sides will be very desperate tomorrow and it will provide for a good game. Magic I believe will not play finals football unless they win this game. It's a tough ask for Magic to turn around a five-point gap between them and Lambton as it is and if they drop more points tomorrow, then the season will be a write-off.

The Jets will hopefully be boosted by the return of a number of players who have been on tour with the A-League squad. They need to recover some pride after a horror loss last week. Still, I'm tipping Magic to get over the line as it's simply not good enough for a squad that have recruited the way they have to miss the finals. It's do or die for Magic.

My Tip: Broadmeadow 3-0 Jets Youth


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