The biggest game of the PlayStationÂ®4 NPL NSW Menâ€™s season has arrived and months of blood, sweat and tears will culminate with what is set to be a blockbuster clash of the titans.
After 22 rounds and three weeks of finals, Blacktown City and Sydney United 58 will go head to head to decide who is this seasonâ€™s PlayStationÂ®4 NPL NSW Menâ€™s Champions.
Blacktown and United 58 have played in some of the seasonâ€™s best matches and it is only fitting the top two sides can settle the equation of who is the true champion on grand final day.
Neither side is a stranger to the big stage.
Blacktown City is the reigning PlayStationÂ®4 NPL champion as the best state league club side in Australia and will be contesting their third straight PlayStationÂ®4 NPL NSW Menâ€™s Grand Final. The Mark Crittenden coached side has had an incredible run in this seasonâ€™s Westfield FFA Cup and are set to face A-League side Sydney FC in the quarter finals later this month.
Sydney United 58 on the other hand has been the benchmark this season. Finishing the season on top of the premiership ladder to secure the PlayStationÂ®4 NPL NSW Menâ€™s Premiership as well as a win in the Waratah Cup final, Mark Rudanâ€™s squad is playing for an incredible treble of titles in 2016.
On the park both teams have squads bristling with talent with neither side possessing any glaring weaknesses.
Rudanâ€™s squad was in inspired form this season to notch the Premiership three weeks before the end of the season. The Reds had the best defence in the competition conceding only 21 goals including a four game run without a goal scored against them. Their attack wasn’t too bad either, tying with Manly United for the highest scoring offence in the competition with 58 goals. Striker Chris Payne is the competitionâ€™s golden boot with 22 goals while teammate Panny Nikas is not far behind in second with 18 goals.
While Sydney United 58â€™s stats are impressive, Blacktown Cityâ€™s efforts aren’t to be scoffed at. The Seven Hillâ€™s based outfit has the second best defence in the PlayStationÂ®4 NPL NSW Menâ€™s with only 26 goals conceded while their attack finished third in the rankings with 46 goals in the regular season. Unlike Sydney United 58, Blacktown shared the goal scoring load with six players scoring six goals or more.
The key match-ups of the match will feature some of the leagueâ€™s biggest stars going head to head.
Can Tomislav Uskok and the Sydney United 58 defence hold out the relentless attack of Blacktownâ€™s quartet of Joey Gibbs, Patrick Antelmi, Mitch Mallia and Danny Choi.
Will Travis Major be able to continue his impressive form in his new found defensive midfield position against the tricky Glen Trifiro and Panny Nikas?
How much impact will the absence of Sydney United 58â€™s formidable midfielder Nick Stavroulakis, who will miss the game through suspension have on the match and can Peter Triantis fill the big shoes of his inspirational team mate?
In four matches this season, Blacktown City lead with three wins to Sydney United 58â€™s one including an incredible 6-2 flogging in the Westfield FFA Cup.
While the record between the two sides so far this year is against Mark Rudanâ€™s side, United 58 have been the benchmark with only two losses in the regular season.
Whatever the outcome this afternoon, goals, excitement and entertainment seem likely.
However when itâ€™s all said and done, only one team can be Champion.
All eyes will be fixed at Leichhardt Oval this Sunday, be sure not to miss what will be one of the best spectacles this state has ever seen at NPL level.
Sunday 11thÂ September
Blacktown City v Sydney United 58
3pm kick off