Round 23 of the National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland will see some intense relegation battles as Redlands United host SWQ Thunder and Western Pride take on Sunshine Coast FC in the Match of the Round.
Both relegation sides come into the match off the back off losses, with Pride going down 4-0 to Redlands United and Sunshine Coast falling 3-1 to Magpies Crusaders last week.
The last time the two teams came face-to-face Sunshine Coast surprised Pride with a 2-0 win, but it was also their last win this season.
Sunshine Coast currently sit at the bottom of the table with just six games left including two matches against top four teams.
For Pride, they have a game in hand against Gold Coast Knights but also have two more games ahead against top four teams.
With the Ipswich-based side just five points behind Magpies Crusaders, who sit just outside the relegation zone, three points would be crucial to their campaign to stay in the NPL Queensland next season.
Western Pride v Sunshine Coast FC
Saturday, 6 July, 7pm
Briggs Road Sports Complex
Other matches to watch:
Redlands United v SWQ Thunder
After a bye last week, SWQ Thunder come into this clash looking to climb out of the relegation zone, and sit just one point behind Western Pride. They have two games in hand with those matches to come later this month, however the Toowoomba team haven’t won a match since Round 14. Redlands United were back in the winners’ circle last round and have a seven point buffer from the relegation zone as it stands.
Magpies Crusaders v Peninsula Power
After dropping points for the second week in a row, this time to Olympic FC, Peninsula Power can’t afford to lose another game if they want to keep top spot on the ladder. Lions are currently just one point behind but look to be a threat as they currently have a better goal difference. Power come up against Magpies Crusaders who earned back-to-back victories to move themselves five points away from the relegation zone. This match will be an important one for both sides, just for different reasons.
Players to watch:
Alex Smith (Olympic FC): Smith scored in his eighth consecutive game to bring his total to 15 goals for the season with 11 of those coming in his past eight appearances.
Godfrey Debele (Redlands United): A brace in last week’s clash against Western Pride saw Debele earn himself a spot in the NPL Queensland Team of the Week.
Zelfy Nazary (Western Pride): The Afghani international midfielder has only played two games for Pride after switching from Olympic FC, but could be key in helping the Ipswich team turn their season around.
Image: Jason Zischke/Sunshine Coast FC