The top sides in the National Premier Leagues (NPL) Queensland competition will continue to push for the title as the end of the regular season fast approaches.
Lions can reaffirm their lead at the top of the table if they continue their seven match winning streak this weekend against Western Pride.
Gold Coast Knights meanwhile will host Brisbane Strikers on Saturday night in the NPL Queensland Match of the Round, which can be viewed live and on demand on the FQ website, FQ Facebook and FQ YouTube.
Knights will still be pushing for the Premiership title as they remain in third spot, only two points behind second-placed Peninsula Power and four points behind new ladder leaders Lions FC.
With four rounds remaining plus a game in hand, Knights can still challenge the title if they are to continue their recent form.
The Gold Coast side are currently on a four match winning streak, having scored 10 goals in their last four games and only conceding one goal.
Knights will welcome a Brisbane Strikers side fresh from a mid-week FFA Cup Round of 32 penalty shoot-out victory against Hyundai A-League outfit Wellington Phoenix.
While the Brisbane side will no doubt be buzzing from the win, they may also feel the effects of the 120 minutes of play and resulting penalties.
In the NPL Queensland meanwhile, Strikers have won their last two matches against Brisbane Roar Youth and Sunshine Coast FC, scoring 16 goals and conceding only two, and will be eager to extend their winning run.
After breaking the record last weekend for most goals in a single NPL Queensland season, Strikers young gun Andy Pengelly will be ready to run riot against the Gold Coast side in Round 27 of the competiton.
Last time the two sides met, in Round 12 of this year, Gold Coast Knights defeated Strikers 6-1 in a dominant performance at Perry Park, however Strikers have since found some form in the second half of the season.
Gold Coast Knights v Brisbane Strikers
Saturday, 10 August, 6:30pm
Croatian Sports Centre
Other key matches:
Olympic FC v Brisbane City
Top four side Olympic FC haven’t recorded a win in their last three league games, after a draw against Eastern Suburbs last round and recent losses to Lions and Magpies Crusaders. Brisbane City meanwhile were on a winning streak before losing their last two matches, both to Gold Coast Knights. Last time the two sides met, City came back from 3-0 down to score two goals, but couldn’t do enough to secure a come-from-behind victory in the 3-2 loss to Olympic. With only four rounds remaining, Olympic will no doubt be desperate to return to winning form this weekend.
Lions FC v Western Pride
Following Peninsula Power’s shock Round 26 loss at the hands of Redlands, Lions FC jumped into top spot on the ladder with a 7-0 win against Magpies last weekend. Last year’s NPL Queensland Premiers now have a strong chance to secure back-to-back titles, with a game in hand over second-placed Power. Lions will look to extend their seven game winning streak as they host a Western Pride side that has won their last two matches to overtake Magpies on the table. Pride have found some form in recent weeks, securing three wins from their last five. Last time the two teams met, Lions came away with a 3-1 win in Round 12 of the NPL Queensland.
Players to watch:
Andy Pengelly (Brisbane Strikers): If anyone can prove a threat to Gold Coast Knights in this weekend’s clash it’s Pengelly, who after a record-breaking weekend in the NPL Queensland also went on to score in Strikers’ mid-week FFA Cup victory against Wellington Phoenix.
Joe Duckworth (Lions FC): The Lions forward bagged a hat-trick last weekend in his side’s 7-0 win and can be instrumental in Lions’ quest for back-to-back premierships.
Zelfy Nazary (Western Pride): The Afghani international player only joined Pride mid-season but has been solid for the side so far, netting two goals last week to help the Ipswich team to a Round 26 win and earn a spot in the NPL Queensland Team of the Week.
Image: Ian Judd/Lions FC