(Originally posted on Sports Review)
With just six rounds left before the new league-style finals series kicks off, jockeying for positions in the top 6 is reaching fever pitch despite almost universal apathy from the Australian sporting public.
Three games kick off the round on Friday night. Wollongong and Sydney United will both be heartened by taking a point from top 3 sides last week, but the Wolves had only themselves to blame as several sitters were missed and should sneak through with maximum points at home this week.
Brisbane and Marconi conceded 12 goals between them last round, but the Strikers will bounce back here and win comfortably.
Rounding out Friday night Newcastle should be too good for Adelaide at Hindmarsh Stadium. The Force can't afford to drop this game if they want to stay in the thick of the finals hunt, but 'United' just look too good for them.
Saturday sees league leaders Perth hosting the Northern Spirit. The Glory only managed a draw against Sydney United last week, but obviously lacked some firepower as Bobby 'Not very popular with Croatians' Despotovski spent the entire game wondering when somebody was going to jump out of the 'audience' (all 1500 of them) and knife him. Glory by plenty.
Many times we see sides who sack their coach win the next week and then resume normal service. Melbourne Knights should buck the trend on Sunday afternoon against the Football Kingz in Sunshine. The Kingz form has been so bad recently it's hard to see them putting up any sort of fight but you can't rule them out.
On Sunday night Sydney Olympic play perhaps the only game that can guarantee them the crowds they deserve, the heated 'local' (read - Greek) derby against South Melbourne. Both sides have looked vulnerable in the past few weeks, so don't expect a repeat of the 6-4 epic they played out earlier in the season.
Parramatta's run of good results is interrupted as they have the Bye.
Fearless prediction of the week - Olympic Sharks 1, South Melbourne 1.
Until next time, support your local team!