Avondale’s unbeaten start to life under Zoran Markovski faces its biggest test yet on Saturday night as they head to Olympic Village to take on second place Heidelberg United.
Avondale are currently six points clear of the Warriors so this Round 12 clash already looms as a potentially season-defining moment.
Elsewhere, Melbourne Knights travel to a rejuvenated Hume City – who enjoyed a big FFA Cup win in midweek – while Bentleigh Greens host Port Melbourne Sharks on Friday night.
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New South Wales
WIN Stadium is the place to be on Saturday night as the match of the round in the NSW NPL sees leaders Wollongong Wolves entertain in-form Rockdale City Suns.
The Wolves are unbeaten through the opening nine games and look strong under ex-Caltex Socceroo Luke Wilkshire but face a Suns side on a six-game winning streak in all competitions.
In other matches, second place APIA Leichhardt take on Manly United in a repeat of the 2017 decider, while Blacktown City host Marconi Stallions.
There is plenty of feeling between these two sides since the mass defection of Blacktown’s stars to join Marconi in the off-season.
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Just hours after their Hyundai A-League side compete for a Grand Final berth, Perth Glory’s NPL outfit will be involved in a massive game of their own.
Glory are at Dalmatinac Park to face Cockburn City as they look to keep pace with leaders Perth SC.
Perth SC are in action at the same time, at home against Armadale FC, while Floreat Athena are at ECU Joondalup and Sorrento welcome Balcatta FC to Percy Doyle Reserve.
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The top-two square off in Northern NSW on Sunday as Broadmeadow Magic take on Lambton Jaffas at Magic Park.
Only goal difference separates the two clubs after eight rounds and there is likely to be little between them in a clash that has a habit of producing something special.
Elsewhere, third-placed Edgeworth FC are at home against Valentine FC, and Charlestown City Blues take on Weston Workers.
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Canberra Olympic and Woden-Weston have been two of the best performers in the early rounds of the ACT NPL action so far and are both involved in key games this weekend.
Olympic host Monaro Panthers at Deakin Stadium on Sunday, while Woden travel to take on struggling defending champions Canberra FC.
League-leaders Tigers FC have a 100% record through their first four games and should keep that going when they host bottom club Riverina Rhinos on Saturday.
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NPL action returns in South Australia after an FFA Cup round last weekend and there’s an intriguing clash at Marden Sports Complex on Saturday.
Adelaide Blue Eagles currently lead the way at the top of the ladder but are bracing for the visit of the dangerous Raiders outfit.
Elsewhere, Adelaide Comets take on Adelaide City on Friday night, while champions Campbelltown City head to Polonia Reserve to battle the Croydon Kings.
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Moreton Bay United are the latest team looking to halt the Peninsula Power juggernaut when the two sides meet at AJ Kelly Park on Saturday.
The Power have won all 13 league games so far this season but the Jets are on the up and need all three points to break into the top five.
In the round’s other feature match, Olympic FC host Gold Coast Knights in a top-four battle on Sunday.
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- There’s no NPL action in Tasmania this weekend as focus switches to the Lakoseljac Cup.