Bayswater City are out to make the first real statement of the NPL WA campaign when they take on Perth Glory on Sunday.
In a much-anticipated Round Seven clash which pits first against third, Bayswater coach Chris Coyne sees the match as a chance for his team to put space between themselves and most of the chasing pack.
“Potentially it’s an opportunity to build a gap at the top of the table,” Coyne said.
Having won five of their opening six games, Bayswater sit top of the league on goal difference over Perth SC. However Coyne wants more from his players.
“We’re always trying to improve and get better and better,” he said.
The defending champions will have their work cut out when they make the trip to take on Glory, who could go top themselves depending on results elsewhere.
John Gibson’s side have been the surprise package of the season and are coming off an impressive 5-1 win away at Floreat Athena to sit just two points behind Bayswater and Perth SC.
Glory have won four of their six games this year after winning just five matches in all of last season, but Gibson knows Bayswater will present a whole new challenge.
“They’ll give us a good indication of where we’re at,” he said.
“Our goal is to avoid relegation and once we reach that target we’ll reassess.
“Historically in this competition we’ve always found it pretty tough but it’s been pleasing with the start we’ve had this season.”
The other fixture which jumps out this weekend is on Saturday with second-place Perth SC taking on Cockburn City, who are fourth.
In-form Cockburn have dropped just five points in the first six rounds but may still have to find another gear if they are to get past a Sky Blues side who have won their last five.
Balcatta will look to show their 2-1 win over Subiaco was no flash in the pan when they host Armadale, while Joondalup United will be desperate to break their 2018 duck when they face a Forrestfield side keen for redemption after a disappointing 3-0 loss at Perth SC.
ECU Joondalup put their unbeaten record on the line against Inglewood, with Sorrento eager to keep pace with the top four when they travel to take on Subiaco.
Stirling Lions and Floreat Athena, who both suffered heavy defeats last week and have yet to really get going this term, round out Saturday’s fixtures at Macedonia Park.
Saturday, April 7
Cockburn City v Perth SC (Dalmatinac Park, 3pm)
Balcatta v Armadale (Grindleford Reserve, 3pm)
Joondalup United v Forrestfield United (Percy Doyle Reserve, 3pm)
Inglewood United v ECU Joondalup (Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium, 3pm)
Subiaco v Sorrento (Rosalie Park, 3pm)
Stirling Lions v Floreat Athena (Macedonia Park, 5pm)
Sunday, April 8
Perth Glory v Bayswater City (Ashfield Arena, 3pm)