Champions Waitakere United can pull clear of the chasing pack when they tackle Hawke's Bay United in the match of round six in the ASB Premiership on Sunday.
Coach Paul Marshall has completed his first month in charge of the West Auckland outfit with the ASB Charity Cup plus four wins and a draw in his six matches to date.
Hawke's Bay's best start to a national league season came to a shuddering halt with a 4-0 defeat to playoff rivals Canterbury United and the Napier-based club will be eager to turn their season around when they travel north to Fred Taylor Park in Whenuapai for a 2.30pm kick-off.
Team Wellington - who had last week's match with Auckland City postponed due to the latter's involvement with the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan - restart their campaign with a televised match with Otago United at the Cake Tin.
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Otago coach Richard Murray is on a 14-match winless streak but can point to a series of good performances that have come up just short in recent weeks.
YoungHeart Manawatu seem to concede goals at an alarming rate despite Tom Mosquera leading the way in the golden boot race with seven goals in just five matches this season.
YoungHeart's defensive qualities go under the microscope on Sunday when Canterbury United travel to Memorial Park eager for a sixth consecutive win in all competitions.
The Dragons have stuck 23 goals past Manawatu in just five games and start as heavy favourites to snatch all three points and make it six wins in a row over the Stu Jacobs-coached side.
In Japan, last season's ASB Premiership minor premiers, Auckland City, face J.League winners Sanfrecce Hiroshima at the Yokohama International Stadium, Yokohama, on Thursday night.
A win for Auckland City would secure an extra $500,000.00 USD windfall for New Zealand football and the club on top of the $500,000.00 USD already in the bank for qualifying for the playoffs.
The match is being screened live on Sky Sports 3 at 11.45pm on Thursday 6 December.