Auckland City totally dominant

A special performance is going to be required to topple Auckland City.

The usual frontrunner in the national football premiership is looking particularly dominant.

It is yet to drop a point and leads the league with 33 points and a game in hand over the majority of its competition.

The most likely team to take points off it looks to be second-placed Eastern Suburbs.

They will meet on Saturday at Auckland City's Kiwitea Street.

Suburbs has 28 points from nine wins, a draw and two losses, but has been in a rich vein of form.

Over its past three matches - against Southern United, Wellington Phoenix and Canterbury United - it has racked up a staggering combined score of 15-2.

Last weekend it claimed an impressive 5-1 win over fellow top-four team Canterbury United.

Canterbury is tied with Team Wellington on 21 points.

That is a dip for Team Wellington, which has struggled since its return from the Fifa Club World Cup, although it has a game in hand.

It came back with a 2-1 loss to Waitakere United, before taking a point in a 2-2 draw against Tasman United last week.

That leaves a five-point gap between the top four and the rest of the league - making the next few rounds crucial.

Hamilton Wanderers was outplayed by Southern United on Saturday, but continues to benefit from winning three of its first four games.

It is in fifth place on 16 points, although four of its last six games are against top four sides.

Trailing it is Hawke's Bay United on 14 points.

Southern United slots in at seventh, although it has a game in hand with seven remaining.

It bucked a four-match losing streak on Saturday and its match against Team Wellington on Sunday looms as significant.

A win would take it to within five points of the top four, keeping alive an outside chance of making the playoffs.

A loss would probably open an 11-point gap, depending on other results.

Beneath Southern, Waitakere United has 10 points and continues to be capable of beating the top teams and losing to the bottom ones.

That was seen in the past two weeks when it beat Team Wellington and lost to the Phoenix Reserves a week later.

Tasman United has shown better form since Christmas and has doubled its points total to eight.

The Phoenix Reserves remain rooted to the bottom, having claimed their first points on Sunday against Waitakere.

Southern's rescheduled home match against Auckland City is to be played on Wednesday, February 13.

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