Two matches between four teams inside the top six will have a huge bearing on the Christmas-New Year standings as the final round before the festive season break is played in McDonald's Men's Premier Cricket.
Sydney and Eastern Suburbs – equal third on the ladder on 32 points – meet in a high quality two-day contest at Waverley Oval, starting Saturday.
Down at Hurstville Oval, St George (26pts) host Bankstown (21pts) in a 5 v 6 showdown.
Just outside the top six sit a host of teams are ready to leap into the play-offs spots should there be a slip-up.
Northern District (21pts) head that pack from Fairfield-Liverpool (21pts), Randwick-Petersham (20pts), Gordon (19pts), Western Suburbs (19pts) and Sutherland (18pts).
Sydney top order batsman Anthony Mosca, who last weekend became the first batsmen this season to reach 600 runs, acknowledges the importance of his side's meeting with Easts.
"It's pretty tight at the top and they are a quality side with some decent names in there," he said.
"We know we're going to have to play well to win but we will back ourselves to do that.
"Most of us have been together for six or seven years now and we all know our roles.
"We love playing with each other and put the team first as opposed to looking after ourselves and we will keep doing what's working for us."
Batting at No.3, Mosca has scored two centuries and three half centuries for a season tally of 611 runs at 67.88.
The 29-year-old said of his rich form: "I feel confident in my own game
"Before I was probably too worried about getting out but now I play with a bit more freedom.
"I've got some really good coaches and people around me and I will keep riding the high while I can."
Bankstown enters its encounter with St George on a high after backing up a strong two-day win against Campbelltown with a Kingsgrove Sports Twenty20 semi-final triumph over Fairfield-Liverpool.
The Western Suburbs v Northern District fixture at Pratten Park looms as another vital match in the top six picture.
Schedule and teams: click here
Live streamed matches: click here
*matches with a triangle next to IN PROGRESS in the top righthand corner are live streamed.