As the teams begin to settle into the season, 2015-16 Premiers Melbourne City are once again sitting on the top of the table. Some key matchups for Round 3 of the W-League could start to shape the table.
Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory
(Broadcast Live on ABC and Fox Sports)
The Jets are coming off a huge 4-0 win over Melbourne Victory last week, whilst Perth played out a 0-0 draw with Brisbane Roar in a tight matchup last Saturday.
Despite losing their opening game to Melbourne City, the Jets are in a good position to challenge for finals this season. The Jets strength is definitely in their defence with Megan Oyster and Elizabeth O’Reilly at its heart.
Perth will be looking to take better advantage of any opportunity they create in front of goal with their 53.4% possession and 9 shots on target against Brisbane bearing no result.
What to watch for: Given that these two teams have only conceded 3 goals between them so far this season, this should be a close match. With the two teams managing 29 shots on goal between them last week, the defence could prove the difference. The Jets had 4 different goal scorers in their Round 2 victory, making the defensive matchups all the more difficult for Perth Glory. Both teams exhibit pace up top and have the ability to counter attack well so be prepared for a fast tempo, skilful game that could come down to the wire.
Player to watch: Goalkeeper Melissa Maizel had a great game for Perth Glory last week with 4 saves to help Perth collect a point. After being in the shadows the last couple of seasons, the Victorian has stepped into the spotlight and her development between the posts as the season progresses could be a factor in Perth’s finals chances. For the Jets, Megan Oyster finished a great free kick to open the scoring against Melbourne Victory last week, and will surely be looking to put her name on the scoresheet again.
Head to Head: Played 6 | 0 wins (Newcastle Jets) | 4 wins (Perth Glory) | 2 Draws
|Newcastle Jets||Perth Glory|
|Team Form:||W (MVC), L (MCY)||D (BRI), W (WSW)|
|In:||13.Grace MACINTYRE (returns from sickness), 15.Elizabeth COPUS-BROWN (promoted)||Nil|
|Unavailable:||12.Chloe LOGARZO (injured)||Nil|
Western Sydney Wanderers v Adelaide United
The Wanderers will be looking to pick themselves up off the bottom of the W-League ladder after two losses in the opening two rounds. Captain Caitlin Cooper will need to rally the troops, with the Wanderers remaining scoreless last week and needing some firepower in front of goal. Adelaide United return after a bye, and will be searching for their first win of the season after a 3-3 shootout with Melbourne Victory in round 1.
What to watch for: With both teams showing some gaps in the defence, a high score line could be on the cards in this matchup, . Marking and pressuring off the ball will play a big part in this game. Substitutions will be important as the Sunday afternoon weather is tipped to be about 30 degrees.
Player to watch: Ex Matilda Jo Burgess has returned to the W-League after a number of seasons and the veteran doesn’t look like she has missed a beat. The first two weeks has seen the midfielder put in strong performances for the Wanderers as arguably their best player on the pitch. She already has a goal to her name but it is the 37 year old’s control in the midfield that is key for Western Sydney.
Head to Head: Played 6 | 1 Win (WSW) | 1 Win (ADL) | 4 Draws
|Western Sydney||Adelaide United|
|Team Form:||L (SYD), L (PER)||B, D (MVC)|
|In:||4.Chloe O’BRIEN (promoted), 7.Sarah YATIM (promoted), 16.Alix ROBERTS (promoted), 18.Angelique HRISTODOULOU (promoted)||1.Eliza CAMPBELL (gk) (promoted), 2.Cheyenne HAMMOND (promoted), 30.Alex CHIDIAC (returns from international duty)|
|Out:||3.Nikola ORGILL (not selected), 5.Helen PETINOS (not selected)||21.Claudia JENKINS (gk) (not selected)|
|Unavailable:||22.Casey DUMONT (gk) (leg – 2 weeks)||8.Emily CONDON (illness – indefinite), 10.Racheal QUIGLEY (quad – 2 weeks), 14.Grace ABBEY (illness – indefinite)|
Brisbane Roar v Canberra United
Canberra United was seriously unlucky not to have taken points off 2015-16 Premiers Melbourne City last week. Dominating possession and shots on goal, Lydia Williams almost single handedly prevented Canberra from taking the 3 points with some acrobatic saves. Jasmyne Spencer and Ashleigh Sykes looked dangerous up front with United putting in a solid first performance.
Brisbane Roar are currently second on the ladder, with a first round upset win over Sydney FC, and a draw with Perth Glory last week. Mackenzie Arnold has been solid in goal for the roar, with Gorry and Gielnik looking ominous in attack.
What to watch for: Both teams have been able to transition well in their opening games without much possession. This is likely to be a high class game between two star studded teams. Flare and combination play is to be expected, in a game that will show a tight score line and a hard fought 90 minute battle.
Player to watch: Jasmyne Spencer was a live wire for Canberra in their opening match. Spencer was well in the action with 29 passes as well as creating three chances, including drawing the penalty for the consolation goal. If the striker can maintain some composure in front of goal, it could be different result this week for the visitors.
Head to Head: Played 6 | 4 Wins (Brisbane Roar) | 2 Wins (Canberra United) | 0 Draws
|Brisbane Roar||Canberra United|
|Team Form:||D (PER), W (SYD)||L (MCY), B|
|In:||5.Brooke SPENCE (returns from injury)||16.Karly ROESTBAKKEN (promoted), 20.Georgia BORIC (return from injury)|
|Out:||Nil||21.Georgia STEWART (not selected)|
|Unavailable:||9.Cortnee VINE (fractured fibula – 4-6 weeks)||15.Emma CHECKER (knee – 5 weeks)|
Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
The Victory will have their work cut out for them on Sunday with a matchup against Sydney FC. After losing their opening match to Brisbane Roar, Sydney FC overcame rivals Western Sydney in Round 2 with Leena Khamis collecting both goals. Victory showed grit and determination to come from behind 3 times to force a draw against Adelaide United in Round 1. In Round 2 however, Victory were comprehensively beaten by the Jets 4-0, despite the fact that they once again had more possession.
What to watch for: For Victory, this week is about the defence and stemming the flow of goals. How Jeff Hopkins, whose past sides have been generally defensively sound, restructures the back five to take on Sydney’s attack, which boasts Matildas’ Kyah Simon, Caitlin Foord and noted W-League goal machine Leena Khamis, is the key question.
Player to watch: Caitlin Foord will be back in action after her one game suspension, and will likely be looking to stamp her authority on the match. Christine Nairn has controlled the midfield well for Victory so far, and will be instrumental to their success on Sunday.
Head to Head: Played 7| 3 wins (Sydney FC) | 1 win (Melbourne Victory) | 3 Draws
|Melbourne Victory||Sydney FC|
|Team Form:||L (NEW), D (ADL)||W (WSW), L (BRI)|
|In:||22.Caitlin FRIEND (promoted), 25.Kariah WHITE (promoted)||6.Servet UZUNLAR (return from injury), 9.Caitlin FOORD (return from suspension)|
|Unavailable:||4.Melissa TARANTO (knee – season), 14.Selin KURALAY (hamstring – 1-2 weeks)||Nil|
Bye: Melbourne City