It is round eight, and from what the last round produced it just shows that anything is possible in the W-League. Points are more important than ever as we get stuck right into the second half of the season. Another loss to Melbourne City saw Canberra snag pole position with Perth Glory, City and Sydney FC rounding out the top four.
There was little movement at the other end of the table with Victory moving off the bottom of the table after their draw with the Jets.
Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar
Last round is probably one Brisbane Roar would like to forget. They could have gone to second place but Roar were switched off for the whole game. It was also Canberra biggest win against the Roar. It looked as if it was back to the drawing board for the side before their five-day turnaround.
Sydney FC enjoyed a week off to rest and recuperate after their loss to Perth Glory in round six.
What to watch for: The two sides met in the opening round this year, were Brisbane took the points in front of a record crowd but since then Sydney have only become stronger while Brisbane have had their ups and downs.
If it is anything like the match from round one, fans should expect a tough battle in all areas of the field and watch out for Sydney FC coming out strong in both halves but Brisbane are known for their ability to finish games strongly.
Sydney FC was unlucky against Perth but Brisbane Roar is a game that can go either way. Sydney will need keep Katrina Gorry at bay, as she can run riot in the midfield and keep an eye out for the combination plays between Chapman, Gorry, Butt and Gielnik.
Brisbane on the other hand needs to regroup their backline. The Canberra forwards were beating them to the balls, getting in behind and out running them. If they want to stop Caitlin Foord they will need to work together and understand each other’s movements.
Player to watch: Cailtin Foord returns from injury and could do a lot of damage to an already wounded Roar team. Her fast pace and accurate passing caused headaches in Round one for the side as she put one pass Mackenzie Arnold that afternoon.
Allira Toby always has an instant impact when she comes on as a substitute. The midfielder just has a way with the ball that surprises seasoned players. Toby has great instincts when she’s on the park. She punished Sydney last time the two sides met, and she could do it again.
Head to Head: Played 19 | 9 wins (BRI) | 6 wins (SYD) | 4 Draws
Venue: Lambert Park
Kick-off: 7:30pm (Local time)
Referee: Katie Patterson
|Sydney FC||Brisbane Roar|
|Team Form:||L (PER), W (NEW), W (ADL), W (MVC), W (WSW)||L (CBR), W (ADL), L (MCY), W (WSW), L (CBR)|
|In:||Caitlin FOORD (returns from injury)
Francisca ORDEGA (new signing)
|Sunny FRANCO (promoted)
Maili FORBES (promoted)
|Unavailable:||NIL||Cortnee VINE (fractured fibula – 2 week)|
Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers
The Jets left it late to come away with a point against Victory as it took until the 84th minute for them to get the ball in the back of the net. It was not the best performance by the Jets but there second half lifted them to come away with a point.
The Wanderers surprised pretty much everyone in defeating Melbourne City on Sunday afternoon. They are just the second team to do so. City did push hard for an equaliser after Fletcher grabbed her second goal of the game.
What to watch for: It is sixth verse seventh in the Boxing Day match as the Wanderers hope to continue their run of good games while the Jets need to improve quickly in order to push for a spot in the finals series.
The Jets will need to focus on their first half if they want to secure the three points as the Wanderers come out firing. But just like the Jets the Wanderers defence has been leaky, as they have seen 12 goals against them, that’s at least one goal a game.
Six of the Wanderers eight goals have been scored in the second half this season, which is similar to the Jets who have scored six of their nine goals in the second half. While it shows that these two sides can finish games strongly, most of their opponents have punished them for their lack of composure in front of goals in the first half.
Both sides have strong forwards but with the bulk of possession they find it difficult to capitalise on their chances especially in the opening 45 minutes. They have the same weaknesses and strengths as each, and it is hard to separate the two to pick a winner, as both have shown they are full of surprises.
Player to watch: Jada Whyman was strong between the posts and denied City any chance they had to salvage a point. She was able to hold firm despite wave after waves of attack from the City forwards. At only the ripe age of 17, Whyman is making her mark on the W-League and this game won’t be any different.
Head to Head: Played 5 | 2 wins (NEW) | 3 wins (WSW) | 0 Draws
Monday, 26 December 2016
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Kick-Off: 3:05PM (Local) (3:05PM (AEDT))
Referee: Lara Lee
Assistant Referee 1: Avrol Beecham
Assistant Referee 2: Ellie Hayes
Fourth Official: Rebecca Davies
|Newcastle Jets||Western Sydney Wanderers|
|Team Form:||D (MVC), L (SYD), L (CBR), W (PER), W (MVC)||W (MYC), D (MVC), L (BRI), W (ADL), L (SYD)|
|In:||10. Rhali DOBSON (promoted), 14. Brooke MILLER (promoted), 16. Liana DANASKOS (promoted)||12. Rachel LOWE (promoted), 14.Alix ARLITT (promoted), 17.Alyssa ROSE (promoted)|
|Out:||11. Tara PENDER (not selected), 15. Elizabeth COPUS-BROWN (not selected)||3.Nikola ORGILL (not selected)|
|Unavailable:||Chloe LOGARZO (ankle- 4 weeks)||23.Joey BURGESS (calf injury – 1 week)|
Melbourne City v Perth Glory
Melbourne City has now lost two games in a row. It was the same as their last match against Canberra, the opposing team scored then they brought it back then they conceded another goal late in the game. They need to regroup quickly if they want to defend their title.
Perth Glory picked up their third victory in a row, which sees them in second position on the ladder. They had a tight battle in the opening half an hour against Adelaide but in the second half the Glory outplayed Adelaide. They made the most of their offensive opportunities while their defence held strong.
What to watch for: Usually you can tell what kind of match it will be between City and Perth, but this time around it will be full of surprises.
Perth has a brilliant forward line who also have a sound defence and cohesion between all positions on the pitch but miss chances while City have great players but with some players being forced to play out of position, it is starting to hurt them.
Perth will have to ensure that they do not give much room to Jess Fishlock, if she has room to move with the ball she is dangerous and when Perth are going forward their cohesion between players and plays will be more important in this game than any other.
City has been leaking goals, they have conceded more goals at this time of the season then they did for the whole 2015/16 season. The defenders will need to work together to so they do not let any more balls behind them but after two losses in a row City could bounce back to show they are still the team to beat.
Some fresh blood might be in order in for City, youth players can change a game and they only have to look to Canberra to see the benefits it can have.
Player to watch: Sam Kerr has always been a danger against any team she faces. Her ability to break lines and thread play beyond defenders consistently during the game is something that could put fear into seasoned defenders.
Jess Fishlock is key to getting City out of their slump. The Welsh midfielder is the coach of the team while on the field and her leadership skills saw her side go 18 unbeaten. She will rally her teammates to ensure they do not see a third defeat.
Head to Head: Played 2 | 2 wins (MCY) | 0 wins (PER) | 0 Draws
Venue: AAMI Park
Kick-off: 5:05pm (Local time)
|Melbourne City||Perth Glory|
|Team Form:||L (WSW), L (CBR), W (BRI), W (MVC), W (CBR)||W (ADL), W (SYD), W (MVC), L (NEW), D (BRI)|
|Unavailable:||Larissa CRUMMER (ankle – 2 weeks)||Melissa MAIZELS (gk) (finger – 4 weeks)|
Bye: Canberra United, Adelaide United, and Melbourne Victory