Each week we will take a look at one upcoming A-League Women's game and talk about it's context in the competition and potential as a spectacle. This week's game: Adelaide United vs Perth Glory.
They are back. Perth Glory have missed a fortnight of football in the A-League Women but they return to the field against Adelaide United on New Year’s day.
Adelaide United versus Perth Glory Round 4
- Perth have not played in two weeks, Adelaide missed last round both due to postponement.
- Dylan Holmes may make her return after quarantine.
- Perth Glory are the only team remaining with a perfect winning start to the season.
More A-League Women's news can be found on The Women's Game.
Perth enter into this game as the only team with a perfect record, although this does come with the asterisk of having played one to three matches less than other sides due to their rescheduled games.
The Western Australian side have played brilliantly in patches and have beaten Brisbane Roar twice, once at home and once in Queensland, after completing the longest possible trek in Australian sport.
Glory entered this season with high expectations after only recording one draw in 2020/21. Their head coach Alex Epakis added youth, experience and significant firepower to the side's roster and the squad's depth was on full display in the opening rounds.
Epakis has been able to draw on Susan Phonsongkham off the bench in both games and she has made considerable impacts. She scored the equaliser in Round 1 and was an able replacement for the injured Lisa De Vanna in the next match.
Alana Jancevski further enhanced her burgeoning reputation and almost scored the Goal of the Year one week before netting a late winner the next. Glory can also call on American striker Cyera Hintzen following her completion of quarantine. They have weapons.
Perth would have loved to continue riding that momentum into Round 3 after two dramatic triumphs, but the border closures in Western Australia put a stop to that.
There may be a silver lining to the COVID cloud though. De Vanna and Kim Carrol both were substituted off early in Round 2 and the trip from Perth to Brisbane is not an easy one. The fortnight’s rest may have given Glory time to recuperate and recover from the tough contests.
They will need to be as they have a gruelling January road trip away from Western Australia, one which sees Perth face Canberra United in their Round 3 rescheduled game just four days after they play Adelaide United.
The Reds for their part may welcome back Dylan Holmes into the team. Her arrival back in the A-League Women’s might be crucial in the race to the top four. Adelaide United looked almost certain to make the finals last season but missed by goal difference. Her departure to her Swedish side before the end of that season may have been that difference.
The question then as it was before the current campaign centered around who could replace her. Her return is welcome for Adelaide as Holmes is a ball winning, goal scoring, playmaking midfielder. Her form last season earned her that move to Sweden and eventually a Matildas call up.
The combination she might form with Nanako Sasaki in midfield is something Adelaide United fans should be very excited about.
Adelaide are not struggling to create chances. Fiona Worts and Emily Condon look dangerous while Shadeene Evans can cause problems. Holmes might be the missing link in this side.
Both teams are will be itching to get back on the pitch. Perth can continue their impressive start and Adelaide can reboot their season.
Most importantly, it is just exciting to see them back.
The full A-League Women's schedule can be found using this link.