Round 8 kicks off this Friday night with two big matches as the second half of the W-League season commences


Photo: Ben Southall

Sydney FC claimed the points in a comfortable 3-1 win over Western Sydney while Canberra were outplayed and eventually outlasted by Melbourne City on the road.

Both teams come into this encounter with key losses.  For Canberra it's co-captain Ash Sykes and for Sydney its midfielder Chloe Logarzo.  Both players are crucial to the operation of the front third of their respective teams.

Logarzo's loss after half time evident in Sydney's FC game and Michelle Heyman has looked isolated without her long time forward line partner.  How Heather Garriock and Ante Juric combat these losses will a long way to determining this match.

Player to watch: Like many of her teammates, Sydney FC captain Teresa Polias had a slow start to the season.  That Sydney has found their form has been a large part to the improved weekly performances on the long time Sky Blues leader.  Against a Canberra midfield that will be sure to test, her steady presence in the midfield could again be factor, especially in the absence of Logarxo.  

Last time they met: Canberra did the job at home against Sydney FC with a comeback 3-2 win thanks to a Michelle Heyman brace.  

Head to Head:  Played 15 | 6 wins (SYD) | 7 wins (CBR) | 2 Draws


Allianz Stadium, Moore Park, Sydney

Kick-Off: 5:20pm (Local) (5:20pm (AEDT))

Referee: Casey Reibelt

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 5:00pm (AEDT) and SBS VICELAND from 5:00pm (AEDT)

Team Form:  W (WSW), W MVC), W (MCY), L (CBR)L (MCY), L (BRI), W (PER), W (NEW)
In: 1.Sham KHAMIS (gk), 7.Rachael SOUTAR (promoted), 17.Angelique HRISTODOULOU (promoted), 21.Julia VIGNES (promoted). 7.Nicki FLANNERY (return from injury), 8.Liana DANASKOS (promoted)
Out: 29.Aubrey BLEDSOE (personal leave) 6.Caitlin MUNOZ (Not Selected), 20.Amy SAYER (Not Selected)
Unavailable: 6.Chloe LOGARZO (wrist – 4 weeks). 14.Ashleigh SYKES (Ankle 1-2 weeks)


Photo: Eric Berry

After a confidence boosting draw with Melbourne City, Adelaide United last week recorded a demoralising 4-0 loss to Melbourne Victory.  For Western Sydney they also suffered a loss at the hands of cross down rivals Sydney FC in a closer 3-1 result.  

The brutal truth for both sides is that, with 1 win each, time is running out if they are going to make a surge for the finals placings.

The good news is that with the table so congested, they are mathematically still in the running for the finals.  However, three points are a must in this Round 8 clash.

Western Sydney would be disappointed with their season's path.  The Wanderers have generally been in most matches but a lack of clinical finishing in the final third has cost them.  Meanwhile Adelaide has been in and out of matches and they too have suffered from being wasteful in front of goal.

This match might come down to a battle of the goalkeepers.

Player to watch: A W-League veteran, Ellie Brush last week demonstrated why she is one of the most decorated players in the league.  Up against a strong Sydney attack, Brush used all her years of experience to keep the likes of Lisa De Vanna at bay for most of the match. Brush is the key to the Wanderers defence and could be key again in this encounter.  

Last time they met: The Wanderers took recorded their only victory this season in their earlier counter with a late Rosie Sutton goal. 

Head to Head:  Played 9 | 2 wins (ADL) | 3 wins (WSW) | 4 Draws


Marden Sports Complex, Marden

Kick-Off: 8:00pm (Local) (7:30pm (AEDT))

Referee: Rebecca Durcau

Radio Broadcast: (Radio Italiana 531).

Team Form:  L (MVC), D (MCY), L (NEW), L (BRI)L (SYD), L (PER), D (MVC), L (BRI)
In: 9.Adriana JONES (Returns from Injury), 13.Nora PEAT (Promoted) 12.Rachel LOWE (promoted), 13.Olivia PRICE (promoted), 14.Sunny FRANCO(promoted), 16.Alix ROBERTS (promoted)
Out: Nil 3.Jennifer BISSET (Not Selected), 9.Rosie Sutton (Not Selected)
Unavailable: 1.Eliza CAMPBELL (concussion - TBA) Nil


Photo: Ann Odong

The Newcastle Jets stunned Brisbane Roar last round with Arin Gilliland's first half hattrick enough to bank the points on the road.  Perth Glory return from a week's rest.  

This top of the table clash is a classic six pointer.  For the winner it will mean a finals spot is all but guaranteed.  Failure will mean that they jump back into the congested middle of the W-League pack.

Round 7 saw the Jets do something that they have struggled to do this season; convert possession into goals.  Against the Jets not only did they do so, they managed to find the space in behind the Brisbane Roar defence with 9 of their shots inside the 18 yard area.  That is going to be one of their best chances to score against Perth Glory, particularly if the likes of Cortnee Vine and Jenna Kingsley can create the space out wide.

Perth will be hoping that the week off will give the squad an opportunity to regroup and refresh.  While on top of the table, towards the end of a string of interstate matches, Perth looked vulnerable on many occasions.  One of the big things for the Glory to rectify in the second half of the season is their starts.  Twice slow starts have cost Perth and in several other matches they have just gotten away with it. For Newcastle it will be a real test for their defence against another explosive attack.  The last time they took that test it did not end well.

Last time they met: The last meeting between the two sides ended in a stalemate last season with Sam Kerr and Jenna Kingsley on the scoreboard

Head to Head:  Played 15 | 3 wins (NEW) | 8 wins (PER) | 4 Draws


McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

Kick-Off: 8:15pm (Local) (8:15pm (AEDT))

Referee: Maddison Kennedy

Team Form:  W (BRI), W (ADL), L (CBR), L (MCY)W (WSW), L (CBR), W (MVC), L (ADL)
In: 14.Tara PENDER (promoted) 13.Jaymee GIBBONS (returns from injury)
Out:Nil Nil
Unavailable:7.Gema SIMON (knee, 1 – 2 weeks), 12.Tara ANDREWS (hip – 1 week) 1.Gabby DAL BUSCO (GK) (arm – 2-4 weeks), 12.Shannon MAY (hamstring – 2 weeks)


Photo: Rachel Bach

With a chance to go on top of the W-League ladder, Brisbane Roar stumbled last round falling 3-0 to the Newcastle Jets.  At home Melbourne City saw off the challenge of Canberra United with a 2-1 victory.

For Brisbane they are looking to regroup after a uncharacteristically poor defensive performance.  While the Roar dominated possession and shots on goal against the Newcastle Jets, it was defensive lapses in the first half that cost them the opportunity to go top.

Mel Andreatta's defensive unit will be tested again this weekend when Melbourne City come to town.  City themselves have displayed moments of defensive vulnerability at the cost of an opportunity to build momentum.

With the amount of attacking talent on the park - Simon, Raso, Fishlock, Butt, Crummer, Gielnik - this match may come down to a battle of the Matildas goalkeepers.

Player to watch: With the amount of traffic that will be expected to go through the midfield in this match, the work rate and ability of Celeste Boureille to break up the play could prove crucial against the likes of Kinga, Simon and Fishlock.  

Last time they met: Defender Rebekah Stott proved the unexpected difference between the two team last time with her brace helping City to a 3-1 win over the Roar

Head to Head:  Played | 0 wins (BRI) | 5 wins (MCY) | 0 Draws


Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Kick-Off: 3:30pm (Local) (4:30pm (AEDT))

Referee: Lara Lee

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 4:00pm (AEDT) and SBS VICELAND from 4:00pm (AEDT)

Team Form:  L (NEW), W (CBR), W (ADL), W (WSW) W (CBR), D (ADL), L (SYD), W (NEW)
In: 12.Allira TOBY (promoted), 18.Lucinda PULLAR (promoted) 5.Lia MULDEARY (promoted), 16.Sofia SAKALIS (promoted)
Out:Nil Nil
Unavailable:Nil20.Emily SHIELDS (wrist – indefinite)

 Bye: Melbourne Victory