The back half of the season might be even better than the first, with all of the games this week being even contests.

Our resident football expert Kristin Shaffer goes through every game blow-by-blow in the most comprehensive W-League weekly preview anywhere, including the key matchups and predictions of each score!

Follow her on Twitter at @k_shaffe.

Game 1

Brisbane Roar vs Melbourne City FC

Fourth place vs second place to open up round 8 play. This could very well be a playoff matchup depending on how the rest of the season goes so fans will want to pay attention to this one. 

Arguably the best game of the week, both teams have a lot to prove. City is vying for the top spot in the league against Western Sydney and Brisbane is trying to stay in the playoff hunt.

Brisbane is coming off their worst offensive performance of the season and they are lucky to walk away with three points against the one-win Newcastle Jets. With all of the chances they had, the game should have easily been 5-1. Give credit to Newcastle’s goalkeeper, Claire Coehlo for putting on a shot stopping clinic, but there were plenty of times Brisbane had poor finishes.

Melbourne City is coming off of a bye just after they beat winless Perth Glory 1-0. City is looking like anything but their usual dominant self, but they are still finding ways to win which at the end of the day is the one stat that matters.

Key Matchup

Lydia Williams vs Hayley Raso

Last week Hayley Raso and company put up 34 shots, but only scored two goals. Raso led all players with eight shots, but had nothing to show for it on the score sheet. 

This week could be as equally challenging to find goals since the Roar are facing City who are tied for the least amount of goals conceded at three. Not to mention Lydia Williams is tied for the second most clean sheets with three. 

Melbourne City is averaging just over a goal a game so the Roar are going to have to figure out a way to find the back of the net. 

Raso is going to have to be more productive in front of goal or at least set up her teammates for a chance. The performance she had two rounds ago, where she scored a brace, is more of what Brisbane needs this week.

If Raso, Brisbane’s leading goal scorer, is stopped by Williams all game, look for the Roar to walk away empty handed.

Score Prediction

2-1 Melbourne City

The Roar’s shaky performance in front of goal last week is a concern going up against the best defence in the league.

Then add on a week’s rest for City, this seems to be City’s game to lose. Expect Melbourne City to find more offensive chances and look like a top team in this game. City can also regain first place with a win or a tie since Western Sydney has a bye this week.