Brisbane and Sydney commence their battle | TWG Brisbane and Sydney commence their battle | TWG

The Westfield W-League will kick-off the season in spectacular fashion as the two most successful clubs in the three-year history of the league do battle in a Grand Final re-match.

For Sydney the contest will provide an early chance to attain a measure of revenge for the Roar’s 2-1 victory in last season’s decider. Last season’s results between the two followed a curious pattern with Sydney 4-0 victors on Brisbane’s home turf in the season-opener, only for the Roar to win the return contest before doing likewise in the Grand Final.

Both teams are once again packed with international experience and over 20 players with Westfield Matildas experience are featured in the two squads. Much focus too will be on Megan Rapinoe as the gifted USA midfielder, who starred in the Americans’ narrow final defeat against Japan at Germany 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, commences a brief stint for Sydney before returning home.

The Sky Blues have also picked up highly-regarded goalkeeper Allison Lipsher, although the American is unlikely to have arrived in time for the opener, as well as experienced Westfield Matildas defender Thea Slatyer.

On the debit side, Alen Stajcic’s team have a lengthy injury list with their renowned striking duo of Kyah Simon (injured) and Leena Khamis (overseas) to miss the opening weeks of the campaign, as will skipper Heather Garriock with injury.

Brisbane will undoubtedly benefit from maintaining a largely unchanged squad although dynamic striker Lisa De Vanna has joined Newcastle Jets, while utility Lauren Colthorpe will miss the season with a knee injury. The weekend’s match will see Catherine Canulli debut for the Roar after joining from the Sky Blues during the off-season.

Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar

Saturday 22 October 2011

Leichhardt Oval, Sydney

Local kick-off: 3pm

Sydney FC Squad: – 20. Monique Jackson, 15. Thea Slatyer, 3. Danielle Brogan (C), 5. Estelle Johnson, 6. Servet Uzunlar, 4. Renee Rolloson, 10. Kylie Ledbrook, 2. Teresa Polias, 18. Megan Rapinoe, 9. Sarah Walsh, 12. Teigen Allen, 8. Caitlin Foord, 13. Britt Whittfield, 16. Alisha Bass, 30. Sham Khamis, 14. Rachael Soutar

*One To Be Omitted*

Unavailable: 17. Kyah Simon, (Injured), 7. Heather Garriock, (Injured), 11. Victoria Balomenos (Injured), 1. Lipsher, Allison (Overseas – Returns Week 2), 19. Khamis, Leena (Overseas – Returns Week 4)

Brisbane Roar squad: 1.Casey Dumont (gk), 2.Laura Alleway, 3.Karla Reuter, 4. Clare Polkinghorne (c), 5.Brooke Spence, 6.Joanne Burgess, 9.Catherine Cannuli, 10.Lana Harch, 12.Ashley Spina, 13.Tameka Butt, 14. Vedrana Popovic, 15.Sasha McDonnell, 16.Michaela Hatzirodos, 17.Emily Gielnik, 19.Ellen Beaumont, 20.Hoshimi Kishi (gk)

Unavailable: Elise Kellond-Knight, Kim Carroll, Aivi Luik (all overseas – returns Week 4)