What to watch for: City v Western Sydney

After a hectic schedule saw Melbourne City play three games in a week, it has now had six days to prepare for its next fixture.

City will again be at its home of Casey Fields, set to host Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.

Here’s a few things to keep an eye out for!

Closing in on a clean bill of health

With City sitting in second place on the table, its strong start to the season is even more impressive given it has had to do it with several of its big names sitting on the sidelines.

In recent weeks we have seen a number of experienced heads come back into the fold for Dario Vidosic’s side as they continue to work their way back to full fitness.

Although Sally James and Melissa Barbieri had shared duties in between the sticks earlier this season, Barbieri is now set for at least another match as the teams number 1 with James again missing through a finger injury.

After a handful of appearances off the bench, Karly Roestbakken made her first City start in last week’s Melbourne Derby and got through 65 minutes of work as she continues to build her match fitness.

City’s attack has been reshuffled in recent weeks, with Hannah Wilkinson now fully fit and firing after finding the back of the net for the first time this season last Sunday.

Emma Checker has also only just returned to seeing regular starting minutes after overcoming injury and a bout of sickness that kept her out of the side for several matches to start the season.

To top it all off, Holly McNamara is still yet to return to the side, with the talented young forward set to be a welcome addition to the line-up following the February international break.

Young guns providing the spark

In a tight contest between two cross-town rivals, it was the added spark of a few City substitutes midway through the second half that almost broke the game wide open.

As legs began to tire, Vidosic called upon his youngsters to enter the fray, with Chelsea Blissett, Leticia McKenna and Bryleeh Henry all coming off the bench in last week’s 1-1 draw.

While they were ultimately unable to get City across the line, the trio certainly looked the most dangerous out on the pitch, creating a number of chances and constantly threatening in the dying stages.

It remains to be seen how the XI will look come Saturday, but with Caitlin Karic also returning to the squad, Vidosic will again have plenty of game-changing substitutes at his disposal.

A chance at redemption

It was only two weeks ago that City was made to walk away empty handed from its away trip to the Wanderers.

Fast forward to this weekend and City has the perfect chance to exact revenge and get one back on the side that got the better of it last time around.

It is set to be a slightly different line-up to the one that last faced the Wanderers, and City will no doubt be ready to put in a better showing at home.

With some much needed days of rest under its belt and a chance for the squad to hit the training pitch and continue to build their combinations, we can expect to see City come out all firing on all cylinders this Saturday.