ALW Preview: Victory v City

Melbourne City returned from the international break with a bang and will be looking to carry that momentum into its long-weekend clash with Melbourne Victory this Monday.

City head into the highly anticipated derby as the away side for the clash, but is riding high on the back of a 4-0 win against the Jets that saw four different names on the scoresheet.

Here are a few things to keep your eyes on in Monday’s Derby!

Pollicina going from strength to strength

Rhianna Pollicina put in a stellar performance last time out against the Newcastle Jets, the 26-year-old dominating in the midfield and creating numerous chances for not only herself but her teammates in front of goal.

She was incredibly unlucky to not have one or two more goals throughout the contest, rattling the crossbar on several occasions before eventually finding the back of the net with her curling shot into the left corner in the 80th minute.

City suffered some key outs during the week with Leah Davidson and Caitlin Karic both ruled out for the remainder of the season, making players like Pollicina all the more important as City tries to manage its roster heading into the backend of the season.

The loss of Davidson especially is a cruel blow to City’s midfield stocks but as Pollicina showed on Saturday, while there maybe isn’t quite a direct replacement available, there’s enough quality in the middle of the park to cover the absence.

A game of possession

Both sides went end to end with chances in front of goal last time these two sides met, and we can expect this Monday’s match to be no different.

City has shown this season it likes to control possession and the tempo of matches to construct the style of football it wants to play, currently having the highest rate of possession of any team in the competition sitting at 62% while Victory isn’t too far behind with 54%.

Monday’s battle will largely come down to which side can win the possession battle and get the game on its terms in order to limit the opposition’s ability to have an impact with the ball at their feet.

The Mac is back… with a bang!

Holly McNamara made a triumphant return to the pitch in last week’s win, her first appearance in just under a year after an ACL injury kept her sidelined.

After working her way back into the side through a number of friendlies, McNamara finally got the chance to return to the starting line-up and she didn’t look out of place as she created a number of chances for City upfront.

Such was the ease at which she slotted straight back into the City side, it’s certainly promising signs of what is to come for the rest of this season as she will no doubt only get better as she gets some match fitness back under her belt.

What happened last time these two sides met?

Last time these two sides met they played out a thrilling 1-1 draw at Casey Fields where both sides had numerous chances late in the game to find a winner, before ultimately sharing the points.

Alex Chidiac opened the scoring for Victory in the 13th minute before City hit back through Hannah Wilkinson before the break.

With a total of 30 shots for the game, both sides threw everything but the kitchen sink at each other in the second half as they searched for a winner, with a chaotic final 15 minutes playing out before full-time.

How have our opponents been travelling?

Victory are coming into the clash on the back of two draws which has created a five-point buffer between themselves and City for third spot on the table.

Last time out saw it draw 2-2 with Adelaide United thanks to a second-half goal from Catherine Zimmerman that rescued a point from the contest.


A-League Women: Round 17

Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City FC

Date: Monday 13 March

Time: 3:20pm

Where: AAMI Park