Melbourne City will be looking to shake off last weekend’s defeat and bounce back with three points against Sydney FC on Saturday afternoon.
Up against the current ladder leaders, Saturday’s fixture holds plenty of importance as both sides continue to battle away in the race for the Premiers Plate.
The race to Finals
While last weekend’s 2-0 loss to Victory certainly saw City’s Plate hopes take a hit, the door isn’t completely closed for Dario Vidosic’s side, with a win on Saturday sure to keep them in the hunt.
A City win would result in a six-point swing in its favour which would leave City trailing Western United and Sydney FC by just the two points, albeit with Sydney having a game in hand.
Likely now more of a focus for the squad will be locking in a top-two spot on the table heading into Finals. With that comes a crucial double chance and also a home final, which remains very much up for grabs with three games to go.
City is currently five points behind Western in second, a gap it could close to two when it makes up its game in hand on Saturday.
We then would be looking for the team in green and black to drop points at least once over the remaining two rounds, while getting the job done ourselves against Perth and Canberra.
A change of scenery
After going down at AAMI Park last weekend as the away side, it’ll be a change in scenery for our City Women this week, running out at Kingston Heath in what will be their first home game since January.
It suddenly dawns as a challenging away trip for Sydney FC, now not only juggling transit from Sydney to Melbourne but running out on an unfamiliar pitch in Kingston Heath.
A venue change last week saw the game originally planned for Casey Fields moved, which with it brought some good news for City fans. The gates will be thrown open on Saturday, meaning its free entry for everyone!
The clash will kick off at 1pm and will also be followed by a Round 1 NPLW match between Southern United and Bayside United.
A pair of reinforcements
City will be buoyed by the return of two key members of the team in Daniela Galic and Karly Roestbakken, who were named in the squad to face Sydney this weekend.
Galic returns from international duty with the Young Matildas and will be looking to make her mark straight away after again impressing in the national youth team set-up.
Roestbakken’s first season in City colours has unfortunately been disrupted by injury, but her return will be another welcome boost to Dario Vidosic’s side after fellow defender Naomi Chinnama made her return via the bench last week.
What happened last time?
The last time these two sides met was back in February where City went down 3-0 to an impressive Sydney FC on the road.
After heading into the sheds trailing 1-0, Sydney scored twice in the second half to ensure City couldn’t get a look in late.
How have our opponents been travelling?
After going on a five-game winning streak, Sydney were brought back down to earth in a big way last week, going down 1-0 to the last-placed Wellington Phoenix in Sydney.
Sydney came undone from a corner midway through the first half, a punch from goalkeeper Katie Offer landing in the path of Kate Taylor who put enough power behind her strike to put it in the back of the net.
A-League Women: Round 18
Melbourne City FC v Sydney FC
Saturday 18 March, KO 1:00pm
Kingston Heath Soccer Complex