ALW Preview: Central Coast v City

Melbourne City will be looking to bounce back from our first loss of the A-League Women’s season this Friday night when we travel to Central Coast to face the Mariners.

Here are a few things to watch out for in our first-ever ALW clash against the Mariners!

Reinforcements on their way

It was a depleted City team that faced Perth last Saturday with five regular starters only recently having returned from international duty across all parts of the world.

With a minor hamstring injury to Julia Grosso also to deal with, Head Coach Dario Vidosic was forced into a plethora of changes for the top-of-the-table clash.

While it may’ve been an inexperienced line-up, it was still a commendable performance for Vidosic’s side who would’ve been disappointed to walk away empty-handed.

Millie Farrow was clinical in front of goal netting a hattrick from three scoring chances, while up the other end, Rhianna Pollicina would’ve counted herself unlucky to have a goal chalked off for a questionable offside call.

With the likes of Rebekah Stott, Emina Ekic and Daniela Galic almost certain to return to the XI after now getting a full week of training into their legs, there will be a big watch on how the line-up looks.

Leia Varley and Tijan McKenna couldn’t have done much more to hold their positions after strong performances on the first City starts, with the former likely to start again should Grosso not be cleared to return from injury.

Midfield balance

We’ve seen a few different looks in midfield this season but most recently the midfield three of Laura Hughes, Leticia McKenna and Rhianna Pollicina has been the norm.

Leah Davidson has been building her fitness since returning from a foot injury and could be someone Vidosic looks at if he decides to freshen things up in the middle of the park.

November Young Player of the Month nominee, Daniela Galic, has done most of her work out wide this season after previously being used in midfield, so is another who also could slot in if a change is to be made.

Given Central Coast has been resolute at the back this season having conceded only eight times, the added creativity of a player like Galic in the middle of the park could be key to unlocking the stingy defence.

Staying ahead of the pack

Although it’s still early days in the season, we’ll be looking to quickly bounce back after our first loss of the campaign last time out against Perth.

While we have dropped to second place, we remain level on points with the Glory so will be looking to ensure they don’t get too far ahead of us.

We’re currently three points clear of the third-placed Phoenix with a bit of a gap to the field further back.

It still may be a little too early to get ahead of ourselves and start thinking about silverware, but Vidosic’s side will be looking to bank as many points as we can and mark our first match against Central Coast with three points.

Match Details

A-League Women: Round 8

Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City FC

Friday 15 December, 7:00pm KO

Central Coast Stadium

Live on Paramount+.