A big three points are on the line when we host Wellington Phoenix in our first competitive match at City Football Academy this Saturday.
Currently on top of the table, Dario Vidosic’s side will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 1-0 loss in Unite Round last weekend.
Here are a few of the key things to keep an eye out for at Casey Fields this Saturday!
Making the chances count
Our run of three wins in a row came to an end in Sydney last weekend, tasting defeat for the first time in over a month at the hands of the Wanderers.
Despite holding 67% of the possession and firing off 21 shots (6 on target), we couldn’t take our opportunities when they presented themselves and were held scoreless for the first time this season.
Given we’d scored five in each of our two previous games, you’d imagine it wouldn’t be a case of going back to the drawing board for Vidosic, but rather highlighting the importance of converting in front of goal.
We’ll again come up against a stingy defence this week with Wellington having conceded just 14 goals this season, so hopefully our City Women have taken a few lessons out of last weekend’s game and can return to their scoring ways.
Continuing our strong record against the Nix
Our record against Wellington remains unblemished from the three encounters we’ve had since they entered the competition in season 2021/22.
We’ve only conceded one goal across those meetings, finding the back of the net nine times ourselves.
That said, our most recent meeting was the tightest we’ve seen so far – travelling to Wellington in Round 1 and coming away with a 1-0 win to start our season on the right note.
It took until the 73rd minute, but Hannah Wilkinson proved to be the difference, cleaning up the scraps and tapping home from close range after Rhianna Pollicina’s initial effort was saved but not effectively cleared.
Keeping ahead of the pack
Now into the second half of the season, our gap at the top of the table was eaten into slightly after our disappointing result on the weekend.
We still remain five points clear on top (plus a healthy goal difference), but a slip-up again this weekend could see Perth move to within one win of leapfrogging us.
Given this, it’s crucial we get back to winning ways and continue to bank the points ahead of the latter stages of the season.
With the likes of Western Sydney, Central Coast and Sydney FC (up until last week) all coming into some nice form, the longer we can maintain a buffer at the top – the better.
A-League Women: Round 13
Melbourne City FC v Wellington Phoenix
Saturday 20 January, 5:00pm
City Football Academy (Pitch 4)