Melbourne City will play at AAMI Park for the first time this year in the A-League Women’s on Thursday evening, set to host Western United.
Currently sitting seven points clear on top of the table, Dario Vidosic’s side will have the chance to further extend that buffer.
Here are a few of the key things to watch for as we look to go into the long weekend with another win!
The one downside of Saturday’s win against Wellington was the sending-off of Emina Ekic, who received her second yellow card of the day in the final moments.
Our City Women were able to see out the win professionally with 10 players, but the attention will now return to replacing her in the line-up on Thursday.
Based on the team selections we’ve seen in recent weeks, the most likely option for Vidosic would be to shift Daniela Galic back out to the wing and bring Leticia McKenna back into midfield.
If he did opt to keep Galic in midfield and look for a more like-for-like change on the wing, it could pave the way for Bryleeh Henry to make just her second start of the season after appearing exclusively as a substitute since returning from her knee injury in late December.
Galic going from strength to strength
While there have been plenty of stars across the pitch for us so far this season, leading us in a number of key statistics is 17-year-old midfielder, Daniela Galic.
Nobody across the City squad has recorded more assists, goal contributions, chances created or big chances created than Galic, proving just how vital a part of our squad she is despite her young age.
Her five goals for the season also have her equal third in the club Golden Boot race, behind only Holly McNamara and Emina Ekic (both 6).
Looking further out to the league as a whole, it’s clear that in terms of creativity – Galic is right up with the very best in the league already.
For all of those aforementioned stats, Galic sits second in the league (equal for big chances created and goal contributions) showing how important she is to the City lineup.
Seemingly getting better by the week, City fans will be hoping to see another strong shift from her on Thursday.
Fixing a disappointing record
While we may hold a positive record against majority of the teams across the competition, such was our early dominance after entering the league, that can’t be said against Western United.
One of the A-League Women’s newest teams, we’ve faced Western United on three occasions and are yet to walk away with the three points.
It was a point of frustration last season when we lost both meetings, despite it being two of our better performances for the season.
Our Round 3 meeting earlier this season caused similar frustrations, a late Western equaliser meaning we’d only get a share of the points.
Hannah Keane put them ahead before second half goals to Holly McNamara and Hannah Wilkinson had us 2-1 ahead. Lani Johnson was the hero for Western though, finding the equaliser with just minutes left on the clock.
A-League Women: Round 14
Melbourne City FC v Western United
Thursday 25 January, 5:00pm KO