ALW Preview: Canberra v City

Melbourne City will be eager to get back on the pitch in the A-League Women’s this weekend, looking to atone for a disappointing result last time out.

A trip to Canberra is on the cards as we look to stay ahead of the pack on top of the table.

Here are a few of the major talking points ahead of Sunday’s fixture.

Bouncing back after some time to reflect

It’s been a little while since we last saw our City Women in action, going down 3-1 last Thursday evening against Western United.

While the playing group would’ve preferred a shorter turnaround, likely preferring to get back out there and put in an improved performance, the 10-day break would’ve given Dario Vidosic and his coaching staff plenty of time to analyse what went wrong.

Missing three key members of the squad in Emina Ekic (suspension), Julia Grosso and Leticia McKenna (both injury), we struggled to create chances despite spending plenty of time in possession.

Vidosic’s side may find it a little easier though to find space and create goalscoring opportunities this week against a Canberra team that has allowed the second-most goals of any team this season.

That being said, we’ll have to be at the top of our game up the other end given they’ve scored the most goals of any team in the competition behind us.

Does Henry keep her starting spot?

The suspension of Ekic paved the way for Bryleeh Henry to make her return to the XI, starting for the first time since Round 1 after a knee injury saw her miss a large part of the season.

After having made five consecutive appearances as a substitute, she slotted into the line-up seamlessly, putting in a strong performance on the wing.

Although she may have been one of our best players last time out, there’s no certainty she will be keeping her place with Ekic’s suspension now served.

Given the strong form Ekic had been in before that, it would be a brave call from Vidosic to not add her straight back to the XI.

The one way that Henry and Ekic could be squeezed in would be to move Kaitlyn Torpey back to full-back, meaning one of Karly Roestbakken or Naomi Chinnama would drop out.

Banking 3 points before international duty calls

Following Sunday’s fixture, we’re set to be without a pair of the most important members of our squad.

Captain Rebekah Stott and star striker Hannah Wilkinson will both leave directly from Canberra to link up with the New Zealand national team in Samoa in preparation for their OFC Olympic Qualifiers.

Set to miss our next two fixtures against Sydney FC and Adelaide United, our experienced duo will be looking to lead the way to an important win on Sunday.

Fixture Details

A-League Women: Round 15

Canberra United v Melbourne City FC

Sunday 4 February, 5:00pm KO

McKellar Park

Live on 10play and Paramount+