ALW Preview: City v Newcastle

Melbourne City will be out for a return to form this Sunday evening when we host Newcastle Jets at City Football Academy.

Winless in our last five matches, Dario Vidosic’s side will be desperate for all three points as we enter the business end of the season.

All fans can redeem a free ticket to Sunday’s fixture to come and cheer on our City Women! Click here to get yours.

Here are a few of the key talking points heading into our clash against the Jets.

Top two chances on the line?

Although there may still be three fixtures to play following this weekend, it’s shaping up to be a pivotal one in the race for the top two spots on the ladder.

Due to the expansion of the league, a new Finals format has been introduced this year which sees both first and second on the ladder advance directly to the two-legged Semi Finals.

It’s currently a tight race for those spots, with any of the top five realistically still in contention for those highly sought-after ladder positions.

We currently sit in second – four points behind Western United and have Sydney FC hot on our tail – a point behind but holding a game in hand.

Those two teams will face off this weekend, while Melbourne Victory (fourth) and Central Coast (fifth) both have tricky away trips ahead.

A win on Sunday for our City Women would see us take a big step toward having the first week of Finals off, while depending on the result of the Western United/Sydney FC game – could blow the Premiers Plate race wide open.

A much-needed three points

While there have certainly been numerous factors at hand, the reality is it has been a disappointing run of form, with our most recent win coming back on January 20 against Wellington.

Despite this, as mentioned above, we’re still right in the race to finish in the top two as we enter the pointy end of the season – but we’re running out of time to return to form.

We remain without our Young Matildas trio (Galic, Chinnama and Tijan McKenna) this week, but elsewhere, the team is starting to look more settled.

Brazilian goalkeeper Bárbara will be better for the run after appearing for the first time in a City shirt last week, Rebekah Stott and Hannah Wilkinson got 90 minutes under their belt after returning from international duty, and Julia Grosso (calf injury) this week returned to team training.

We’ll of course need to see an improved performance across the 90 minutes, but all signs are pointing in the right direction for a big return to form for our City Women this Sunday.

Keeping a clean sheet

Clean sheets have been hard to come by this season, with just four to our names through 18 games played.

It wasn’t a big problem earlier in the campaign as plenty of goals were coming at the other end, but recent weeks have seen the goals dry up a little.

A fifth clean sheet of the season would certainly go a long way to picking up the three points, but it won’t be made easy against a Newcastle side who fired off a staggering 40 shots last week.

It ultimately wasn’t for much as they could only get a share of the points and find the back of the net once for the day, but Vidosic and his team will be wary of the threats they possess if given time and space on the ball.

Fixture Details

Melbourne City FC v Newcastle Jets

Sunday 10 March, 5:00pm KO

City Football Academy (Pitch 4)