ALW GF Preview: City v Sydney FC

It’s Grand Final time for your Melbourne City as our Premiers take on reigning Champions Sydney FC at home in the 2024 decider!

After a thumping 6-0 aggregate win over Newcastle in the Semi Final, we are through to the big dance as hosts.

In a clash of two teams only separated by 2 points on the table this season, a thrilling affair is guaranteed as we hunt for a record-extending 5 Championships.

Make sure you’re there as we chase history against Sydney at AAMI Park! Click here to get tickets!

Here’s what you need to know before the Grand Final kicks off…

Our Grand Final record to date

The A-League Womens’ two most successful sides have faced off 3 times previously in Grand Finals; our Invincible debut season in 2015-16, 2017-18, and our second Invincibles 2019-20 season.

We ran out winners on each of those occasions and will be aiming to extend our perfect Grand Final record come Sunday.

In 2015/16, having gone through the whole season winning every game, we hosted and defeated Sydney 4-1 with a team that featured City legends like current captain Rebekah Stott and former manager Jess Fishlock.

Kim Little was player-of-the-match on that day, the Scot scoring the second of the afternoon.

Sydney’s Allianz Stadium hosted the 2018 decider, where a standout performance from Fishlock ensured a three-peat of Championships in a 2-0 win, with Patrick Kisnorbo winning the first of his City titles at senior level.

Last time we played Sydney in the Grand Final it was under the cloud of COVID in 2020 having not lost all year, with no fans in attendance to see now-Arsenal star Catley score the sole goal in a 1-0 win at AAMI.

Who could be the difference for us?

Up front is our All-Star Football Fern Hannah Wilkinson, with City’s all-time leading scorer having notched up her 30th goal in her 50th game last Sunday against Newcastle.

That was her 10th goal of the campaign, and you can be sure that in her first Grand Final Wilkinson will have her sights firmly set on Jada Whyman’s net.

She’s not alone in her forward assault, with Daniela Galic not far behind with 7 goals (including the opener in the first leg v the Jets) and 6 assists – the only City player with 5 in each category this season.

The ever-reliable paring of Emina Ekic and Rhianna Pollicina will be making the Sydney team sweat with their capabilities too.

Laura Hughes put in massive shifts during both Semi Final legs, with an 84.5% pass success rate this season coupled with a 75% tackle success rate making the midfield her zone and forcing the opposition to get inventive to have a chance to bring the ball forward, quickly become a key cog in this City lineup in her first season at the club.

Stott, Taylor Otto and Bárbara have the backline locked down, while Julia Grosso slipped seamlessly into starting left-back last week after injury troubles earlier in the campaign.

…And who do we need to shut down?

Sydney FC booked their place in this match by beating the Central Coast Mariners 2-1 over two legs in NSW.

Both Sydney goals were scored by Mackenzie Hawkesby, who took her tally to 5 goals for the season. Matildas star Cortnee Vine is their top scorer for 2023/24 though, having netted on 10 occasions to be their standout player this year.

Also to watch is goalkeeper Jada Whyman who’s kept 10 clean sheets, supported by defenders Charlotte Mclean and former City player Tori Tumeth who’ve played almost every minute of this campaign.

We’ve played twice this season, a first half blitz from Grosso, Ekic and Galic too much for Sydney to overcome as our defence stood up in the final minutes to ensure a 3-2 win at Sydney Olympic Park in November.

A 0-0 draw at the City Football Academy in February with Barbieri player-of-the-match keeping an important clean sheet in a run of player outs after Lysianne Proulx’s move to the US was crucial in the Premiership race, and ensured they haven’t tasted victory against use since February 2023.

Match Details

A-League Women: Grand Final

Melbourne City FC v Sydney FC

Saturday 4 May, 4:15PM KO

AAMI Park, Melbourne