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Apr 14, 2023   |  8:58PM AET

ALW Preview: Semi Final v Victory

ALW Preview: Semi Final v Victory

Finals time has arrived and our City girls will have it all to play for in our Semi Final against Melbourne Victory this Saturday afternoon at Casey Fields.

With a spot in the Preliminary Final on the line, the occasion doesn’t get much bigger for Dario Vidosic’s side, gearing up to face our cross-town rivals.

There’s plenty to talk about heading into this one… so here are a few of the key points!

BIG OCCASION, BIG PLAYERS

Big moments require big players – and our City squad boasts plenty of experience, which will no doubt prove invaluable in the pressure cooker that is Finals football.

Our squad features a number of experienced heads such as; Melissa Barbieri, Hannah Wilkinson, Katie Bowen and Maria Jose Rojas to name a few.

Captain Emma Checker has been part of a Championship squad earlier in her career so knows what it takes, while the likes of Rhianna Pollicina and Kaitlyn Torpey are no strangers to Finals football and will be doing everything they can to see their team advance to next week.

YOUNG GUNS BRING THE X FACTOR

While we may have plenty of experienced heads in the line-up, we also will be hoping to see our young guns shine on the big stage.

With the likes of Daniela Galic and Bryleeh Henry already lighting it up in the league this season – plus of course Holly McNamara in recent weeks – City fans will be hoping to see our young guns continue to step it up a level in the Semi Final.

For many of our younger squad members, this will be the first taste of Finals in their professional careers.

With plenty of experience in big games to draw upon not just amongst their teammates but also from their Head Coach, we’ll be looking to see our young stars shining on the brightest stage.

SHORING UP OUR DEFENSIVE STOCKS

For 60 minutes of our final Round match against Canberra United, it looked as though we were in the box seat to finish off a 3-1 win at home.

It wasn’t to be, however, Canberra scoring twice in the final ten minutes of play to grab a point from the contest.

Unfortunately, lightning did strike twice, as we saw a similar story just a week earlier against Perth Glory.

We saw plenty of good football played in both contests though, so you can imagine a key focus for Vidosic and the coaching staff in the lead-up to this one has been putting in a full 90-minute performance – or perhaps even 120, plus penalties…

There’s no doubt that on their day, our City girls are right there with the best in the competition, but we’ll need to be at our best to march on to Week 2 of the Finals.

With all of the attacking threats we boast in the final third, locking things down at the back will certainly go a long way to achieving that.

WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME?

These two teams last met just over a month ago, where City fell 2-0 to Victory at AAMI Park.

A questionable penalty awarded Victory’s way saw us concede in the 16th minute, before Paige Zois scored just a few moments later.

Despite our City Women creating plenty of chances throughout the remainder of the contest, Victory was able to see out that 2-0 scoreline.

HOW HAVE OUR OPPONENTS BEEN TRAVELLING LATELY?

Needing a win from their final fixture against the Wellington Phoenix in order to automatically qualify for Finals, Victory only scraped through in the narrowest of fashions.

They only managed to draw on that day, but it was actually our City girls doing them a favour funnily enough, that draw in the last match of our season meaning Victory would just sneak into the final four.

MATCH DETAILS

A-League Women: Semi Final

Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory

Saturday 15 April KO 3:00PM

Casey Fields

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