Key Battle: Williams v Campbell


With a host of attacking flare set to go head-to-head when City face Perth Glory on Sunday night, we take a look at two players who will be out to stop them, shot-stoppers Lydia Williams and Eliza Campbell.

Being a goalkeeper is one of the most important, if not the most important, positions on a football field, yet their efforts are often left in the shadows of a match-winning goal.

With two of the competition’s title contenders set to battle it out on Sunday evening, there’s every chance that either one of Lydia Williams or Eliza Campbell will be the unsung hero of the match.

That being said, we take a look at the key statistics that demonstrate just how influential two of Australia’s best goalkeepers might be.

Since her debut season, Matildas first-choice goalkeeper Lydia Williams has worked her way up the ranks to become one of the most well-respected footballers in the country and one of the best keepers in the world. With 74 international caps to her name and 97 appearances in the Westfield W-League, Williams not only brings a wealth of experience to the team but also great leadership.

The stand-in skipper has started the new season much-like she ended the last, making brilliant saves and leading the way from defence. In the opening three rounds, Williams has made an astonishing 16 saves – seven more than her closest counterpart – as well as claiming two catches and one punch.

In contrast, Glory shot-stopper Eliza Campbell has made nine saves – the equal second most in the competition – as well as registering two catches and one punch, like Williams.

Campbell has had an impressive start to life in Western Australia since joining the Glory at the beginning of the season. The 23-year-old, who made her Matildas debut last year, has slotted in seamlessly bringing her leadership to the defensive line.

With both goalkeepers coming off electrifying starts to the new season, despite conceding five goals apiece, there is every chance that one will prove decisive on Sunday night.

Williams has the tendency to take her game to the next level in big fixtures, but only time will tell.

City play Perth Glory at nib Stadium on Sunday night, kick-off 9:45pm (AEDT), before returning to Melbourne to face Adelaide United at C.B. Smith Reserve on Saturday 1 December, kick-off 7:30pm (AEDT).