What to watch for: Western Sydney v City

Melbourne City FC’s faces a huge clash final round of the season as the team gets set to face Western Sydney Wanderers away from home early on Sunday afternoon.

The teams have already met once this season, with City running out 2-1 victors, but the stakes are much, much higher this time around, with everything on the line for Rado Vidosic’s side.

Here’s what you need to be watch for:

Positions one and two by the end of the weekend

We knew that the Brisbane Roar loss in Round 13 took our title hopes out of our own hands and handed the advantage back to Sydney FC, but we’ll do all we can on Saturday to secure three points and put the pressure back on the Sky Blues in what would be a Premiership-deciding match against Adelaide on Sunday.

The equation stands that, regardless of that Sunday result, City needs to claim just one point on the road to Western Sydney to secure the double chance that comes with a top two finish.

A win, however, would mean that an Adelaide victory on Sunday would strip the Premiership out of Sydney’s hands and place it straight into City’s.

Everything is on the line and we can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

City’s elite defence to get the job done

One factor that should aid City’s quest on Saturday is the favourable possibility of a clean sheet against our final round opposition.

Western Sydney has been comfortably the lowest scoring team this season, averaging around a goal every second game, and they’ll be coming up against one of the surest defences in the league when they host City.

Our rock-solid back five and the evergreen Melissa Barbieri have ensured that our attackers have every chance of securing three points by conceding at a rate of less than a goal per game this season and their performances have been pivotal to our successful campaign thus far.

We’ll need to be cautious about getting too confident of keeping the Wanderers out, however, as Teigan Collister was able to find the back of the net for her side when the teams met earlier this season.

Hannah Wilkinson in her shot at history

Though she still finds herself behind Fiona Worts’ 13 goals coming into the final round of the 2021/22 regular season, Hannah Wilkinson (11) will give herself every chance of claiming the Golden Boot award in her first season in the A-League Women when she faces the Wanderers on Saturday.

It’ll be a final round shootout for sure, with Worts’ Adelaide playing later in the day, but Wilkinson may fancy her chances given Adelaide’s opposition: league-leaders Sydney FC.

However, City’s Kiwi striker should still end the season proud of her achievements regardless of Saturday’s performance. Wilkinson is guaranteed to finish the regular season with the best goals-to-games ratio in City history (surpassing Larissa Crummer’s 0.61) and the fewest minutes per goal scored in league history, per ALeagueStats.

City fans will also possibly see Larissa Crummer’s club record 11-goal single-season tally surpassed by the Wilkinson in what has been a dominant debut campaign in Australia.