What to watch for: Western Sydney v City

Melbourne City are back on the road in the A-League Women this weekend, currently deep in preparations to take on Western Sydney this Sunday afternoon.

Dario Vidosic’s squad remain on top of the table after having dropped points just once this season, a trend they’ll be wanting to see continue this weekend.

Here’s a few things to keep an eye out for come 4pm Sunday!

The back four (or five) conundrum

City’s defence has been as solid as a rock all season, allowing just five goals so far.

It’s been settled for most of the season with the only changes coming at the left full-back position where both Julia Grosso and Chelsea Blissett have received starts.

Although the performances have been great, some big changes could be on their way as Matildas duo Karly Roestbakken and Emma Checker press their cases for a first start of the season.

Given the tight schedule ahead, you’d imagine both will see starting minutes at some point in the next week.

One potential way to squeeze an extra defender in could be a move to playing a back five which has been familiar over the past few seasons.

Given the attacking prowess City has shown in 2022/23 through, Vidosic may prefer to stick with that extra number further up the pitch.

Another hectic period begins

If three matches in 10 days was a busy schedule, it’s tough to find the right word to describe the upcoming three matches in seven days.

Making matters even more difficult is the fact that they’ll all be played in different states, meaning City will leave Melbourne this Saturday and not return until next Thursday.

There will be time for just one training session before the final two matches, meaning Vidosic and his staff will have to keep a close eye on the fitness of the squad.

By the time City navigates this tricky period, it’ll almost be at the halfway point of the season. There’s a high chance that this run of fixtures will be season-defining, and you can guarantee our City Women are after no less than nine points.

Henry returns home

Bryleeh Henry has made a great start to life at Melbourne City and is now preparing to face her old team, Western Sydney.

Henry made 21 appearances and scored three goals during two seasons with the Wanderers after making her professional debut in late 2020.

It took her just three games to match that goal tally in a City shirt, impressing so far this season with her willingness to track back just as hard as she bursts forward.

Given City’s set to be without Emina Ekic for not just this fixture but the remainder of the season, Henry will receive a little more attacking responsibility, and you can imagine she’d love to get herself on the scoresheet against her old team too.