City in the South East
Despite two previous false-starts, this Thursday looms as the first time that a senior Melbourne City FC side will be playing out of its new South East home, with the W-League side playing host to the Wanderers out of Dandenong’s Frank Holohan Reserve.
Thursday's match will kick off at 7.05pm and tickets are still available. You won't want to miss this historic encounter, click here to get your tickets now!
Another starting opportunity for Naomi Chinnama?
One bright spot that came out of our loss to the Wanderers was the starting debut of 16-year-old Naomi Chinnama, who featured for an impressive 89 minutes.
Despite being named as a centre-back on the teamsheet, average positioning data indicates that Chinnama assumed more of a full-back role opposite Tori Tumeth, with the two taking up higher and wider positions than their central defensive counterparts.
Over the course of her starting debut, Chinnama accumulated 69 touches, three defensive clearances and one interception, whilst also winning both of her two duels.
With the season now entering its final stages, now might be an opportune time to challenge Chinnama with more starting minutes as she continues to develop as a player.
A chance at redemption
With a week off in between fixtures, the City's W-League side has had an opportunity to carefully review the previous match against the Wanderers and plan out their redemption.
Despite losing 0-1, Melbourne City put in a very competitive performance when they last travelled to play the Wanderers, dominating possession 57% to 43% with a much higher passing accuracy (70.7% to 54.3%) and matching their opposition for shots (12 to 13).
Palmer's rise set to continue
Hollie Palmer made her W-League breakthrough with Brisbane Roar and, at just 19, has gone on to establish herself as a regular starter in the competition in her short time with City so far.
Palmer has started in seven of City’s eight W-League fixtures thus far, racking up a total of 524 minutes played.
The youngster has proven comfortable on the ball, making 32.9 passes per 90 minutes with an accuracy of 77%.
Palmer’s attacking tendencies are evident in the third of her passes that are played forward – towards the opposition goal – with this culminating in 11 key passes over the course of the season, leading to her two assists.
Now entering the latter stages of the season, Palmer will be as motivated as ever to keep challenging for starting places and establishing herself in the league.
Picking up a first home win of the season
As aforementioned, Thursday night represents the first time that the South East will be playing host to a senior City side, so the evening serves as an opportunity to commemorate the occasion by securing the team’s first home win of the 2020/21 campaign.
Melbourne City’s previous win came against Melbourne Victory in Round 4, but the game was played out at the Victory’s home ground of Epping Stadium.
There would be no better way for the team to play itself back into form than with a big win in front of a home crowd, so here’s hoping that the side can bounce back against the Wanderers on Thursday.