Melbourne City FC returns to action in Round 6 with a trip to Newcastle to face the Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday. Ahead of the match, we take a look at the five things to look forward to.
Time to hit the road…
Following a gut-wrenching draw with Adelaide United last Saturday night, Head Coach Rado Vidosic’s side returns to action this week, determined to return to winning ways.
City looked destined to secure the three-points in Round 5 after Kyah Simon calmly slotted the hosts ahead from the penalty spot, before a 97th minute Georgia Campagnale strike saw the Reds earn a share of the spoils at C.B. Smith Reserve.
Despite having to settle for a point, City showed several signs that they are a whisker away from returning to the form that saw them claim three consecutive championships. With a trip to Newcastle next on the agenda, there is no doubt that the team in City blue will be looking to return to Melbourne with the three-points in hand.
Sunday afternoon’s clash with Newcastle is shaping up to be City’s most important fixture to date.
With one win, one draw and three losses from their opening five fixtures, Vidosic’s side is currently sitting in seventh position on the league ladder, desperate to return to winning ways.
City may have started the season slowly, but three-points against the Jets would see them leapfrog their counterparts and jump back into top-four contention. With City sitting out Round 7 with a bye, fate is in their own hands as they look to re-group and push towards a positive second-half of the season.
We’re now halfway through the season and with both teams desperately seeking a win, we are set for a thriller in Newcastle.
On Sunday afternoon, City shot-stopper Lydia Williams is set to make her 100th Westfield W-League appearance, joining teammates Steph Catley and Tameka Butt as the only players in the squad to have achieved the feat.
Since making her debut for Canberra United in the league’s inaugural season, Williams has formed a long list of accolades, which includes being named the competition’s goalkeeper of the year on three occasions and holding the record for the most clean sheets in the competition’s history. These achievements going alongside her multiple premiership and championship wins.
This season has been no different for the shot-stopper, playing an important role as City’s stand-in skipper and making the most saves of any goalkeeper in the season to date. There is no doubt that in her 100th league appearance, the Matildas number one will do everything in her power to secure the three-points.
The need for speed
Despite having to settle for a draw with Adelaide United last weekend, City were a much-improved outfit that looked threatening in attack.
Central defender Lauren Barnes was an instrumental play-maker for City, as she looked to pierce the opposition’s defence and play winger’s Rhali Dobson and Jasmyne Spencer into space.
Spencer’s move out wide, allowing Kyah Simon to play as a central striker, was a positive one for the home side. The Reds defence struggled to handle the raw speed on both sides of the field, which was the catalyst for most of City’s attacking play. With the support of fullback Theresa Nielsen, Spencer and Dobson will again be looking to utilise the space in front of them and find their teammates inside the 18-yard-box with the final product.
The festive season period continues
After kicking-off the festive season with a 1-1 draw with Adelaide United at C.B. Smith Reserve, City’s attention now turns to their must-win clash with Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Following the Jets fixture, City will sit out Round 7 with a bye, before returning to AAMI Park for a blockbuster fixture with Canberra United in Round 8.
On Saturday 22 December it will be two tickets for the price of one, as City’s W-League side will look to get one back on Canberra before the A-League side face cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory in their annual Christmas Derby. In what is set to be an enthralling 180-minutes of football, don’t miss the chance to kick-off your festive season holidays in the best way possible, get your tickets here.