We're getting closer and closer to the Westfield W-League Grand Final! Here's five reasons to be excited as we aim for our third consecutive Championship title against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
Melbourne City FC will be aiming for a record-breaking third consecutive Westfield W-League Championship when they face Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon, kick-off 5:00 pm (AEDT).
A stirring second-half performance saw Patrick Kisnorbo’s side secure a 2-0 Semi-Final win against the reigning Premiers Brisbane Roar at Perry Park last Sunday.
Both Aivi Luik and Jess Fishlock found the back of the net, in a result that will give the reigning Champions all the confidence to go back-to-back-to-back.
Simply Sensational, Simon.
Since joining City Women at the beginning of the season, Kyah Simon has allowed her form to do the talking.
The Matildas international has been incredible – she leads the competition for chances created (43), 10 more than her nearest rival, and crosses (96), 26 more than the competition’s next best. She is also equal second in the league for assists with five this season, leading her teammates.
Simon’s numbers are impressive, as is her ability to perform when it counts. The 26-year-old produced a wonderful assist for Fishlock in last week’s Semi-Final and created several other dangerous chances.
The Sky Blues will be determined to stop their former teammate, as she’ll look to link-up with captain Steph Catley on the wing and cut into dangerous areas in the attacking third.
Jess Fishlock is arguably one of the league’s toughest players to match up on, she has dazzling feet, a beautifully weighted pass and one of the competition’s most lethal shots from outside the area.
The Welsh international is the type of player that you could keep out of the match for 89 minutes, but if you allow her a split second, a moment, she can turn the result off her own boot.
Her finish against the Roar in last week’s Semi Final highlighted the pure talent that she possesses.
Those types of players are extremely hard to come by, and they usually leave their best for the biggest moments, in the biggest games, on the biggest stage.
The great wall of…
The attackers might steal the headlines, but City’s defensive unit has been equally as impressive.
There is no doubt that City has hit their straps in the last month, which of course has included goals, but one of the most impressive aspects of their form has been the strength of the back four and Lydia Williams.
Against the Roar in Round 12, the Jets in Round 14 and the Roar again in the Semi-Final, Steph Catley, Lauren Barnes, Rebekah Stott and Alanna Kennedy were immense.
Faced with quality attacking midfielders and forwards, including Katie Stengel, Katrina Gorry, Hayley Raso and Emily van Egmond, City’s back four have worked well as a unit to nullify the impact of their opposition.
If City is to win its third consecutive Championship, they will need to again be at their best as they face an attacking force led by Kylie Ledbrook, Lisa De Vanna, and Chloe Logarzo.
Sydney FC will need to be cautious of where they concede their free kicks, just outside the box and they face the prospect of a fierce strike from Jess Fishlock, Kyah Simon or Alanna Kennedy.
But any further out in their defensive third, and they face the set-piece specialist that is Lauren Barnes.
The American import has been striking the dead ball superbly over the past month, including two brilliant assists in Round 14 against the Jets. Barnes’ perfectly weighted and placed balls make it almost impossible for any defence to handle.
She came inches from finding the back of the net from 25 yards against the Roar, and will no doubt be looking to go one better against the Sky Blues on Sunday.