After claiming the premiership last week, City will look to close out the regular W-League season as the competition's only unbeaten side when it hosts Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park this Sunday afternoon. Two of the biggest names in action will be City’s Ellie Carpenter and Roar’s Carson Pickett.
Over the course of their respective careers, both players have played similar roles as defenders who are more than comfortable further up the field, putting pressure on the opposition's defence.
While both are highly skilled players, both have different stories with Pickett, a 26-year-old from America having spent plenty of time in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) playing for both Seattle Reign FC and Orlando Pride. She is in her third season at the Roar where she has been impressive and is yet to miss a game.
Carpenter on the other hand is just 19 but also has plenty of experience, having now played over 50 W-League games while also playing in the NWSL with Portland Thorns. She has also made 40 appearances for the Matildas, scoring once for her country.
Both are yet to miss a game this season, with Pickett having played every minute of the Roar’s campaign while Carpenter has been subbed off three times as she continues to balance her high workload combining duties for club and country.
Defensively, Pickett is the stronger of the two with Carpenter having done more of her work up the pitch this season. Pickett boasts a tackle success rate of 66.7% and she has also made 25 clearances and two interceptions. Carpenter wins her tackles 58.3% of the time and has made five clearances and 10 interceptions this season.
In saying that, Carpenter has played an integral role in a defensive unit that has only conceded three goals this season, keeping a formidable eight clean sheets in the process.
In terms of passing, Carpenter has been the more impressive of the two this season with an 83.5% success rate compared to Pickett’s 72.1%. Pickett does pass forward more often with 55.6% of her passes going in that direction compared to 24% of Carpenter’s. That being said, in terms of passing accuracy in the opponent’s half, Carpenter is far better with 70.8% of her passes finding a teammate while Pickett does that just 58.3% of the time.
In terms of creating chances, both players numbers are very similar with Carpenter having played 24 key passes for two assists while Pickett has 26 key passes this season for one assist.
Of the two Carpenter has been far more reluctant to shoot, firing off just seven shots with three being on target. She has scored twice this season with both goals coming in last week’s win over Western Sydney - showcasing why the fullback should continue to back herself in front of goal.
Pickett has shot 24 times this season with 17 being on target for a return of three goals. She scored once with a header, once with her left foot and once with her right.
Pickett also is the more disciplined having conceded just three fouls this season and never being shown a card while Carpenter has conceded 13 fouls and has been booked three times.
The performances of these players will be key in determining the outcome of this Sunday’s clash. City take on Brisbane Roar at 4:00pm, before both A-League sides go head-to-head at 6:30pm.