There’s something special about the Melbourne Derby, it’s everything that we love about football. It’s fierce, it’s relentless and the big names tend to rise to the occasion. Ahead of Friday night’s clash, we take a look at the key numbers between two international attackers who are set to take centre stage, Jasmyne Spencer and Natasha Dowie.
In a game that is often decided by the slimmest of margins or a moment of brilliance, taking your chances in the attacking third is absolutely crucial. That being said, we have decided to take a look at the key statistics between two potential match-winners.
Firstly, in City colours there is Jasmyne Spencer. The New Yorker announced herself to the City faithful when she netted the Club’s first ever W-League hattrick in her home debut at AAMI Park in Round 2 against last season's grand finalists Sydney FC. The 28-year-old is lightening quick, has the ability to get in-between the opposition's back four and has proven that she is more than capable of burying her chances.
Aware of what the W-League has to offer, having previously represented Sydney FC and Canberra United, Spencer has also played for Brondby IF in Denmark and Apollon Limassol in Cyprus as well as Western New York Flash, Orlando Pride and Seattle Reign in the United States, just to name a few.
For Melbourne Victory, captain Natasha Dowie has been an integral part of the club’s make up in recent times. The 30-year-old Englishwoman is capable of scoring from just about anywhere and is one of the most gifted footballers with the ball at her feet.
Having represented the Lionesses on the international stage, Dowie has also featured for an impressive list of football clubs, including Liverpool Ladies, Everton Ladies, Charlton Athletic Ladies, Boston Breakers and most recently Linkopings FC in Sweden.
Two rounds into the new season and the numbers between the two attackers are strikingly similar, highlighting their ability to influence a game.
In terms of goals, Spencer has three to her name following her hattrick against Sydney, while Dowie also found the back of the net in Victory’s Round 2 clash against Newcastle, opening her goal scoring account. Spencer’s three goals account for her three shots on target, while her cross-town counterpart, Dowie, has so far registered four shots on target.
Furthermore, in the attacking third, Spencer has made one key pass compared to Dowie’s two. Both players showcasing their ability to create chances for their teammates and their ability to unlock the opposition’s defence.
When it comes to distribution, the two are separated by the slimmest of margins. Spencer has made 20 successful passes, six less than her opponent. The American is currently travelling at a pass accuracy percentage of 71.4 per cent (Dowie - 66.7 per cent), with both players having registered one successful dribble apiece.
Despite featuring mainly as a centre-forward, Spencer has showcased her willingness to work hard defensively. In her opening two matches in City blue, she has registered three defensive clearances. In comparison, Dowie has made one block.
Reflecting on their current form and their past footballing experiences, there is no doubt that both players will be looking to stamp their authority on the match and influence the scoreboard in some capacity.
Melbourne City host Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Friday, kick-off 7:30pm. Get your tickets here.