Melbourne City FC can move a step closer to locking down a Westfield W-League Finals position when it takes on Brisbane Roar at CB Smith Reserve on Sunday evening.
They might be the reigning champions, but City enter the penultimate round of the Westfield W-League firmly entrenched in a battle for the fourth and final play-off spot.
City missed a golden opportunity to move a step closer to securing a Finals berth in a disappointing 2-0 defeat in the Melbourne Derby last week, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying.
Jess Fishlock’s side were completely dominant throughout the contest at Epping Stadium, controlling possession, hitting the post and creating countless opportunities to find the back of the net, yet were ultimately unable to find a way past a strong-willed Victory rearguard.
Next up, it’s an intriguing battle against fifth placed Brisbane Roar which could ultimately decide the make-up of the Final Series.
The equation is clear. A win will knock Brisbane out of the finals race, with a draw or loss for sixth placed Newcastle seeing City wrap up fourth position with a game to spare.
Should the Jets win their clash away to league leaders Sydney FC, it sets up a tantalising final round meeting against City at McDonald Jones Reserve in Newcastle.
With only one match left in their season, the Roar arrive in Melbourne needing nothing less than a win to keep their hopes of playing Finals alive.
The task will be made all the more difficult without the services of first-choice keeper Mackenzie Arnold, who will serve a one match suspension after being sent off in a 2-1 defeat to Newcastle last week.
City will take confidence from a 2-1 win over the Roar in the last meeting between the two sides in Round 5, with Fishlock and Erika Tymrak cancelling out Katrina Gorry’s second minute strike at AJ Kelly Field to complete a stunning turnaround.
Matilda’s striker Larissa Crummer will miss the remainder of the Westfield W-League season after fracturing her left foot in last week’s Melbourne Derby at Epping Stadium.
The 21-year-old only returned to first team action against Adelaide United in Round 10 after recovering from injury.
Melina Ayres will aim to fill the void left by Crummer’s absence, with the 17-year-old hoping to add to her solitary goal this season against Canberra United.
Join us at CB Smith Reserve!
It’s the final W-League home match of the season! Come down to CB Smith Reserve as our reigning champions aim to secure a place in the Westfield W-League Finals Series.
Kick-off in the W-League will take place at 5pm, with our youth boys also in action in the Melbourne Derby at 7:50pm, as they prepare for their National Youth League Grand Final next week.
Westfield W-League – Round 13
Sunday, 22 January 2017
Melbourne City FC vs Brisbane Roar
Venue: C.B. Smith Reserve
Kick-Off: 5:00PM (Local) (5:00PM (AEDT))
Referee: Lara Lee
Melbourne City FC squad: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS (GK), 2. Teigen ALLEN, 3. Lauren BARNES 5. Laura ALLEWAY, 6. Aivi LUIK, 7. Steph CATLEY (c), 10. Jessica FISHLOCK, 11. Erika TYMRAK, 13. Rebekah STOTT, 14. Melina AYRES, 15. Amy JACKSON, 16. Beverly YANEZ, 17. Marianna TABAIN, 18. Jacynta GALABADAARACHCHI, 19. Tyla-Jay VLAJNIC, 20. Emily SHIELDS (GK)
*One to be omitted*
Ins: 14. Melina AYRES (promoted), 19. Tyla-Jay VLAJNIC (promoted)
Outs: 9. Larissa CRUMMER (foot - season)