Melbourne City FC will aim to register its first Westfield W-League win of the new year when it faces league leaders Sydney FC in a Grand Final rematch at Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
In terms of blockbuster clashes in the Westfield W-League, it doesn’t get any bigger than this. City travel to the home of last year’s Grand Final adversaries with the tag of defending champions, but with a point to prove after a difficult run of matches.
A 1-1 draw at home to Adelaide United last week was a step in the right direction, with Jess Fishlock continuing her prolific season in-front of goal with another spectacular free-kick. It was a performance which will have buoyed anyone of a City persuasion, with midfielder Amy Jackson asserting that the results will soon follow.
“It’s been four [games without a win] in a row now. I don’t think it’s through lack of effort but maybe a little bit of complacency in the team,” Jackson said.
“Slowly but surely we’re getting back on track and hopefully this week we’re up for three points.”
For City, it has also been a week of change within the Club’s coaching structure following the appointment of Fishlock as interim W-League Head Coach.
Her first challenge is a significant one; to reign in the eight point gap between her side and a rampant Sydney FC outfit, who sit at the top of the table having played a match extra.
The league leaders demonstrated their impressive array of firepower in stunning fashion last week, thrashing fellow title contenders Canberra United 6-1 at Lambert Park to register their third consecutive win.
City will embrace warm memories of the 4-1 win over Sydney in the 2016 Grand Final, not to mention a comprehensive 6-0 win over the same opponents in the Club’s first ever W-League match.
City will be boosted by the return of defender Lauren Barnes, who is available for selection after completing a one-match suspension.
The American’s return will help shore up a City defensive unit tasked with curbing a potent Sydney attack boasting the likes of Kyah Simon, Leena Khamis and Caitlin Foord.
Striker Larissa Crummer completed her long-awaited return from injury with a 30 minute cameo off the bench against Adelaide last week, with City certain to benefit from having last season’s Golden Boot winner back in the attacking third.
How to watch the match
Get your popcorn ready and glue yourself to the couch for this one. You can watch City in Westfield W-League action LIVE on Fox Sports 505 and ABC TV from 2:00pm.
Alternatively, you can follow all the match action on our official Twitter account @MelbCityWFC , using the hashtag: #SYDvMCY
Westfield W-League - Round 11
Sunday, 8 January 2017
Sydney FC v Melbourne City FC
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Kick-Off: 2:30PM (Local) (2:30PM (AEDT))
Referee: Rebecca Durcau
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 2.00pm (AEDT) and ABC TV from 2.00pm (AEDT)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS (GK), 2. Teigen ALLEN, 3.Lauren BARNES 5. Laura ALLEWAY, 6. Aivi LUIK, 7. Steph CATLEY (c), 9.Larissa CRUMMER, 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)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3. Lauren BARNES (returns from suspension), 14.Melina AYRES (promoted),