The stakes couldn’t be any higher for the Westfield Matildas taking to the field for Round 13 of the Westfield W-League 2018/19 Season.
Sam Kerr’s Perth Glory return from their Round 12 bye, having seen spots around them populate even more densely, as they take on a buoyant Western Sydney Wanderers outfit.
GOLDEN BOOT: We look at the players chasing Kerr's tally
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ANALYSIS: The race for the Westfield W-League Finals: how the last two rounds decides the Premiers
Friday sees two clashes for the top four, with Brisbane Roar hosting Canberra United, followed by Newcastle Jets’ duo of Gema Simon and Larissa Crummer travelling to Adelaide United’s Marden Sports Complex.
Round 13 finishes with a true blockbuster saturated with Westfield Matildas, as first-placed Melbourne Victory host Sydney FC in a six-point encounter.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory
Thursday, 7:30pm AEDT
Two weeks ago, Perth Glory may have dog-eared this fixture as one where they could cement their spot in the top four and enjoy the final round clear of angst.
But, as Adelaide found out in Round 12, the Wanderers won’t finish the 2018/19 Season without a fight.
Western Sydney raced out of the blocks against the Reds and eventually inflicted an attacking masterclass, grabbing four goals and — we imagine — many a thanks from Perth’s nearest rivals.
Indeed that 4-1 loss blew the top-four race completely open, so much so that there eight teams with a mathematical chance of finishing in a finals spot.
Sam Kerr will have to at her best for this one for the sake of her own records and the team.
On a personal note, she has a one-goal buffer in the Golden Boot race, only just in front of Caitlin Foord and Veronica Latsko.
With regards to the team, anything less than a win for Perth will put them in a precarious position come Round 14.
How to watch: Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 to catch this clash, with kick-off at 7:30pm AEDT. You can also stream the match live on the MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers. For viewers outside Australia and New Zealand without a broadcasting rights holder, you can watch games on the My Football Youtube channel.
Brisbane Roar v Canberra United
Friday, 5:20pm AEDT
Clarke Polkinghorne and Mackenzie Arnold will have to dust themselves off quickly following a disheartening 3-1 loss to Sydney FC in Round 12.
The loss meant Brisbane had shipped eight goals in two games against Ante Juric’s side — worrying signs heading into a crucial part of the season.
Looking ahead, the table may suggest their clash against Canberra United could be respite, but Brisbane must be wary.
Mel Andreatta’s women host a United outfit which still has more than a chance at qualifying for the top four. This is enough motivation to make any team hungry, so Polkinghorne and Arnold mustn’t get complacent.
Westfield Matildas' youngster Ellie Carpenter is enjoying the season of her life at Canberra, scoring three goals and looking increasingly mature with each game that passes.
In a game neither side can afford to lose, brace yourselves for a Friday afternoon epic.
How to watch: Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 or SBS VICELAND to catch this clash, with kick-off at 5:30pm AEDT. You can also stream the match live on the MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers. For viewers outside Australia and New Zealand without a broadcasting rights holder, you can watch games on the My Football Youtube channel.
Adelaide United v Newcastle Jets
Friday, 7:30PM AEDT
The Friday football feast for fans continues into the night when Adelaide United host Newcastle Jets at Marden Sports Complex.
Consecutive losses for Adelaide at the hands of Canberra and Western Sydney Wanderers mean Ivan Karlovic’s sit out of the top four and in a real spot of bother.
What’s worse is the way in which the Reds lost last week — they were well and truly humbled by a previously winless Western Sydney Wanderers side.
Adelaide are in unfortunate company, with Newcastle Jets having shipped four goals themselves in Round 12.
Worse still, the Jets were unable to find the back of the net against a rampant Melbourne City side that eventually ran out 4-0 winners.
Westfield Matildas pair Gema Simon and Larissa Crummer will have to step up at this stage of the campaign, and help the Jets nullify their national teammate Michelle Heyman.
How to watch: You can stream this match at 7:30pm AEDT live on the MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers. For viewers outside Australia and New Zealand without a broadcasting rights holder, you can watch games on the My Football Youtube channel.
Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
If ever there were an instance of saving the best ’til last, this clash just may be it.
Melbourne Victory host Sydney FC at Epping Stadium on Sunday afternoon knowing a win will give them some serious breathing space at the top of the ladder — and, with an extra game in hand, an almost unassailable lead from the rest of the pack.
Crucial to this crusade will be Westfield Matildas stars Laura Alleway and Emily Gielnik. The pair have really stepped up this season, albeit at opposite sides of the field.
Alleway has grown into an even more consistent performer, making herself one of the most reliable defenders in the Westfield W-League. While further afield, Gielnik has two goals and an assist for her troubles.
Standing in Victory’s way are a Sydney FC outfit that Ante Juric has got playing some of the Westfield W-League’s best football.
Alanna Kennedy has been a rock at the back, forming the foundation which gives the Westfield Matildas frontline so much confidence.
Chloe Logarzo, Caitlin Foord and Princess Ibini have been in particularly strong form of late, with Lisa De Vanna chipping in with an assist in Round 12.
Foord has contributed nine of Sydney FC’s 26 goals in this campaign, suggesting two things: Her strength at leading the line, as well as the share amongst the Sky Blues’ goal-scorers.
Set your alarms or get to the game: This is going to be an absolute cracker.
How to watch: You can stream this match at 4:00pm AEDT live on the MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers. For viewers outside Australia and New Zealand without a broadcasting rights holder, you can watch games on the My Football Youtube channel.