Semi Final preview: Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory
Having got their hands on a maiden Westfield W-League Premiership, Melbourne Victory will now turn their attention to winning the Championship to complete a remarkable campaign.
But first they have to overcome Sam Kerr and Perth Glory in a tough Semi Final challenge at AAMI Park on Sunday.
These two sides met just a week ago in the west, with Victory emerging 2-1 winners to secure the Premiers’ Plate with a game to spare.
But finals are a different story and both these sides are entering new territory having missed the playoffs last season.
For Victory, they have been the team to beat for much of the 2018/19 Season, losing just twice all campaign, with their last defeat coming way back in Round 8 in December.
A mixture of excellent recruitment and a real team camaraderie has been key in Victory’s success.
As have the goals of skipper and star striker Natasha Dowie, who scored nine from her 12 appearances.
Of course, Perth have their own striking superstar in Kerr, who made it back-to-back Westfield W-League Golden Boot awards with her 13 in 11 games for the campaign.
The Westfield Matildas striker will be key to Glory pulling off an upset, with her attacking teammates Rachel Hill and Alyssa Mautz also posing a huge threat.
But Victory have the best defence in the Westfield W-League and will be tough to breakdown again, led by Westfield Matildas defender Laura Alleway.
As well as last weekend’s win, Victory also beat Perth 2-1 at AAMI Park in December, with Dowie scoring a brace.
What will unfold on Sunday as we learn which side is the first into this year’s Westfield W-League decider?
Ins and Outs
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Casey DUMONT (gk), 3.Teigen ALLEN, 4.Alexandra GUMMER, 5.Laura ALLEWAY, 6.Annabel MARTIN, 7.Christine NAIRN, 8.Angela BEARD, 9.Natasha DOWIE (c), 10.Kyra COONEY-CROSS, 11.MelindaJ BARBIERI, 14.Melina AYRES, 15.Emily GIELNIK, 16.Samantha JOHNSON, 17.Danielle WEATHERHOLT, 18.Grace MAHER, 19.Lia PRIVITELLI, 20.Bethany MASON-JONES (gk), 21.Ella MASTRANTONIO **two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Laura ALLEWAY (return from injury), 16.Samantha JOHNSON (return from suspension), 17.Danielle WEATHERHOLT (promoted)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Eliza CAMPBELL (gk), 2.Sarah CARROLL, 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Alyssa MAUTZ , 5.Shannon MAY, 7.Nicole STANTON, 9.Rachel HILL, 10.Jacynta GALABADAARACHCHI, 11.Leticia McKENNA , 12.Jenna ONIONS, 13.Jamie-Lee GALE, 14.Caitlin DOEGLAS, 15.Alexia MORENO, 17.Liana COOK, 20.Sam KERR (c), 21.Morgan AQUINO (gk), 24.Natasha RIGBY, 25.Katie NAUGHTON **two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Sarah CARROLL (promoted), 10.Jacynta GALABADAARACHCHI (promoted), 17.Liana COOK (promoted)
How to watch
Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 to catch this clash, with kick-off at 2pm 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.
CLICK HERE to secure your ticket at AAMI Park as Victory hosts Glory for a spot in the Grand Final.