Preview: Adelaide United v Canberra United

Table positions suggest Canberra United should be clear winners in this one, but in reality fans in the City of Churches should expect a tough and close-fought encounter.

Canberra might be one of the league’s traditional heavyweights, but they rarely have it easy in Adelaide. The past three matches between the pair have resulted in a win apiece and a draw. Even that Canberra victory was a narrow 1-0 scoreline.

Having said that, Canberra found some ominous form last weekend with a 5-2 win over Newcastle Jets. The Jets normally boast one of the thriftiest defences in the league, but the prolific Michelle Heyman led the way with a double for her first goals of the season. Canberra’s side was, unusually for one of the league’s most stable clubs, significantly changed during the off-season so building momentum was always going to take time.

Adelaide have just one point from their three outings thus far, but their televised opening round match – a 3-3 draw against Melbourne Victory – suggests they are better than that record would indicate. The Lady Reds are boosted by the return striker Adriana Jones and young gun Alex Chidiac for the match, while experienced forward Racheal Quigley enjoyed her first game time for the season off the bench last weekend.

Adelaide United v Canberra United
Saturday 3 December 2016
Venue: Elite Systems Football Centre
Kick-Off: 7:00PM (Local) (7:30PM (AEDT))

Referee: Lara Lee

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Adelaide United squad: 1.Eliza CAMPBELL (gk), 3.Georgia IANNELLA, 4.Emily HODGSON, 5.MÔNICA, 6.Ally LADAS, 7.Stella RIGON (c), 10.Racheal QUIGLEY, 11.Sofia HUERTA, 12.Adriana JONES, 14.Grace ABBEY, 15.Georgia CAMPAGNALE, 16.Kelsey ZAFIRIDIS, 18.Isabella SCALZI, 20.Sarah WILLACY (gk), 24.Danielle COLAPRICO, 25.Katie NAUGHTON, 30.Alex CHIDIAC **two to be omitted**

Ins: 12.Adriana JONES (returns from injury), 16.Kelsey ZAFIRIDIS (promoted), 30.Alex CHIDIAC (returns from injury)

Outs: 17.Dragana KLJAJIC (not selected)

Unavailable: 8.Emily CONDON (illness)

Canberra United squad: 1.Trudy BURKE (gk), 2.Yukari KINGA, 4.Clare HUNT, 5.Jenna McCORMICK, 7.Ellie BRUSH, 8.Hayley RASO, 10.Grace MAHER, 11.Michelle HEYMAN, 12.Hannah BREWER, 13.Celeste BOUREILLE, 14.Ashley SYKES, 16.Karly ROESTBAKKEN, 17.Laura HUGHES, 19.Nickoletta FLANNERY, 20.Georgia BORIC (gk), 22.Stephanie OCHS **one to be omitted**

Ins: 17.Laura HUGHES (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 15.Emma CHECKER (knee – 3 weeks), 9.Jasmyne SPENCER (ankle – 2 weeks)