Fox Sports and ABC TV viewers will have the opportunity to get a first-up glimpse of how Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory are shaping up this season, with both enjoying some strong recruiting.
Certainly both clubs will feel they have something to prove. After being the competition’s cellar dwellers for many years, United have been on a constant upward trend in recent years, only to miss the finals by a single place last term – their best-ever campaign.
And there has been a statement of intent from Adelaide if their off-season recruiting is any gauge. American U-23 internationals Danielle Colaprico and Katie Naughton have arrived, as has Monica who the Westfield Matildas would know well after meetings against Brazil down the years. Perhaps the dark-horse, however, is former Mexico international Sofia Huerta who possesses both a strong presence in the forward line and some prolific finishing.
Adelaide had lost 11 straight against Melbourne Victory, only to win their past two encounters, which in some ways is a metaphor for how far the latter’s stocks had fallen. The Victory finished at the bottom of the ladder last season – by far their worst result.
But one senses there is a determination to change. Assuming the reins is former Wales international Jeff Hopkins, a man familiar with success in the Westfield W-League from his time at Brisbane Roar. The side has a solid look about it, and the return of American midfield ace and newly-appointed captain Christine Nairn is a crucial component for the Victory. Three points in Adelaide would leave last season’s disastrous campaign a distant memory.
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory
Sunday 6 November 2016
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Local kick-off: 2pm (2.30pm AEDST)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WLeague #BeReal
Adelaide United squad: 2.Cheyenne HAMMOND, 4.Emily HODGSON, 5.MÔNICA, 6.Ally LADAS, 7.Stella RIGON (c), 9.Marijana RAJCIC, 11.Sofia HUERTA, 12.Adriana JONES, 15.Georgia CAMPAGNALE, 16.Kelsey ZAFIRIDIS, 17.Dragana KLJAJIC, 18.Isabella SCALZI, 20.Sarah WILLACY (gk), 21.Claudia JENKINS (gk), 24.Danielle COLAPRICO, 25.Katie NAUGHTON **one to be omitted**
Unavailable: 1.Eliza CAMPBELL (gk) (overseas – 1 week), 8.Emily CONDON (international duty – 1 week), 10.Racheal QUIGLEY (quad – 3 weeks), 14.Grace ABBEY (international duty – 1 week), 30.Alex CHIDIAC (international duty – 1 week)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Bianca HENNINGER (gk), 2.Alexandra NATOLI, 3.Alex CHEAL, 4.Melissa TARANTO, 7.Lia PRIVITELLI, 8.Ayesha NORRIE, 9.Natasha DOWIE, 10.Christine NAIRN (c), 13.Laura SPIRANOVIC, 14.Selin KURALAY, 15.Adriana TARANTO, 16.Samantha JOHNSON, 17.Gulcan KOCA, 19.Rachel ALONSO, 20.Bethany MASON-JONES (gk), 22.Caitlin FRIEND, 25.Kariah WHITE **two to be omitted**
Unavailable: 6.Annabel MARTIN (international duty – 1 week), 11.Melindaj BARBIERI (international duty – 1 week)