Preview: Melbourne City v Canberra United

It doesn’t get much bigger than this – undefeated champions Melbourne City hosting star-studded title contenders Canberra United.

There will be countless high-quality international players littered across both sides when the teams walk out onto Fawkner’s CB Smith Reserve in Melbourne’s northern suburbs on Saturday. The quality of football will be undeniable, what is not so clear is whether Melbourne City’s remarkable unbeaten run can finally be brought to an end.

City are now 18 matches undefeated since they debuted at the start of last season’s Westfield W-League. Two-time champions Canberra, however, offer one of the strongest challenges to that proud record. Last season City secured a 4-2 win in the only match between the pair, but City won only 2-1 last month and were pushed to the very brink by an unlucky Canberra on that occasion.

The two sides have little in the way of injury concerns with Canberra hoping to be boosted by the return of dynamic pocket-sized striker Jasmyne Spencer. The match will be an odd one for City goalkeeper Lydia Williams, who spent her entire career in the nation’s capital until an off-season move south.

The two clubs will compete for the inaugural Westfield W-League edition of the Blue Ribbon Cup, which perpetuates the memory of Victoria Police members killed in the line of duty through the support of worthwhile community projects by the Blue Ribbon Foundation.

Melbourne City v Canberra United
Saturday, 10 December 2016
Venue: C.B. Smith Reserve
Kick-Off: 5:00PM (Local) (5:00PM (AEDT))

Referee: Katie Patterson
Assistant Referee 1: Danielle Anderson
Assistant Referee 2: Joanna Charaktis
Fourth Official: Kate Jacewicz

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Melbourne City squad: 1.Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), 2.Teigen ALLEN, 3.Lauren BARNES, 5.Laura ALLEWAY, 6.Aivi LUIK, 7.Steph CATLEY (c), 10.Jessica FISHLOCK, 11.Erika TYMRAK, 13.Rebekah STOTT, 14.Melina AYRES, 15.Amy JACKSON, 16.Beverly YANEZ, 17.Marianna TABAIN, 19.Tyla-Jay VLAJNIC, 26.Erin HUDSON (gk)

Ins: Nil

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 9.Larissa CRUMMER (ankle – 3 weeks)

Canberra United squad: 1.Trudy BURKE (gk), 2.Yukari KINGA, 4.Clare HUNT, 5.Jenna McCORMICK, 7.Ellie BRUSH, 8.Hayley RASO, 9.Jasmyne SPENCER 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 **two to be omitted**

Ins: 9.Jasmyne SPENCER (return from injury), 17.Laura HUGHES (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 15.Emma CHECKER (knee – 1 week)