Much anticipation surrounds the first-ever Westfield W-League Melbourne derby with local bragging rights up for grabs.
And despite Melbourne City’s high-profile recruitment and stunning opening 6-0 win over Sydney FC, this match is likely to be a tough and tight affair, one so typical of derbies.
Both sides are shorn of their Westfield Matildas personnel this weekend with the national team in China, and it is City whose squad has been harder hit in that regard.
Absent are a top-line quartet of Lisa De Vanna, Steph Catley, Larissa Crummer and Laura Alleway, while star international recruits Kim Little and Jess Fishlock are still a week away from donning the City jersey.
The Victory, for their part, are without Hayley Raso and, crucially, influential midfielder Christine Nairn who impressively was called up to the USA squad for the world champions’ two-match series against Brazil.
Victory may not have a better chance to overpower their new rivals than on Sunday at AAMI Park. And the lure of the TV cameras for the Fox Sports/ABC live coverage, plus the impact of a shared billing with the Hyundai A-League make for a dream combination at what is a classic football venue.
Interest has been strong in Melbourne ahead of this week’s match, with the players fully aware of the historic nature of the occasion.
“It’s a privilege to be in this position from my perspective and the girls’ perspective,” said City coach Joe Montemurro. “They have an opportunity to make a little bit of history. The girls have been amazing and understand the magnitude of the occasion.”
Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory
Sunday 25 October 2015
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Local kick-off: 2pm
(Hyundai A-League double-header)
* Watch all the action Live from 2.00pm nationally on Fox Sports (Channel 505), or ABC TV. Or catch-up on ABC iView.
** Listen LIVE on TuneIn - http://tunein.com/radio/Melbourne-City-W-League-Live-s256286/
Join the conversation on Twitter using match hashtag #MCYvMVC
Melbourne City squad: 3. Alex Chidiac, 6. Aivi Luik, 12. Olivia Ellis, 13. Rebekah Stott, 14. Melina Ayres, 15. Amy Jackson, 16. Beatrice Goad, 17. Marianna Tabain, 18. Anisa Guajardo, 20. Trudy Burke (gk), 22. Hannah Brewer, 23. Tyla-Jay Vlajnic, 24. Racheal Quigley, 25. Tessa Sernio, 30. Kelsey Quinn (gk)
Ins: Hannah Brewer, Tyla-Jay Vlajnic, Racheal Quigley, Tessa Sernio (all promoted)
Outs: Laura Alleway, Steph Catley, Lisa De Vanna, Larissa Crummer (all Westfield Matildas duty)
Unavailable: Brianna Davey, Monique Iannella, Kim Little, Jess Fishlock
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Melissa Barbieri, 2. Annabel Martin, 3. Thea Slatyer, 4. Alexandra Natoli, 5. Brooke Elby, 6. Adriana Taranto, 7. Enza Barilla, 8. Whitney Knight, 9. Jamie Pollock, 10. MelindaJ Barbieri, 11. Briar Palmer, 12. Melissa Taranto, 13. Cassandra Dimovski, 14. Laura Spiranovic, 15. Jessica Pitts
Ins: Brooke Elby, Whitney Knight, Melissa Taranto (all promoted)
Outs: Christine Nairn (USA international duty), Hayley Raso (Westfield Matildas duty), Selin Kuralay (injured)
Unavailable: Gulcan Koca (injured)