Preview: Melbourne City v Western Sydney Wanderers

Melbourne City are back on home turf for the first time since being crowned premiers, as Western Sydney Wanderers become the latest side to enter the lion’s den.

City famously made it ten wins from as many starts last weekend to wrap up top spot with two matches in hand.

A home semi-final is already assured so the challenge now for Joe Montemurro and his charges, is to maintain the momentum throughout the final weeks of the regular season. Even if there is a relaxed air of celebration at Fawkner on Sunday, expect little let-up from City’s all-star side.

The most goals in a single season is City’s next milestone. They are currently just seven shy of Perth Glory’s record tally of 39 set last term.

Whichever way you look at it, the odds are massively stacked in City’s favour.

Adding to the Wanderers' challenge is their desperate need for points. They sit just three points outside fourth but this visit to the league leaders is followed by a similar tough trip to Canberra United.

The Wanderers felt last weekend’s match against Newcastle was their big opportunity. They ended up narrow 1-0 losers, and they now face a mental challenge to prepare for themselves for what already is a monumental task.

Melbourne City v Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday 3 January 2016
C.B. Smith Reserve, Fawkner, Melbourne
Local kick-off: 2pm

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Melbourne City squad: 1. Brianna Davey (gk), 3. Alex Chidiac, 4. Jennifer Beattie, 5. Laura Alleway, 6. Aivi Luik, 7. Stephanie Catley, 8. Kim Little, 9. Larissa Crummer, 10. Jessica Fishlock, 11. Lisa De Vanna, 13. Rebekah Stott, 15. Amy Jackson, 16. Beattie Goad, 17. Marianna Tabain, 20. Trudy Burke (gk)

Ins: none

Outs: none

Unavailable: Monique Iannella (knee – indefinite)

Western Sydney Wanderers squad: 1. Teagan Micah, 2. Caitlin Cooper, 3. Carmelina Moscato, 4. Chloe O’Brien, 5. Kendall Johnson, 6. Rachael Soutar, 8. Erica Halloway, 9. Elizabeth Grey, 10. Michelle Carney, 11. Keelin Winters (c), 12. Hannah Beard, 13. Eliza Ammendolia, 15. Ellie Carpenter, 19. Jordan Baker, Lisa Farrington (gk)

Ins: Kendall Johnson (returns from injury), Jordan Baker, Lisa Farrington (both promoted)

Outs: Jada Whyman (injury – 1 week), Helen Petinos, Alix Roberts (both omitted)

Unavailable: Linda O’Neill (injury – 2 weeks)