Preview: Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets

What a contest looms in Melbourne as the champs welcome Newcastle Jets knowing they have little margin for error.

Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets

Saturday 22 November 2014

Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, Melbourne

Local kick-off: 3pm

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This is Melbourne Victory’s last Westfield W-League game of the regular season, so although they sit in second, their finals ambitions rest very much dependant on this contest.

The Victory head off to the International Women’s Club Challenge in Japan next week and a draw against the Jets would leave local matters out of their control.

Of concern too is a hard-to-beat opponent in Newcastle who in round 1 inflicted a 1-0 defeat on the reigning champs. Oddly it is the Jets only win over the Victory in Westfield W-League history.

The Victory though have cast aside a mid-season slump and secured successive wins to regather momentum just at the right time.

Their midfield, led by the promptings of American playmaker Christine Nairn, are in strong form while forward Rachael Quigley grows in confidence with each passing week.

The Jets have already accrued their best points tally since season one, and memories of last year’s wooden spoon is a fast-diminishing memory.

In contrast to last term the football gods have smiled on the Jets this season, and coach Peter McGuiness has benefitted from an injury-hit campaign in a squad that has only limited depth.

Once again the Jets, who will likely again field an unchanged line-up, are more than capable of over-turning the champs. Should they do so they are likely end up with a ticket to the finals series, most likely at the expense of Victory.

Melbourne Victory squad: 1. Brianna DAVEY, 2. Hannah BREWER, 5. Lauren BARNES, 6. Gema SIMON, 7. Stephanie CATLEY (C), 9. Racheal QUIGLEY, 10. Christine NAIRN, 11. Lisa DE VANNA, 12. Ella MASTRANTONIO, 15. Emma CHECKER, 16. Beattie GOAD, 17. Gulcan KOCA, 18. Elli REED, 20. Cassandra DIMOVSKI, 29. Caitlin FRIEND

Ins: Gema Simon (returns from illness)

Outs: Amy Jackson (suspended – one week)

Unavailable: none

Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Hannah Southwell, 2. Georgia Yeoman-Dale, 3. Hayley Crawford, 5. Katherine Reynolds, 6. Angela Salem, 7. Tori Huster, 8. Amber Neilson, 9. Tara Andrews, 10. Emily van Egmond, 11. Rhali Dobson, 16. Cassidy Davis, 17. Grace McIntyre, 18. Clare Wheeler, 20. Claire Coelho (GK), 24. Brooke Miller

Ins: Clare Wheeler (promoted)

Outs: Sophie Nenadovic (omitted)

Unavailable: Ashley Spina (knee – season)

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