Preview: Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC

This week’s Fox Sports/ABC TV match promises much for nationwide armchair viewers and local fans alike offering, as it does, a meeting between two great old rivals.

The pair have a rich shared history highlighted by a Grand Final match-up at the same AAMI Park in 2012/13 – the last time these two met at the much venerated venue.

History and indeed positions on the ladder, suggest Sydney FC will win comfortably. But things are rarely that simplistic in the Westfield W-League.

The Victory have just two wins from 19 attempts against the Sky Blues. But the pair’s recent form suggests the Victory, while underdogs, have a decent chance of improving upon that record.

The Victory still retain the slimmest mathematical chance of making the finals, but that will not be the primary focus.

The Victory’s most recent visit to AAMI Park saw them unluckily lose to an understrength Melbourne City. It was the closest the runaway leaders have come to dropping points all season.

A Sydney FC win would give them one hand on a finals berth and even keep alive slim hopes of a home semi-final.

Sydney had enjoyed some strong form until an underwhelming 3-0 loss to second-from-bottom Brisbane Roar last weekend. Just how they bounce back could be crucial in determining the outcome here.

Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
Sunday 27 December 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 -

Join the conversation on Twitter using match hashtag #MVCvSFC

Melbourne Victory squad: 20. Melissa Barbieri (gk) (c), 2. Alexandra Natoli, 4. Melissa Taranto, 6. Annabel Martin, 7. Enza Barilla, 8. Jamie Pollock, 10. Christine Nairn, 11. MelindaJ Barbieri, 12. Whitney Knight, 13. Thea Slatyer, 15. Adriana Taranto, 16. Hayley Raso, 17. Gulcan Koca, 1. Cassandra Dimovski (gk), 27. Natasha Dowie

Ins: Briar Palmer (promoted)

Outs: none

Unavailable: Selin Kuralay (knee – season), Laura Spiranovic (knee – season), Cindy Lay (eye – 2 weeks)

Sydney FC squad: 1. Michelle Betos (gk), 2. Elizabeth Ralston, 4. Sunny Franco, 5. Jasmyne Spencer, 6. Teresa Polias (c), 7. Nicola Bolger, 8. Amy Harrison, 9. Princess Ibini, 11. Natalie Tobin, 12. Olivia Price, 14. Alanna Kennedy, 15. Teigen Allen, 16. Hannah Bacon, 17. Kyah Simon, 18. Sham Khamis (gk), 19. Leena Khamis

Ins: Natalie Tobin (promoted)

Outs: none

Unavailable: Renee Rollason (knee – 2 weeks)