Preview: Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers

Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers will both be desperate for a win on Sunday in Melbourne as the leading pack threaten to skip away.

The two sides have collected just one win between them across their nine matches. The Victory, have yet to get their ‘W’ column off the mark after five matches. History, however, is in their favour with the Wanderers winning just one from seven matches between the pair, though that was their most recent visit to Melbourne.

One feels the Victory are not that far from turning things around under experienced coach Jeff Hopkins. New signing, experienced New Zealand midfielder Kirsty Yallop, will bring much needed guile in the centre of the park, and add balance alongside American ace Christine Nairn.

Injuries have not been kind to the Victory thus far, with goalkeeper Bianca Henninger set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, while fellow American Samantha Johnson sits out this week having already accrued too many cautions.

Wanderers’ coach Rich Byrne will be hoping the weekend off will be a boost rather than an unwanted break in momentum. There are a number of changes to the Wanderers squad this weekend, with one by necessity after Jo Burgess suffered a calf injury.

Focus will be on American imports Katie Stengel and Paige Nielsen who have looked dangerous in attack since their arrival.

Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday 11 December 2016
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Kick-Off: 4:00PM (Local) (4:00PM (AEDT))

Referee: Kate Jacewicz

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Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Alexandra NATOLI, 3.Alex CHEAL, 5.Alex GUMMER, 6.Annabel MARTIN, 7.Lia PRIVITELLI, 8.Ayesha NORRIE, 9.Natasha DOWIE, 10.Christine NAIRN (c), 11.MelindaJ BARBIERI, 13.Laura SPIRANOVIC, 15.Adriana TARANTO, 17.Gulcan KOCA, 19.Rachel ALONSO, 20.Bethany MASON-JONES (gk), 24.Kirsty YALLOP, 25.Kariah WHITE, 30.Emily KENSHOLE (gk) **two to be omitted**

Ins: 5.Alex GUMMER (new signing), 19.Rachel ALONSO (promoted), 24.Kirsty YALLOP (new signing)

Outs: 16.Samantha JOHNSON (suspended – 1 week)

Unavailable: 1.Bianca HENNINGER (gk) (knee – 4-6 weeks), 4.Melissa TARANTO (knee – season), 14.Selin KURALAY (knee – indefinite)

Western Sydney Wanderers squad: 1.Jada WHYMAN (gk), 2.Caitlin COOPER (c), 3.Nikola ORGILL, 4.Chloe O’BRIEN, 5.Helen PETINOS, 6.Kendall FLETCHER, 7.Sarah YATIM, 8.Erica HALLOWAY, 9.Katie STENGEL, 10.Paige NIELSON, 11.Georgia PLESSAS, 12.Rachel LOWE, 14.Alex ARLITT, 15.Ellie CARPENTER, 17.Alyssa ROSE, 18.Angelique HRISTODOULOU, 22.Casey DUMONT (gk) **two to be omitted**

Ins: 3.Nikola ORGILL (promoted), 5.Helen PETINOS (promoted), 17.Alyssa ROSE (promoted), 18.Angelique HRISTODOULOU (promoted)

Outs: 13.Eliza AMMENDOLIA (not selected), 16.Alix ROBERTS (not selected)

Unavailable: 23.Joey BURGESS (calf injury)