What a finale awaits in the final match of the Westfield W-League regular-season as Newcastle Jets and Brisbane Roar effectively play-off for a ticket to the semi-finals.
Newcastle are the home side but it is Brisbane who enter the match - to be broadcast on Fox Sports and ABC TV – with an advantage. The Roar leads by three points and two goals, plus a better goals-for tally. It leaves a simple equation for the Jets: win by two goals.
It is a very different scenario to just a month ago when the Jets were very much in the ascendency over the struggling Roar. The Jets thumped their rivals 4-0 in Brisbane in November, but since then the two sides have endured contrasting fortunes.
The Jets have lost four of their past five matches. The Roar, in contrast, have won three of their past four outings, with their only defeat in that period being a hard-fought 1-0 defeat against runaway leaders Melbourne City. Memories of a mid-season five-match winless streak are now ancient history.
The Jets will lament the absence of a key member of their notoriously watertight defence, with Hannah Bromley suspended after accumulating four yellow cards.
The Roar, for their part, boast a host of players with big-match experience. One such player is sometime Westfield Matildas forward Emily Gielnik, who says the Roar have been buoyed by their recent results.
"We’ve had a really good last couple of weeks,” says Gielnik. “We’re getting better every game so we’re at a really good place at the moment.
"We’re feeling quite confident as a team. We’re going in on a winning streak."
Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar
Sunday 17 January 201
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Local kick-off: 2pm
* Watch all the action Live from 2.00pm nationally on Fox Sports (Channel 505), or ABC TV. Or catch-up on ABC iView.
Join the conversation on Twitter using match hashtag #NEWvBRI
Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Hannah Southwell (gk), 2. Sophie Nenadovic, 4. Megan Oyster, 5. Caprice Dydasco, 6. Cassidy Davis, 7. Gema Simon (c), 9. Tara Andrews, 10. Rhali Dobson, 12. Chloe Logarzo, 13. Adriana Jones, 14. Brooke Miller, 15. Elizabeth Copus-Brown, 16. Siahn Bozanic, 17. Jenna Kingsley, 18. Clare Wheeler, 20. Claire Coelho (gk)
Ins: Sophie Nenadovic (returns from suspension), Adriana Jones (promoted)
Outs: Hannah Bromley (suspended)
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Haley Kopmeyer (gk), 3. Amy Chapman, 4. Clare Polkinghorne, 6. Angela Beard, 7. Gabe Marzano, 8. Ayesha Norrie, 10. Katrina Gorry, 11. Kirsty Yallop, 12. Alisha Foote, 13. Tameka Butt, 14. Summer O'Brien, 15. Ruth Blackburn, 17. Emily Gielnik, 19. Sofie Persson, 20. Carrie Simpson (gk)
Unavailable: Brooke Goodrich (injured)