Perth Glory will host Canberra United as the pair meet in the west for the first time since last season’s memorable Grand Final.Much, however, has changed since then with the Glory facing a virtual must-win scenario while United this time start as favourites.
The Glory have won just two of their nine matches this season, and they face a massive test against the in-form second-placed Canberra.
Many key personnel that were integral for the Glory’s premiership win last season are now gone, including coach Jamie Harnwell, while their Westfield Matildas star Sam Kerr is, of course, out for the season with injury.
History also offers little solace for the home team. United has only ever lost once in Western Australia, a 0-3 defeat at Ashfield Reserve last season. They otherwise have won three and drawn three of the seven outings across the Nullarbor.
United are hopeful that captain Nicole Begg will resume her place in the line-up after a back complaint. It would be yet another member of last year’s championship winning side to return to Perth. The Glory, for their part, have fewer remaining players from that defeat.
All the signs point to a Canberra United win, but the Westfield W-League is prone to springing surprises with regularity.
Perth Glory v Canberra United
Saturday 2 January 2016
Ashfield Reserve, Perth
Local kick-off: 4pm (7pm AEDT)
Join the conversation on Twitter using match hashtag #PERvCBR
Perth Glory squad: 1. Mackenzie Arnold (gk), 3. Kim Carroll (c), 4. Katie Holtham, 5. Shannon May, 6. Carla Bennett, 7. Nicole Stanton, 8. Shawn Billam, 9. Caitlin Foord, 11. Emily Henderson, 13. Danielle Brogan, 14. Caitlin Doeglas, 16. Thia Eastman, 18. Gabrielle Dal Busco (gk), 19. Ella Mastrantonio 23. Vanessa DiBernardo
Unavailable: Sarah Carroll (quad – indefinite), Samantha Kerr (foot – season)
Canberra United squad: 1. Lydia Williams (gk), 3. Julia De Angelis, 4. Kendall Fletcher, 5. Jenna McCormick, 6. Caitlin Munoz, 7. Ellie Brush, 8. Meg McLaughlin, 11. Michelle Heyman, 12. Emma Kete, 13. Nicole Begg (c), 14. Ashleigh Sykes, 15. Emma Checker, 16. Tegan Riding, 17. Veronica Perez, 18. Rebecca Kiting, 20. Melissa Maizels (gk)
Ins: Tegan Riding (promoted), Nicole Begg (returns from injury)
Outs: Catherine Brown (omitted)