Brisbane Roar coach Belinda Wilson calls it football’s “State of Origin”, and certainly fireworks are guaranteed when the Westfield W-League’s most successful clubs face-off.
There have been plenty of headline-making moments in a 17-match history between Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar - a period which includes two grand finals.
And this latest contest on Sunday afternoon at Gosford is sure to offer entertainment, physicality, and quality in equal measure for nationwide Fox Sports/ABC TV viewers and local supporters alike.
Both sides line up with a host of top-quality internationals with the two squads sharing seven players who featured in this week’s Westfield Matildas camp, including five stars from this year’s FIFA Women’ World Cup in Canada.
Adding further spice to the occasion is Brisbane’s desperate need for three points. They currently second from bottom, and are in the midst of a gruelling run of fixtures, having most recently played at Canberra United, before they tackle Melbourne City on Monday 28 December at the Gold Coast.
Brisbane, however, showed promising signs of returning to their former selves in their most recent outing at Canberra a fortnight ago.
And coach Wilson says her side will be ready for the Sky Blues’ challenge. “The game against Sydney is always a good one, it’s like a derby match,” she said. “It’s our State of Origin in football so the mentality should be right which is the biggest thing.”
Sydney believe they are finding the right combination at either of the pitch now, even though they have conceded four goals in the past fortnight.
In attack their dynamic forward line are starting to find their mojo with Westfield Matildas star Kyah Simon and last season’s top-scorer Jasmyne Spencer both starting to find the net.
The two sides have shared six wins apiece in their 17 matches so there is an added opportunity for bragging rights awaiting the victor.
Whatever the outcome, this is one not to be missed.
Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar
Sunday 20 December 2015
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
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.
Join the conversation on Twitter using match hashtag #SYDvBRI
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, Hannah Bacon (both promoted)
Outs: Ellyse Perry (cricket commitments)
Unavailable: Renee Rollason (knee – 2 weeks)
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Haley Kopmeyer (gk), 3. Amy Chapman, 4. Clare Polkinghorne, 6. Angela Beard, 7. Gabe Marzano, 8. Ayesha Norrie, 9. Cortnee Vine, 10. Katrina Gorry, 12. Alisha Foote, 13. Tameka Butt, 14. Summer O'Brien, 15. Ruth Blackburn, 16. Ashley Spina, 17. Emily Gielnik, 19. Sofie Persson, 20. Carrie Simpson (gk)
Ins: Cortnee Vine, Ashley Spina (both promoted)
Outs: Kirsty Yallop (suspended – one week)
Unavailable: Brooke Goodrich (injured)