All eyes will be on Melbourne City to see how the champions bounce back after finally experiencing the pain of defeat last weekend.
The star-studded City lost 2-1 to Canberra United to suffer a first loss, some 18 games and over a year since their Westfield W-League debut. City, though, are virtually at full strength and, given the quantity of Westfield Matildas and international stars within their ranks, that means a treat for football fans in western Sydney.
Indeed this will be City’s first ever visit to the Wanderers. Their only previous meeting was a 4-0 win in Melbourne for the home side last January.
As for the Wanderers, they will take plenty of confidence from last week’s effort against the Victory, where they fought back twice – including a last-minute equaliser - to take home a valuable away point.
But as it stands, City are still the side to beat. They still lead the ladder, albeit only on goal difference, and remain the pace-setters on and off the field in many areas.
Melbourne City and Westfield Matildas defender Laura Alleway believes there are positives to come from defeat last weekend. “I think the loss will be a good thing for us,” Alleway said. “It’s been fairly smooth sailing in the last season and coming into the new season without dropping points. So I think it’s a positive thing, it will shake us up a little, we’ll go back to the drawing board, we’ll work hard.”
The Westfield W-League match will be followed by a Foxtel National Youth League encounter as table-topping Wanderers match-up against Newcastle Jets at 7:30pm.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne City
Sunday 18 December 2016
Venue: Popondetta Park
Kick-Off: 3:00PM (Local)
Referee: Maddison Kennedy
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WLeague #BeReal
Western Sydney Wanderers squad: 1.Jada WHYMAN (gk), 2.Caitlin COOPER (c), 3.Nikola ORGILL, 4.Chloe O¹BRIEN, 5.Helen PETINOS, 6.Kendall FLETCHER, 7.Sarah YATIM, 8.Erica HALLOWAY, 9.Katie STENGEL, 10.Paige NIELSON, 13.Eliza AMMENDOLIA, 14.Alex ARLITT, 15.Ellie CARPENTER, 16.Alix ROBERTS, 17.Alyssa ROSE, 18.Angelique HRISTODOULOU, 22.Casey DUMONT (gk) **two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Nikola ORGILL (promoted), 13.Eliza AMMENDOLIA (promoted)
Unavailable: 23.Joey BURGESS (calf)
Melbourne City squad: 1.Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), 2.Teigen ALLEN, 3.Lauren BARNES, 5.Laura ALLEWAY, 6.Aivi LUIK, 7.Steph CATLEY (c), 10.Jessica FISHLOCK, 11.Erika TYMRAK, 13.Rebekah STOTT, 14.Melina AYRES, 15.Amy JACKSON, 16.Beverly YANEZ, 17.Marianna TABAIN, 19.Tyla-Jay VLAJNIC, 26.Erin HUDSON (gk)
Unavailable: 9.Larissa CRUMMER (ankle – 3 weeks)