W-League Preview: Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory

A high-quality contest is in the offing as the star-laden Brisbane Roar host Melbourne Victory with both teams hunting three points and a confidence boost ahead of the finals.

Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory Sunday 9 February 2014 QSAC (Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre), Brisbane Local kick-off: 2pm (3pm AEDT)

** Catch the action at 6pm nationally on ABC1. Or catch up from Monday on ABC iView with a replay at 3.30am on Thursday (*live in AEDT states)

A high-quality contest is in the offing as the star-laden Brisbane Roar host Melbourne Victory with both teams hunting three points and a confidence boost ahead of the finals.

Brisbane Roar could in theory edge Melbourne Victory out of third but it would take a four-goal winning margin to do so.

The Victory on the other hand know that a win, combined with Canberra failing to earn all three points at Sydney FC, will earn them second and a home semi-final.

From the Roar-s perspective a win will provide a much-needed confidence boost after some recent indifferent form, as well as maintain an unbeaten record against the Victory.

The Roar are at full strength, save for the mid-season injury to Amy Chapman, and it is hard to imagine their star-studded roster staying down for long.

Roar skipper Clare Polkinghorne said during the week, somewhat ominously for the Victory, that the team are “confident of good form for the end of the season and the finals series”.

The Victory will be hungry to prove that last week-s unlikely home defeat to Perth Glory, which ended a nine-match unbeaten run, was merely a blip.

They will have to make do without Enza Barilla this week, and under-rated defensive midfielder Katie Hoyle who is on New Zealand international duty for the next fortnight.

On the credit side, central defender Maika Ruyter-Hooley is set to make her first appearance in Victory colours since last year-s grand final, while midfielder Ella Mastrantonio also returns to the Victory matchday squad after several seasons with her native Perth Glory.

The match will also mark the 50th Melbourne Victory appearance for popular captain and Westfield Matildas fullback Steph Catley.

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Nadine ANGERER (gk), 2. Laura ALLEWAY, 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 5. Brooke SPENCE, 6. Joanne BURGESS, 7. Kim CARROLL, 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 9. Larissa CRUMMER, 10. Katrina GORRY, 11. Vedrana POPOVIC, 13. Tameka BUTT, 14. Natasha WHEELER, 16. Hayley RASO, 17. Emily GIELNIK, 19. Ayesha NORRIE, 20. Kate STEWART (gk) (one to be omitted)

Ins: Natasha Wheeler (promoted)

Outs: None

Unavailable: Amy Chapman (knee - season)

Melbourne Victory squad: 1. Brianna Davey (gk) 3. Jessica Humble 6. Cindy Lay 7. Stephanie Catley (c) 9. Caitlin Friend 10. Jess Fishlock 11. Lisa De Vanna 12. Jessica Samuelsson 15. Emma Checker 16. Beattie Goad 17. Gulcan Koca 20. Cassie Dimovski (gk) 21. Ella Mastrantonio 22. Lauren Brown 25. Maika Ruyter-Hooley

Ins: Emma Checker (returns from injury), Cindy Lay, Ella Mastrantonio, Maika Ruyter-Hooley (all promoted)

Outs: Katie Hoyle (New Zealand national team commitments), Enza Barilla (personal commitments), Tiffany Eliadis, Alex Natoli (both omitted)

Unavailable: Ashley Brown (knee - season)

For more information:w-league.com.au