WWL preview: Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory

The last time this pair met, Sydney FC romped to a 5-1 victory to march into last season’s grand final in the most emphatic fashion imaginable.

Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory Saturday 29 October 2011 Leichhardt Oval, Sydney Local kick-off: 3pm

The last time this pair met, Sydney FC romped to a 5-1 victory to march into last season-s grand final in the most emphatic fashion imaginable.

Yet much has changed in a short space of time and the Victory will harbour genuine aspirations of knocking over the reigning premiers on their home turf. While it is still early days, this contest is shaping as a highlight on the season-s calendar, much like the Hyundai A-League equivalent between the same clubs.

A win for Melbourne will lift the Victory five points clear of their rivals on the fledgling table. The Victory were good value for their 2-0 win over Perth Glory last weekend, and they will look to maintain that momentum prior to coach Vicki Linton-s absence over the coming fortnight in her role as Australia U-17 coach.

The home side will also aim to build upon last weekend-s performance when the Sky Blues had much the better of a 1-1 draw against Brisbane Roar in their grand final rematch.

Sydney outshot their opponents three to one and coach Alen Stajcic will be looking for more cutting edge in the attacking third this weekend. The Sky Blues will have star USA midfielder Megan Rapinoe for her second and final appearance Down Under while another American, former Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Allison Lipsher links with the team this weekend.

On the debit side, Sydney will have to wait a few more weeks before welcoming back influential attacking trio Kyah Simon, Leena Khamis and Heather Garriock, whose presence was sorely missed last weekend.