Canberra heads home to tackle Lady Reds

Adelaide United provides the opposition this weekend as Canberra United begins a run of four home matches with a clash against the Lady Reds.

Adelaide United provides the opposition this weekend as Canberra United begins a run of four home matches with a clash against the Lady Reds. And, after being away for the last three rounds, United will be hoping its home sweet home as they aim to inflict defeat on Adelaide and open up what could prove to be an insurmountable four point gap over their fifth placed opponents.

If that wasn-t incentive enough for Canberra there is also the fact that the club are still smarting from a first ever defeat at the hands of the resurgent Reds barely a fortnight ago. On that occasion early goals from Lisa-Marie Woods and Rachael Quigley gave Ross Aloisi-s side something to hold on to, and they did with a stubbornness and resoluteness that has characterized their performances in 2013/14.

Indeed, under their new Coach Adelaide has enjoyed a startling 2013/14 campaign, winning three and drawing two of their eight matches to date to leave themselves on the fringe of the top four and an outside chance of a first ever finals appearance. When you consider that the Lady Reds had only picked up five wins and four draws in their preceding 52 matches, it gives a solid indication of the good work that Aloisi and his coaching staff have undertaken.

As if inflicting a defeat on Canberra United wasn-t enough, that result came on the back of a tremendous display in Queensland where Adelaide inflicted a shock 1-0 defeat on perennial title favourites and tournament powerhouses Brisbane Roar. Adelaide has only conceded seven goals heading into this fixture showcasing that once they get their noses in front they are a difficult side to break down.

Only a 96th minute equaliser from Michelle Carney denied Adelaide three points last week, the Western Sydney Wanderers player striking a superb goal from outside over the head of Melissa Barbieri to rescue a draw for the Sydney side. It needed a piece of magic to beat the in-form Barbieri and Canberra will need to be at their clinical best in order to establish and retain a lead. What was galling for Adelaide was that it was the second time this season that the Wanderers had plundered a stoppage time leveler. And those dropped four points could be crucial.

Following this match United has a week to prepare for the visit of Perth Glory which starts the trio of home matches within seven days with Sydney FC (29th January) and Newcastle Jets (1st February) to quickly follow. Therefore three points here would give the club huge momentum as it looks to build towards a finals place for the fifth time in six years. After missing out on semi-finals last season Canberra is champing at the bit to get into the top four again.

CANBERRA UNITED SQUAD 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 2. Catherine BROWN, 3. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 5. Grace FIELD, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Meg McLAUGHLIN, 9. Grace GILL, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole SYKES, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 16. Lori LINDSEY, 17. Holly HOUSTON, 19. Jennifer BISSET, 20. Trudy BURKE, 22. Stephanie OCHS

Unavailable15. Sally SHIPARD (injured)

LAST TIME OUT Sunday 5th January 2014 Adelaide United 2 (Lisa-Marie Woods 9-, Rachael Quigley 13- (pen)) Canberra United 0

COMPLETE RECORD 22/11/08: Canberra United 0 Adelaide United 0 05/12/09: Canberra United 3 Adelaide United 0 04/12/10: Canberra United 4 Adelaide United 0 22/10/11: Adelaide United 1 Canberra United 4 07/01/12: Canberra United 5 Adelaide United 0 03/11/12: Canberra United 3 Adelaide United 1 05/01/14: Adelaide United 2 Canberra United 0

OVERALLPlayed 7, Won 5, Drawn 1, Lost 1 HOMEPlayed 5, Won 4, Drawn 1, Lost 0 AWAY Played 2, Won 1, Drawn 1, Lost 0