Canberra United v Melbourne Victory Preview

Canberra United will look to join Perth at the top of the W-League as they face Melbourne Victory in Round 9 of the Westfield W-League on Wednesday

Canberra United will be looking to extend their Westfield W-League undefeated streak to five matches on Wednesday as they travel to face Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

United have had an extended break since their 5-1 thrashing of Brisbane Roar in Gosford in Round 7, with Victory's break even longer, having had 11 days off since their 1-1 draw with Newcastle in the same round.

United have not lost since their season-opening clash with Melbourne City in Round 2, and have been picking up pace as they have charged to the upper end of the ladder.

The visitors will start this match three points in arrears of Perth Glory at the top of the table, meaning a win would send them equal top with the West Australians.

United will welcome back defender Emma Checker to the squad this week after almost a year out with an ACL injury, and while she may not start, it represents further strengthening of the squad as the season begins to reach the business end.

Ellie Brush has been named despite not featuring in the win over Brisbane with a knee inury and it remains to be seen if she will take her place in the lineup for this contest.

For the Victory, Natasha Dowie has been in imperious form through the first half of the season, and will look to make an impact against a Canberra defence that has kept only one clean sheet this season. 

That clean sheet came in Round 3 against Brisbane, and Rae Dower's side have since then used a modus operandi of simply outscoring whatever their opponents throw at them.

That also makes for an entertaining style of football, and with Victory seemingly alwys involved in high-scoring matches, this clash is sure to be one fitting of the television spotlight.

Melbourne Victory v Canberra United Wednesday 28 December 2016 Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne Kick-Off: 5:05PM (Local)

Referee: Rebecca Durcau Assistant Referee 1: Laura Moya Assistant Referee 2: Sarah Wikeley Fourth Official: Joanna Charaktis

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and ABC TV from 5.00pm (AEDT)

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Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Alexandra NATOLI, 5.Alex GUMMER, 6.Annabel MARTIN, 7.Lia PRIVITELLI, 8.Ayesha NORRIE, 9.Natasha DOWIE, 10.Christine NAIRN (c), 11.MelindaJ BARBIERI, 13.Laura SPIRANOVIC, 15.Adriana TARANTO, 16.Samantha JOHNSON, 17.Gulcan KOCA, 19.Rachel ALONSO, 20.Bethany MASON-JONES (gk), 25.Kariah WHITE, 30.Emily KENSHOLE (gk) **one to be omitted**

Ins: 7.Lia PRIVITELLI (promoted), 8.Ayesha NORRIE (promoted), 19.Rachel ALONSO (promoted)

Outs: 3.Alex CHEAL (omitted), 24.Kirsty YALLOP (unavailable)

Unavailable: 1.Bianca HENNINGER (gk) (knee – 1 week), 4.Melissa TARANTO (knee – season), 14.Selin KURALAY (knee – season)

Canberra United squad: 1.Trudy BURKE (gk), 2.Yukari KINGA, 4.Clare HUNT, 5.Jenna McCORMICK, 7.Ellie BRUSH, 8.Hayley RASO, 9.Jasmyne SPENCER 10.Grace MAHER, 11.Michelle HEYMAN, 12.Hannah BREWER, 13.Celeste BOUREILLE, 14.Ashley SYKES, 15.Emma CHECKER, 16.Karly ROESTBAKKEN, 19.Nickoletta FLANNERY, 20.Georgia BORIC (gk), 22.Stephanie OCHS **two to be omitted**

Ins: 15.Emma CHECKER (Return from Injury), 7.Ellie BRUSH (Promoted), 8.Hayley RASO (Promoted)

Outs: 17.Laura HUGHES (Not selected)

Unavailable: Nil