Canberra welcomes Wanderers to McKellar Park.
Canberra United against Western Sydney Wanderers has often provided an exciting match-up and this afternoon’s crucial Round 13 clash is no different. With United almost certain of a semi-final place the home team will be out to make sure they gain a home match in the last four by gaining a positive result against their visitors.
The hosts, having seen off the Red & Blacks 4-1 in their meeting in late November, will no doubt be confident of success but the Wanderers arrive with a squad that has the ability and talent to cause a surprise and at least emulate the teams of Season 7 which earned a point from a 1-1 stalemate at McKellar Park.
That draw was one of only two points the Wanderers have earned in matches against Canberra with the green team usually finding a way to goal in these contests. In six previous encounters Canberra has scored seventeen times. To put that into context that’s the same amount of goals the club has managed in twelve matches against Sydney FC. With only four Wanderers players having tasted the elation of scoring against Canberra, and only one at this venue, it’s no surprise that United will be favourites,
Rae Dower and her team don’t rely on statistics and history to forge their place in the pantheons of football however and will be well aware that previous form counts for little when points are up for grabs at such a critical stage of the season. The fact that United will be playing in front of a raucous home crowd will no doubt be to their advantage however,
Canberra has an excellent overall record at McKellar Park which has been something of a fortress for the club over the years. The team has only lost eight times at their often imposing venue in seven years of Westfield W-League football heading into this term and it’s no secret that the average home crowd in that time, of nearly 900 per game, has been an added bonus for the United players as they face the tests on the field.
The Wanderers bring a squad with a number of young players in it to McKellar this weekend with the team also including former Canberra United defender Caitlin Cooper. Cooper signed for United from Central Coast Mariners in Season 3 and made 34 appearances for the club across three seasons, scoring three goals. Other players to keep an eye out for include English star Hanna Beard, plus American duo Kendall Johnson and Keelin Winters.
With the festive period out of the way Canberra will be out to prove that they can hold onto their Champions status. A win against the Wanderers in this clash would be another step in the right direction for Rae Dower’s team.
Canberra United v Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday 10th January 2016
McKellar Park, Belconnen
Canberra United Squad
1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 2. Catherine BROWN, 3. Julia DE ANGELIS, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 5. Jenna MCCORMICK, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Meg MCLAUGHLIN, 9. Grace GILL, 10. Grace MAHER, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Emma KETE, 13. Nicole BEGG, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 16. Tegan RIDING. 17. Veronica PEREZ, 18. Rebecca KITING, 19. Nickoletta FLANERRY, 20. Melissa MAIZELS