It's Adelaide next for title-chasing Canberra United.
Jamie Harnwell’s Adelaide United provide the opposition for Canberra United this weekend as Rae Dower and her team attempt to close the gap on high-flying Melbourne City at the top of the table. With the Lady Reds also fighting for a place in the top four after a good start to the Westfield W-League season, we should be in for a competitive fixture at McKellar Park.
Adelaide, for long the league’s paupers, have turned themselves into genuine challengers for a place in the finals and will enter this fixture with confidence brimming. They stunned Canberra in the same fixture last season as a double from Kristy Moore helped them to a 3-2 win at United’s fortress. That was Canberra’s last loss on home soil with five successive wins in the national capital following culminating in a 2-0 win over Brisbane Roar last weekend.
A double from Ashleigh Sykes ensured a happy homecoming for Canberra in front of just under 1,000 spectators, and the form of the flyer from Dubbo has been simply sublime in the last few weeks. A burgeoning confidence in front of goal was showcased by a stunningly well-taken breakaway second on the hour and Sykes will be out to add to her 21-goal Westfield W-League haul.
To do so Canberra will have to unlock an Adelaide team that has found a steely edge to go with the smart, possession-based football that Harnwell is well-known for. The Lady Reds have conceded a miserly eight goals in seven matches this season, only shipping more than one goal in two matches, a 2-2 draw in Round 1 versus Western Sydney Wanderers and a creditable 0-2 reverse to Melbourne City.
At the other end their biggest success has been a 4-0 hammering of Melbourne Victory, a result boosted by a hat-trick from striker Rosie Sutton. Her pace will be a big asset to Adelaide as they look to down Canberra again. Her link-up with youngster Emily Condon, tipped for big things in the near future, will be something Canberra will be wary of.
The hosts can look forward to drawing on a full team with New Zealand international Emma Kete set for a return to the matchday squad after resting, as a precaution, last week. Kete last featured in the 3-0 home win over Sydney FC and will be raring to get back into the thick of the action. Kete’s addition to the squad will give added firepower to Dower’s selection as Canberra attempts to win more valuable points in front of their home support.
Canberra United v Adelaide United
Saturday 12trh December 2015
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, 15. Emma CHECKER, 16. Tegan RIDING. 17. Veronica PEREZ, 18. Rebecca KITING, 19. Nickoletta FLANERRY, 20. Melissa MAIZELS