Canberra heads to Sydney to play the Sky Blues on Sunday.
Achieving the double over Sydney FC will be at the forefront of attention this week for Canberra United as they look to reinvigorate their title chances with a visit to Lambert Park in Leichhardt to tackle the Sky Blues for the second time this season.
It was less than a month ago that Canberra tore Sydney apart in a superb attacking display at McKellar Park that led to a 3-0 victory and a confidence-boost ahead of what has been a sapping travel itinerary for the green team. Indeed, before United lines up against Brisbane Roar at McKellar on 5th December the team would have travelled over 2,670km for away matches since the home Sky Blues game.
The latest of these epic road trips was the clash in Newcastle last week at Magic Park, Broadmeadow which ended in a frustrating goal-less draw. United created chances against the Jets, in difficult conditions, but were unable to squeeze a goal that would have given them three precious points. As it is, the point gained leaves United in 8th place on the ladder, conversely only three points off second place.
It’s a tight division this season, with the exception of Melbourne City who have come out of the blocks firing on all cylinders and are five from five, with any side capable of defeating the other on their day. Sydney FC are a case in point, After losing their first two matches the Sky Blues, under coach Daniel Barrett, have responded well and claimed maximum points from their next pair of matches.
A Leena Khamis brace gave Sydney the spoils in the derby against Western Sydney Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium in Parramatta before a solitary goal, scored from the penalty spot by Kyah Simon, earned a 1-0 success over the 2015 League Champions Perth Glory at Lambert Park. These back-to-back wins have given Sydney some momentum heading into the return clash with Canberra.
United may be missing New Zealand international Emma Kete, who continues to recover from a calf injury, but should otherwise have a full squad from which to pick. Whilst it’s still too early to say this a make-or-break clash for both teams, it’s vitally important in such a short season that points are racked up on a continuous basis. With that in mind Canberra will be all-out for victory come Sunday afternoon.
Sydney FC v Canberra United
Sunday 22nd November
Lambert Park, Leichhardt, Sydney
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, 13. Nicole BEGG, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Emma CHECKER, 16. Tegan RIDING. 17. Veronica PEREZ, 18. Rebecca KITING, 19. Nickoletta FLANERRY, 20. Melissa MAIZELS
Unavailable: 12. Emma KETE (injured)