Canberra faces Western Sydney Wanderers at McKellar Park this weekend in Round 8 of the Westfield W-League.
Westfield W-League Round 8
Saturday 1st November 2014
Canberra United v Western Sydney Wanderers
(McKellar Park, Kick-Off: 5pm)
A few weeks ago this match would have been pencilled in as a home banker as Canberra United welcome Western Sydney Wanderers to McKellar Park for Round 8 of the Westfield W-League. With United looking good at the top of the ladder and the Wanderers struggling at the other end, it would have taken a brave punter to suggest that the Red & Blacks could emerge from a trip to the national capital with three points.
And yet Western Sydney enters this fixture in a buoyant and confident mood. Their remarkable 2-1 success over title-chasing Sydney FC in last weekends televised ABC TV match arguably should have been even more emphatic and this coming close on the heels of a similarly seismic success over Brisbane Roar in Queensland. Evidently the Wanderers don’t mind a bit of travel and Canberra will need to be on their guard if they are to maintain their top four position at the culmination of ninety minutes.
The hosts will enter the fixture on something of a high themselves however, with the narrow 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory at the Etihad Stadium reinvigorating their top-four push. Any triumph over the reigning champions is cause for optimism but to do so in front of a Westfield W-League record crowd of 14,068, and the manner in which it was achieved, suggest that perhaps Canberra are back on track.
This will be the green team’s fourth home match of the season and, remarkably, they have only won one of the previous three. That was the 2-0 win over Brisbane Roar. The three points gained there have been book-ended by defeats to Melbourne Victory [2-4] and Adelaide United [2-3] with the number of goals conceded a worry. This is why a clean sheet away to the Victory was almost as important as Ashleigh Sykes’ winning goal.
Keelin Winters had a prominent role to play in the Wanderers upset of the Sky Blues in Round 7 and keeping her quiet will be key for United’s midfield. With Caitlin Jarvie and Angela Beard also enjoying strong matches, and Linda O’Neill a buzzing ball of energy, Western Sydney will not lack for quality in the creative department. Former Canberra United players Trudy Burke (goalkeeper) and Caitlin Cooper (defender) make their return to their former stamping ground and both will need to be in tip-top form if they are to spring what would be a third major surprise of the season.
1. Chantel JONES, 2. Catherine BROWN, 3. Julia DE ANGELIS, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 5. Grace FIELD, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 9. Grace GILL, 10. Grace MAHER, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole BEGG, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Tegan RIDING, 16. Lori LINDSEY, 17. Holly HOUSTON, 18. Rebecca KITING, 20. Melissa MAIZELS, 22. Stephanie OCHS
UNAVAILABLE: 8. Meg McLAUGHLIN (injured), 9. Grace GILL (injured)