WWL Preview: Canberra United v Melbourne Victory

Canberra will be warm favourites to win through to their second grand final and first since season one when the Victory visit the nation’s capital.

Canberra United v Melbourne Victory Saturday 21 January McKellar Park, Canberra Local kick-off: 3pm Tickets available at the game (One Hour highlights package on ABC1 from 6pm, Saturday)

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Canberra will be warm favourites to win through to their second grand final and first since season one when the Victory visit the nation-s capital.

United swept all before them in claiming the premiership without suffering defeat; the first time such a feat has been achieved in the four-season history of the Westfield W-League.

However little more than a fortnight ago, Melbourne Victory went closer than any other team this season to inflicting defeat on United. Only a late Michelle Heyman strike earned the visiting Canberra a draw against a spirited Melbourne who had the better of play on the artificial surface.

The result contrasted with earlier in the season when Canberra dominated the Victory in winning 2-1 at their Belconnen fortress, with a confident showing that belied the narrow scoreline.

The match pits two of the league-s most impressive defences but Canberra-s rearguard, led by the in-form United goalkeeper Lydia Williams, present a massive obstacle if the home team-s winning run is to be halted.

Canberra, hosting their first semi-final, will welcome back Ellyse Perry from cricket commitments while at the other end of the field, New Zealand international striker Emma Kete will be vying for her first start since joining from Perth Glory.

The Victory will be hungry to demonstrate they have learned from last year-s maiden semi-final appearance when they crashed to a 5-1 loss at the hands of a rampant Sydney FC.

Melbourne have been in consistent form in recent times having not tasted defeat in five outings since November. Strike Jodie Taylor has been in goalscoring form during that time, while last weekend-s win over Adelaide showed the Victory can score from other parts of the field with four different names on the scoresheet.