Round One. Derby One. The first instalment of the Westfield W-League's Thursday Night Football kicks off with a bang.
Western Sydney Wanderers host their cross-town rivals and will be hoping to improve on last year's eighth-place finish.
The Wanderers have made some serious changes for the 2018/19 Season. On the field, the Red and Black have snapped up three former Sky Blues in Leena Khamis, Kylie Ledbrook and Georgia Yeoman-Dale. Remy Siemsen will also don the Wanderers jersey in a major coup for Western Sydney.
Meanwhile, Dan Barrett will begin his Wanderers tenure against his former club. Barrett took over from Westfield Matildas coach, Alen Stajcic, at Sydney FC for the start of the 2014 Season and enjoyed three seasons with the Sky Blues. He joins Western Sydney from his previous role as Head of Female Performance at the Central Coast Mariners.
Sydney FC, meanwhile, began the 2017/18 Season with three consecutive losses before going on a 10-match unbeaten streak. Unfortunately, that ended on the big stage as the Sky Blues succumbed to a 2-0 masterclass by Melbourne City.
Ante Juric and his staff instilled an attractive brand of football last season, and have recruited well enough to do so again. Alanna Kennedy, Caitlin Foord and Amy Sayer will excite fans, while Sofia Huerta and Danielle Colaprico will add some wisdom and experience.
History is on the Sky Blues' side, as they have won five of the last six games against Western Sydney. A new season brings new stories, though, so Marconi Stadium is set to host a cracker at 7.30pm on Thursday.
Ins and Outs
Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 1.Jada WHYMAN (gk), 2.Caitlin COOPER, 6.Servet UZUNLAR (c), 7.Lo’eau LABONTA, 8.Erica HALLOWAY, 9.Remy SIEMSEN, 10.Kylie LEDBROOK, 11.Elizabeth ADDO, 13.Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, 15.Talitha KRAMER, 16.Liana DANASKOS, 17.Sydney MIROMONTEZ, 19.Leena KHAMIS, 20.Caitlin JARVIE, 21.Mackenzie HAWKESBY, 30.Nicole SIMONSEN (gk)
***one to be omitted***
Unavailable: 5.Rachel LOWE (international duty), 12.Susan PHONSONGKHAM (international duty), 14.Courtney NEVIN (international duty)
Sydney FC squad: 1.Aubrey BLEDSOE (gk), 2.Teresa POLIAS (c), 4.Elizabeth RALSTON, 5.Ally GREEN, 6.Chloe LOGARZO, 7.Rachael SOUTAR, 9.Caitlin FOORD, 11.Lisa DE VANNA, 12.Natalie TOBIN, 17.Angelique HRISTODOULOU, 22.Sofia HUERTA, 23.Danielle COLAPRICO, 24.Bryany PARKER, 25.Darcey MALONE, 30.Trudy BURKE (gk)
Ins: 24.Bryany PARKER (injury replacement), 25.Darcey MALONE (injury replacement)
Unavailable: 8.Amy HARRISON (knee), 14.Alanna KENNEDY (foot), 18.Taylor RAY (International Duty), 19.Amy SAYER (International Duty), 20.Princess IBINI (International Duty), 21.Julia VIGNES (International Duty)
Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 to see the first Sydney Derby of 2018/19 Season, with kick off at 7:30pm (AEDT), or stream the match live on the MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers.
Secure your ticket to Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC here.