After emerging from Newcastle with a pair of 2-1 wins, our Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League sides are back in action this weekend.Tony Popovic’s men take on Melbourne City tonight at AAMI Park: kick-off is 7:40pm and you can watch live on SBS2 and Fox Sports 505.
The Wander Women are up against cellar-dwellers Melbourne Victory on Sunday with a chance for us to launch ourselves into the top four with a win.
Here’s the lowdown on both our opponents.
Hyundai A-League: Melbourne City (Friday, 7.40pm)
John van’t Schip’s side lie one place above the Wanderers in the table with City’s goal difference separating the two sides.
City has largely been gung-ho in their approach to the 2015/16 campaign thus far, scoring 12 goals in five matches but conceding 10 at the other end. With the Wanderers adhering to a more regimented and disciplined structure, it makes for an interesting match-up.
Unfortunately for City, they’ll be without star man and former Wanderer Aaron Mooy through international duty. The midfielder’s scintillating run of form shows no sign of stopping and he’s been central to the heart of the Melbourne system as ever, scoring twice and registering three assists in a little over four matches.
Jacob Melling and Erik Paartalu have otherwise dovetailed effectively with Mooy in the midfield three whilst Bruno Fornaroli has adapted to the Hyundai A-League in hugely impressive fashion. The Uruguayan is currently averaging a goal a game for John van’t Schip’s men: currently the league’s leading marksman.
With youngster Stefan Mauk impressing on the left flank and French dynamo Harry Novillo nearing a return to full fitness, City are still well primed for the visit of the Wanderers despite the loss of their key man.
W-League: Melbourne Victory (Sunday 3pm)
It’s been a remarkable fall from grace for Dave Edmonson’s Melbourne Victory. Last season’s second-placed finishers are currently rooted to the bottom of the table and were consigned to their fourth loss in a row on the weekend, beaten 4-0 at home by Adelaide.
To add further insult to injury, they will be without their most experienced player in Melissa Barbieri who was sent off in the defeat at the hands of the Lady Reds. It means that Victory, who are already without the experience of Selin Kuralay, Gulcan Koca and Thea Slatyer, travel to Marconi with a youthful, depleted squad.
There’s a lot of pressure on young Cassandra Dimovski to consolidate an inexperienced backline whilst Victory will look to the experience of Christine Nairn and Laura Spiranovic going forward.
It’s a match they simply have to win to remain in finals contention so the Wanderers ought to be wary of a dangerous wounded animal.