Match Preview: Women Ready For Allianz Clash

The Sydney FC women are ready to take on Western United FC this Sunday evening (5pm) for a show stopping head-to-head clash for the A-Leagues inaugural ‘Unite Round’.

The two dominant sides last faced off in April 2023 for the Liberty A-League Grand Final, marking Sydney FC’s sixth consecutive Grand Final appearance, and an impressive first for the new women’s team at Western United FC.

Princess Ibini lifts the Championship trophy aloft after beating Western United

It was a challenging contest, but Sydney FC came out on top with a convincing 4-0 win over the newcomers. The results of the match secured the Sky Blues their fourth championship and they became the first team since 2016 to achieve the premiership-championship double, capping off their season on a positive note.

Since their electrifying showdown, both sides have entered the top five spots on the ladder, vying for first place. Currently third, Western United FC have started the new season strong, remaining undefeated for their last three matches.

However, only one point separates fifth placed Sydney FC and their Victorian counterparts with the Sky Blues having a game in hand. With a home game at Allianz Stadium, the Sky Blues will put on a show for their fans and members.

Beale makes a save in last year’s Grand Final

Sydney FC have been struggling for goals lately and this could partly be down to their mounting injury list with Fiona Worts, Shea Connors, Lucy Johnson and Nat Tobin all sidelined for this weekend. Cortnee Vine is expected to return in either this Grand Final re-match or else the mid-week clash with the Mariners.

Last weekend, the Sky Blues travelled up the freeway and took on the new league outfit the Central Coast Mariners but struggled to create any clear cut opportunities in a very physical affair. Jada Whyman had an impressive performance between the sticks, marking her fifth clean sheet of the season, including a key save late in the first half.

Neither side was able to find the net and the game finished goalless with Juric’s side continuing to be undefeated in their last five matches.

As for Western United they announced themselves as a contender for the title again with a statement 4-1 result over Melbourne Victory. Their early season form wasn’t something to write home about, however lately they have been picking up the pace and have lost only one of their last five which sees them sitting in third place.

Former Sky Blue, Chloe Logarzo has been hitting form, netting a second half brace on Saturday and she will be looking to add one against Sydney FC who she made 78 appearances for in the past.

A key pairing to look out for during this match is Sky Blue forward and captain, Princess Ibini, and Western United FC seasoned defender, Tyla-Jay Vlajnic. Ibini was nothing short of influential in the squads last meeting. Capitalising off a penalty, Ibini converted to almost seal the title in Sky Blue.

Whilst it will be a touch contest, Vlajnic is no stranger to a challenge having won four championships and two premierships, and representing Serbia on the national stage.

Tobin celebrates with Ibini last season

It’ll be an incredible match-up between two of the A-Leagues finest sides. Will the Sky Blues take home three points or will Western United FC seek Grand Final redemption?

Match Details:

Western United v Sydney FC
Liberty A-League Round 12 (Unite Round)
Sunday 14 January, 2024
Allianz Stadium, Sydney, NSW
Kick Off: 5:00pm
Gates Open: 4:00pm
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