The upcoming 90 minutes at Kingston Heath could very well decide who walks away with the 2022/23 Premiers Plate when Melbourne City host Sydney FC.
Both teams have been the benchmark in the Liberty A-League Women’s for a number of years and each time they meet you are guaranteed to find something to talk about.
Melbourne City stopping Sydney’s winning run, Sydney FC coming back from two goals down in a semi final to win 4-2 and most recently, the Sky Blues completely dominating City at Allianz Stadium with the visitors only getting their first shot on target with less than ten minutes to spare.
Two attacks that when they click, are at their glittering best and with that in mind, can also mean plenty of goals.
Sydney FC come into this clash having staggered in recent weeks. Last week they didn’t get going against last place Wellington Phoenix, suffering their first defeat against the Kiwis in their history having not conceded a goal prior.
It appears that this season, Sydney FC appear to turn it on against the harder opposition, sweeping aside Western United 3-0 at Kogarah two weeks earlier.
Head Coach Ante Juric will be happy to welcome back Jada Whyman, Nat Tobin and Shay Hollman into the side after they all missed last week due to injury, suspension and international call ups. Unfortunately for the Sky Blues, Charlotte Mclean still remains on the sideline following a cheek bone injury which has seen her require surgery. Thankfully, she is expected back in less than a month and you know that her professionalism will see her return hungry.
With Madison Haley injured, Rachel Lowe has been leading the line and beginning to form a partnership with Princess Ibini and Cortnee Vine where the Matildas winger assisted the Sydney number eight for both of her goals against Western United.
Melbourne City were having a good run of form but came unstuck in the Melbourne Derby on Monday’s public holiday in Victoria. A quickfire Victory double in the first half was too much to overcome and despite having almost double the number of attempts as their hosts, were unable to find a way past Casey Dumont.
After spending so long on the sideline, Holly McNamara returned to start her second consecutive match following her ACL tear and she is slowly finding her way back to full match sharpness. The former Matilda will be itching to show Tony Gustavsson what she is still capable of and you wouldn’t put it past her to have a controlling game in the middle of the park for City.
Sydney FC have won four of the last five meetings between the two sides as they attempt to claw back superiority in the fixture which saw Melbourne City win five matches in a row.
The last time that the Sky Blues won against City on their territory was in February 2021 when Nat Tobin added to Remy Siemsen’s strike with a strong defensive performance ensuring the points remained in Sydney FC possession.
This time around, with so much on the line, which way this one falls will be akin to the toss of a coin. Don’t take your eyes off this one and the Premiers Plate race as a whole.
Melbourne City v Sydney FC
Liberty A-League Round 18
Saturday 18th March 2023
Kingston Heath, Melbourne, VIC
Kick Off: 1pm AEDT
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ & 10Play
Tickets: ENTRY IS FREE