Liberty A-League Match Preview | Friday Night Lights

Match Details
Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers
Date: Friday 16 February
Kick-off: 7.00pm (AEDT)
Location: Home of the Matildas


It’s Friday Night Lights at the Home of the Matildas for the first time this season and our girls in blue are looking to continue their five-game unbeaten run when they face the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Speaking to the media ahead of Friday night, Head Coach Jeff Hopkins praised the Wanderers’ form over the last two months.

“Since we played them last they’ve gone on a really good run. They’ve been probably one of or actually the most consistent side in the league since then,” he said.

“So it’s a great game for us to play. I think in terms of us, we’ve been pretty consistent over the last five games without being spectacular and we now need to start turning those draws into wins.

“So it’s a big game for us for sure. One, to grab ourselves three points to progress up the league, but two, to maybe put a little bit of a roadblock on them because they have been very good over the last six weeks or so.

“Things are looking better and better for us. And for me now it’s just more around that final third, being able to finish teams off and to be able to finish our attacks off a little bit better.

“And I think to not let teams get on top of us early in games. So there’s a number of things that we’ve been able to do over the past five weeks. And again, kind of the way that we do it is, can we get a little bit better each week? And I think we have done.”

Ex-Matilda striker Emily Gielnik is beginning to find her form, having scored two goals in the past three games as she continues to build up her fitness.

After spending the first half of the season on the sideline due to injury, Hopkins said he’s excited to see just what she can do when she’s back to full fitness.

“She’s been injured for quite a while and we had to be very careful with her how we reintroduced her back into the side and very precise with the amount of minutes that she’s been able to play,” he said.

“She started the last couple of games and look, probably she puts a massive amount of expectation on herself. She’s probably her own worst critic.

“I think she showed with the goal that she scored at Canberra and the goal last week what she’s capable of doing. We just want to make sure that we get her through this week again without any problems.

“I think obviously it’s good to get your best players out on the field, out on the park, and it makes a big difference not just to the team out on the field, to what she can do, but also the confidence of people around her as well.

“And she definitely gives us another dimension to be able to play a little bit more direct at times, to stretch the opposition out at times, to give us a little bit more space for your players like Chids and the like to get on the ball in a little bit more space.”

The Stats


2.Jamilla RANKIN, 3.Tori HANSEN, 4.Sara D’APPOLONIA, 5.Jessika NASH, 7.Ella O’GRADY, 8.Alana MURPHY, 9.Emily GIELNIK, 10.Alex CHIDIAC, 11.McKenzie WEINERT, 13.Kurea OKINO, 15.Emma CHECKER, 16.Paige ZOIS, 18.Kayla MORRISON, 19.Lia PRIVITELLI, 21.Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 23.Rachel LOWE, 27.Rosie CURTIS, 50.Courtney NEWBON, 66.Geo CANDY

Ins: 7.Ella O’GRADY, 16.Paige ZOIS, 27.Rosie CURTIS

Outs: nil

Unavailable: 1.Lydia WILLIAMS, 6.Beattie GOAD, 20.Miranda TEMPLEMAN