Melbourne Victory v Canberra United
Date: Saturday 16 December
Time: Kick-off: 5pm (AEDT)
Location: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Melbourne Victory claimed a point from their visit to Porirua Park last weekend, the game finishing 2-2 after a thrilling first half against Wellington Phoenix.
A fifth game unbeaten for Victory who maintain their spot in the top four with eleven points from seven games to start the season.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s double-header, Head Coach Jeff Hopkins believes Canberra will be up-and-about with the return of star midfielder Vesna Milivojević.
“I think they’re going to be buoyed by her coming back,” he said.
“But also the fact that they played really well and they had a great win last week, their first win of the season. They looked very dangerous going forward.
“They’ve got pace up front and good runners from deep, they can be very dangerous team. But also you can see how they’ve conceded a few goals as well.
“But really this week, I know, it’s a bit of a cliche, but it’s about us. We are a very, very good side. And we need to start proving it and start proving it not just for parts of games. We’re capable of dominating games, dominating teams, and killing teams off, and we haven’t done that yet.
“That’s the challenge for us this weekend, can we get on top of Canberra? And when we get on top of them, can we really get on top and kill them off and really take the game to another level and not let them back in? Give them a sniff? So that’s kind of our aim this weekend.”
Speaking on Emma Checker and Emily Gielnik’s injuries, Hopkins says they’re both close to returning.
“Emma Checker’s very good,” Jeff said.
“She’s trained fully all week. She was ready to play last weekend but it would have been pretty hard to throw her in for the first half with just a week’s worth of training. But I think I might have said last week that the nature of her injury was that she could basically do everything up to kind of 80% and then it was just that final 20% in terms of her speed that she couldn’t do. She was able to basically train just under that maximum level so she’s got a huge amount of work in at that base level so yeah she’s ready to come back this week.
“Emily Gielnik has made progress this week but won’t be available. But she’s very, very close now. So very very pleased with her.
“I did actually say to her this morning at training, “ready to jump into the five side?”, and she was on her feet and ready to go but we had to hold her back,” he joked.
“I think by next week we could have a completely full squad ready to go so I’m really pleased because the quality of the training is just starting to go up and up.”
Coming into Saturday, Victory is unbeaten in their last eight A-League Women’s games against Canberra United, keeping four clean sheets in that stretch.
Canberra United 1-1 Melbourne Victory
March 18, 2023
McKellar Park, Canberra
Head To Head
2022/23 (Dec 31): Melbourne Victory 1-0 Canberra United
2021/22 (Mar 4) Melbourne Victory 0-0 Canberra United
2021/22 (Feb 22) Canberra United 2-2 Melbourne Victory
1.Lydia WILLIAMS, 2.Jamilla RANKIN, 3.Tori HANSEN, 4.Sara D’APPOLONIA, 5.Jessika NASH, 6.Beattie GOAD, 7.Ella O’GRADY, 8.Alana MURPHY, 10.McKenzie WEINERT, 13.Kurea OKINO, 15.Emma CHECKER, 16.Paige ZOIS, 18.Kayla MORRISON, 19.Lia PRIVITELLI, 20.Miranda TEMPLEMAN, 21.Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 22.Ava BRIEDIS, 23.Rachel LOWE, 24.Laura PICKETT, 27.Rosie CURTIS
Ins: 19.Lia PRIVITELLI, 24.Laura PICKETT, 27.Rosie CURTIS
Unavailable: 9.Emily GIELNIK