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Jan 05, 2024   |  5:30PM AET

Liberty A-League Match Preview | Victory v Western United

Liberty A-League Match Preview | Victory v Western United

Match Details:
Melbourne Victory v Western United
Date: Saturday 6 January
Time: Kick-off: 6pm (AEDT)
Location: Home of the Matildas

PREVIEW

Alex Chidiac’s first game back in Victory colours ended in defeat last weekend, as goals either side of half-time resulted in a 2-0 win for Western Sydney.

Jeff Hopkins’ side will look to bounce back after two losses in a row to start the new year on a high when they take on Western United on Saturday night at the Home of the Matildas.

Victory will be without Beattie Goad for a number of weeks as the ever-reliable midfielder focuses on her studies.

Alex Chidiac is set to make her home debut, much to the delight of many fans. While Matildas attacker Emily Gielnik will also look to make her long-awaited return after a calf injury left her on the sideline for several weeks.

“We’ve just got to be really careful with her (Gielnik),” Jeff said.

“We put her into the squad and we’ve seen how she’s trained this week when she’s been in, she’s been very good. If she does come into the squad it’ll be on the bench and for a very short time. And with the amount of training that she’s done, I really want her in because she brings so much to the group, not only in terms of intensity and her quality and her ability to really affect the opposition but also she’s a very positive person on the group as well.

“As much as I want her in, I’m obviously wary that she hasn’t had a massive amount of training under her belt.

“We were careful with Chids last week and we’ll have to be a little bit careful with her this week, but she’s definitely one that’s in contention to start for sure. She’s physically good enough to do that. I’ve been really pleased with the way that she’s trained this week.”

With two defeats in a row to end 2023, Hopkins is looking for a response from his side to start the new year.

“There are two or three things that we talked about before the game last week that we only saw in bits and parts,” he said.

“What we need this week is to see those things again, but we need more consistency. I thought last week, at times in the game, we played some really good football.

“We cut through Western Sydney at times, we switched play, we got into good positions but the quality of our final pass, the composure on the ball and the finishing just wasn’t good enough.

“There’s no doubting that we’ve got some quality players in our team, but we’ve got to bring that consistency of play into our game and not just do it for five minutes here and five minutes there, or the first half and not the second. We’ve got to do it right the way through the game.”

THE STATS

This will be the third meeting between Victory and Western United in the A-League Women; Western United has won both of their two previous meetings despite not leading at half-time in either of them.

Jeff Hopkins’ side has forced 16 high turnovers per game this A-League Women’s season, the most of any team in the competition and three per game more than Western United (13).

Captian Kayla Morrison has a 73% success rate from her 40 duels contested this A-League Women’s season, the highest success rate of any player to have contested at least 15 duels this campaign.

SQUAD

1.Lydia WILLIAMS, 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, 20.Miranda TEMPLEMAN, 21.Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 22.Ava BRIEDIS, 23.Rachel LOWE, 27.Rosie CURTIS

Ins: 9.Emily GIELNIK, 7.Ella O’GRADY, 27.Rosie CURTIS

Outs: nil

Unavailable: 6.Beattie GOAD