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Dec 30, 2021   |  1:26PM AET

Liberty A-League preview: Victory v Roar

Liberty A-League preview: Victory v Roar

Match details

Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Sunday, January 2, 2022
Kick-off: 4.05pm AEDT
Tickets: click here


Melbourne Victory is aiming to bounce back ahead of hosting Brisbane Roar in the Liberty A-League on Sunday.

Victory begins 2022 at AAMI Park against Brisbane and coming off a first loss of the season – a 5-1 defeat to City in the Melbourne Derby.

Punished for numerous errors by City, Victory is looking to respond when Brisbane visits for the second meeting between the teams this season.

Despite the Derby loss, Victory is still third on the table after winning three of four games.

Victory managed a late consolation in the Derby, with Maja Markovski coming off the bench to score her first Liberty A-League goal.

Melina Ayres and Harriet Withers missed the clash due to injuries, with the former yet to make an appearance this season.

Victory has won back-to-back games against Brisbane, with both of those successes coming away from home.

The last three games between the Clubs have seen an incredible 19 goals scored.

Player in focus

Alex Chidiac has made a bright start to her Victory career. After an assist on debut, she also set up Markovski’s consolation goal in the Derby loss.

What they said – Hopkins

on eagerness to bounce back…
“Definitely. We’re not backing away from the performance. It was a poor performance from us. We got outplayed, outworked and we kind of left the ground with our tails between our legs really. We’ve had a good couple of days, training’s been good, the players have been pretty honest in the way that they’ve approached our performance on the weekend, it’s just dropped below the standards that we set for ourselves and it’s just down to us now. We can’t look at anyone else, we just look at ourselves and stick together, gather around and look after each other through the week and then we’ve got to go out there and put a performance in that will help us forget about last week. That’s where we are at the moment. I’m pretty sure we’ve had a good reaction. Sometimes you need a real eye opener in that type of performance to say, ‘Hang on a minute, we need to clear our game up a little bit in a few certain areas.’ We’ve looked at ourselves pretty hard this week and I’m confident that we’ll bounce back this week with a really good, solid performance.”

on focus for this week…
“I don’t think we can just pinpoint one or two people or one area, I think every little mistake and deficiency in a team starts somewhere, but often it’s a combination of a number of things. I guess for us we put it down to not playing with enough intensity, not putting enough pressure on with and without the ball and our communication was poor as well on the weekend. Most probably those three areas – in possession and out of possession. We’ve got to work and we’ve got to play with more intensity. When we haven’t got the ball, we’ve got to put our opponent under real pressure and when we get the ball, we’ve got to do the same, we’ve got to keep that forward passing mentality and keep putting our opponent under pressure and most probably the key that links it all together is the communication. We were too quiet last week, we didn’t give information, we didn’t encourage each other, we didn’t call each other out either when things weren’t good enough. Those three areas are the areas that we’ll focus on this week and we are focusing on already and I think if we can get a big improvement in those three areas, I think the performance then will be at the level that we expect. We’re expecting a really tough game this week, we’ve already played them once and we understand what they’re like and what they’re all about and those three areas are going to be key to us winning the game.”

on Ayres and Withers…
“They’re both going well, they’re both working hard. Melina is probably going to take a little bit longer than Harriet. I think Harriet will almost definitely be available for this week and I’d say Melina definitely won’t be. Melina’s still a few weeks away maybe, I’m hoping only a few weeks or so, not through lack of effort, she’s putting in double sessions every day now, working really hard to strengthen that hamstring. She’s really, really keen to get back, but we’ve seen if we try and fast track her what will happen. We’re going to be very cautious with her. If you look at the amount of work that she’s doing, she’s doing everything that’s physically possible to do and we’ve just got to wait for her body to heal now. Obviously we’re missing Mel but quite happy that she’s doing everything that she can do to get herself back on the pitch as soon as possible. I know as well the good thing about it is as soon as that hamstring is ready to go, she’ll be super fit as well. The period of adjustment won’t take as long as maybe it would’ve done with another player so quite happy with the way that she’s going at the moment.”

Last time

Liberty A-League 2021/22 Round 3
Brisbane Roar 2-3 Melbourne Victory
Saturday, December 18, 2021
Moreton Daily Stadium, Brisbane

Lynn Williams was the star of the show when the teams met earlier this season.

The United States international scored and had a hand in goals for Withers and Catherine Zimmerman, with Victory holding on after strikes from Shea Connors and Larissa Crummer.

Head to head

Round 3, 2021/22: Roar 2-3 Victory at Moreton Daily Stadium
Semi Final, 2020/21: Roar 2-6 Victory at Lions Stadium
Round 5, 2020/21: Roar 6-0 Victory at Gold Coast Sports Centre
Round 5, 2020/21: Victory 0-0 Roar at CB Smith Reserve
Round 6, 2019/20: Victory 0-0 Roar at Epping Stadium