Liberty A-League preview: Wanderers v Victory

Match details

Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne Victory
CommBank Stadium, Parramatta
Sunday, January 16, 2022
Kick-off: 4.05pm AEDT


Melbourne Victory’s Liberty A-League season resumes with a trip to face the Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday.

Victory will look to continue a strong record over the Wanderers when the teams meet at CommBank Stadium in Parramatta.

It comes as Victory aims to respond after back-to-back losses in Melbourne – against City and Brisbane Roar.

Victory has won six of the previous 13 matches against the Wanderers, losing just once.

But the game comes exactly two weeks after Victory was last in action, reduced to 10 players in a 4-2 loss to the Roar.

Kyra Cooney-Cross, who was sent off in that defeat, and Courtney Nevin are absent after being picked by the Commonwealth Bank Matildas for the upcoming AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

Lynn Williams, who scored her third goal of the season in that game, has also departed following her loan spell.

Victory sits third on the table ahead of the trip to face the Wanderers, who are seventh.

Player in focus

Polly Doran has made another fine start to the season at right-back. The 20-year-old has started all five games for Victory so far this campaign.

What they said – Hopkins

on how the squad is feeling…
“Everyone I think is just a little bit on edge, I guess from the coaching staff to the players, but we’re dealing with things day to day. At the moment, everyone within our group is good. Obviously, we wish Kyra and Courtney well at the Asian Cup. Both the girls left on the weekend which is great for them. Lynn has headed back to the US so we’re a few quality players down from last week, but we’ve had a couple of really good sessions this week, girls are off today (Thursday), and we’re looking forward to playing on the weekend. Obviously we didn’t get to play last week and we miss playing. As we speak, ‘Chids’ (Alex Chidiac) has come out of isolation across the weekend, so did Casey (Dumont) and so did Tiff (Eliadis) so we lose three players and get three good players back in as well. At the moment, everything’s good and we’re looking forward to the game on the weekend.”

on the break between games…
“There was a lot going on obviously when we lost a few players to COVID I guess the group became a little bit nervous about how much it was going to affect us, but everyone around the place has been really good in terms of adhering to all the protocols and we’ve come through that now. It’s a day to day thing and you never know what’s going to pop up on the next day. In terms of how we’re handling it as a team, I think the players have been really good. There’s a little bit of uncertainty out there, but they’re the times we’re living in at the moment and I think we’re handling it well. There’s definitely going to be opportunities for players, when players are away, obviously Kyra, Courtney are away, there’s opportunities for players to come in and do well and to get a bit of a run in the team. You’ve got to just look at the positive sides of everything and look to try and be as positive as you possibly can while being as careful as we can.”

on desire to bounce back…
“What the break has given us is a bit of time to speak to the players, to do some individual work. We’ve put some plans together just to work on a few things as individually small groups and try and just keep improving one or two things that we’ve been a little bit low on just recently. To be quite honest, the training level has been good right the way through, whether we’ve been winning games or losing games and the players’ ability to turn up and to work hard every day has been pretty consistent. That’s quite a pleasing for me and if we can keep that going through this period, I can’t see why we won’t turn those two results around and start accumulating points again.”

Last time

Liberty A-League 2020/21 Round 11
Melbourne Victory 1-0 Western Sydney Wanderers
Thursday, March 4, 2021
AAMI Park, Melbourne

Only one goal separated the teams in their previous meeting last season.

Annalie Longo tucked away what proved to be the winner in the 43rd minute.

Head to head

Round 11, 2020/21: Victory 1-0 Wanderers at AAMI Park
Round 4, 2019/20: Victory 1-1 Wanderers at Latrobe City Stadium
Round 5, 2018/19: Victory 2-1 Wanderers at Latrobe City Stadium
Round 12, 2017/18: Wanderers 1-1 Victory at Stadium Australia
Round 5, 2017/18: Victory 1-1 Wanderers at Lakeside Stadium