W-League preview: City v Victory

Angela Beard and Teigen Allen

Melbourne Victory faces City in a blockbuster Westfield W-League Derby clash on Sunday.


Victory kicked off its campaign with an entertaining 0-0 draw against Brisbane Roar at CB Smith Reserve.

Goalkeeper Gaby Garton, one of five players who made their debuts for the club, made several saves, although there were few clear-cut chances for either side.

Garton made a great stop to deny Emily Gielnik late on, while Annalie Longo squandered a good chance for Victory in the closing stages.

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Claudia Bunge and Kayla Morrison, Victory’s centre-back pairing, helped the side keep a clean sheet on their debuts, while Natalie Tathem and Catherine Zimmerman also played their first games for the club.

Unfortunately, Tathem will miss the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury.

Victory will look to build on its opening display when it takes on City at CB Smith Reserve.

While Victory has lost the past two derbies, it won the three before that.

Head coach Jeff Hopkins’ pre-match thoughts

on the Derby…
“It’s something that we definitely look forward to every year and we obviously make a big thing about it as well, it means a lot to us. We’re really looking forward to it. Yesterday (Tuesday), we had just a recovery session on the field, today we did a conditioning session which was really good, had a match review so just to kind of put a few things right and day off tomorrow and we’re coming in ready to work for a couple of days leading in to Sunday’s game. Players are in good spirits after the game on the weekend.”

on Tathem…
“Obviously the one huge disappointment is obviously losing Nat Tathem. Everybody’s really upset and disappointed for her, but in saying that the team has got around her as well. They’re looking after her, which is good. It’s something that we’ll make sure that we support her right the way through the operation and the rehab so she’ll have the support of everyone at the club. There are no worries there and we’ll get her back stronger and fitter. It’s a big disappointment for the first game, but now we’ve got to move on and start thinking about this weekend.”

on lessons from Brisbane game…
“I think it’s going to be a different game, in terms of different formation, different personnel. I think we’ll approach it slightly differently tactically, but I guess there’s a few things that we need to bring that we need to bring every week, we’ve just got to make sure that our pressure is there, we play with a real intensity, that we look to play in the right areas and make sure that we do that right from the start. It took 25 to 30 minutes to get that into our game on the weekend and on another day we may have been a goal down by then. We’ve got to bring that right from the start and make sure that we’re in the game really early and putting City under pressure early in the game. I think that if we can do that then everything else will lead on from that.”

Last time

Westfield W-League 2019/20 Round 12
Melbourne Victory 0-4 City
Sunday, February 16, 2020
Lakeside Stadium, Melbourne

Victory was downed by City in the most recent meeting between the teams, which finished as the top two in the 2019/20 regular season.

Emily van Egmond and Kyah Simon scored either side of Claire Emslie’s brace.

As it stands

Match details

City v Melbourne Victory
CB Smith Reserve, Melbourne
Sunday, January 10, 2021
Kick-off: 4.05pm AEDT

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