W-League preview: Roar v Victory

Kyra Cooney-Cross

Melbourne Victory faces Brisbane Roar for the second time this Westfield W-League season when the teams meet on Friday.


Victory makes the trip to the Gold Coast to face the Roar, less than three weeks after hosting Brisbane in a 0-0 draw.

It is aiming to bounce back from a loss to City in what was the second Melbourne Derby of the season.

Victory had its chances at Epping Stadium, where it fought from 2-0 down thanks to superb goals from MelindaJ Barbieri and Catherine Zimmerman, but it fell to defeat.

It marked Zimmerman’s second goal in as many games, having opened her account in the Westfield W-League in the record 6-0 win the week prior.

Barbieri, meanwhile, set up Zimmerman’s first goal, and the 20-year-old produced a spectacular free-kick for her first Westfield W-League goal since December 2015 in the second Derby.

Victory was without star forward Lisa De Vanna, who was not risked due to a minor hamstring injury, last week.

It is unbeaten in its past three meetings against Brisbane, although the past two have been goalless draws.

Head coach Jeff Hopkins’ pre-match thoughts

on preparation…
“We just changed things around a little bit, we got the girls in straight away the next day to do some recovery at AAMI Park just to make sure everyone was good, had a chat to the girls. I think they’re all pretty positive about the performance after that first 20, 25 minutes. We were disappointed with the result. To give City credit they came out really well, pushed us really hard, we’ve taken a lot out of the last hour. We’re pretty comfortable that if we play them again that it won’t faze us at all. It was a little step back, but we’re ready to go again.”

on previous meeting with Brisbane…
“I think they’re in a funny position actually. They seem to be creating chances, they just can’t seem to finish at the moment. They’re a good side. They’ve got a lot of good individuals, they press well and they attack with numbers and very quickly. We had a good look at them and we’ve had a good look at them since then. It’s going to be a tough game for us, but again I think it’s going to be a game that they’re not going to sit back, they’re going to come at us, so I think it’s going to be tough for us defensively. I think in the way that they attack, with the numbers that they attack, they might leave themselves just a little bit open to quick attacks from ourselves as well which this year we’ve been pretty efficient at. It should be quite an exciting game again.”

on slow starts…
“It’s something we definitely addressed today at training. We sat down as a group, the coaching staff and the players, looked at it and why is it? We looked at our warm-up, we looked at a number of things just how we are in the changing rooms as players, as coaches. Are we too intense? Are we not intense enough? We’ve had a look at things and we’ve really addressed that because it’s a really important thing. If you look at the City game that we won, the 6-0 game, we started the game so well and we were really at it and it makes a massive difference, straight away puts the opposition on the back foot and it just fills you full of confidence. It’s something that we’ve looked at and we’ve tried to address. We’re looking at it, along with a number of things from the games. It’s one of the things that we’ve talked about this year, we need to – win, lose or draw – there’s still things in the game that we need to look at, we need to change and we need to make better and that was definitely something we looked at this week.”

Last time

Westfield W-League 2020/21 Round 2
Melbourne Victory 0-0 Brisbane Roar
Sunday, January 3, 2021
CB Smith Reserve, Melbourne

Victory made a slow start in its season opener, with five players making their debuts for the club.

Both teams had their chances late on and Annalie Longo squandered Victory’s best opportunity.

As it stands

Match details

Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Victory
Gold Coast Sports Centre, Carrara
Friday, January 22, 2021
Kick-off: 9.05pm AEDT

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