W-League preview: Sydney v Victory


Melbourne Victory is out to continue its unbeaten start to the Westfield W-League season when it visits Sydney FC on Sunday.


Victory made it two wins from its opening three games with a 2-0 result over City in the Derby in Round 3.

An Elise Kellond-Knight own goal and Emily Gielnik’s first strike for the club saw Victory to a deserved Derby win.

Victory looks to continue its fine start when it faces the Sky Blues at Jubilee Stadium in the ‘Rebel Female Football Round’.

Gielnik’s goal – set up by brilliant work from Natasha Dowie – means each of Victory’s front three from its first three games, that duo and Melina Ayres, have netted this season.

But the Derby win also marked Victory’s second clean sheet, with goalkeeper Casey Dumont, centre-backs Laura Alleway and Samantha Johnson and full-backs Angela Beard, Teigen Allen and Annabel Martin holding firm in defence.

Victory has only conceded once this season, while no team has taken more shots (54), with Dowie (11), Gielnik and Ayres (10) the top three in that category.

Meanwhile, Christine Nairn has continued to lead the midfield, creating a league-high 13 chances.

Ahead of Sunday’s clash, Sydney is sixth on the table, having won one of its opening two games.

Head coach Jeff Hopkins’ pre-match thoughts

on facing Sydney…
“I saw City play Sydney a few weeks ago. City beat them 3-1, but it was a much, much closer game than that. Sydney looked like a very good side that day so we’re expecting a real tough one on the weekend.”

on the team’s strong defending to start the season…
“I’ve been really happy. We’ve done a little bit of work together on certain things. We really felt the other day (in the Derby) that the back five gave us a good platform to go from and also in the first couple of games, apart from a few little lapses, we’ve been excellent. It’s really important on the weekend, being away from home, that we’ve got reliability and stability at the back to allow us to maybe get a few bodies forward knowing that everything is good behind us.”

on Grace Maher’s injury…
“The feedback I’ve got from the physio is she’s made great progress. She should be training Thursday, Friday and Saturday and be available for the weekend, which is really good news.”

Last time

Westfield W-League 2017/18 Round 13
Melbourne Victory 1-2 Sydney FC
Friday, January 26, 2018
AAMI Park, Melbourne

First-half goals from Taylor Ray and Chloe Logarzo put Sydney in control on Australia Day.

Lia Privitelli pulled a goal back for Victory early in the second half, but it was unable to find an equaliser.

As it stands

Match details

Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Kick-off: 2.30pm AEDT