W-League preview: Victory v City

Lisa De Vanna

Melbourne Victory is looking to do the Derby double over City in the Westfield W-League on Sunday.


Victory recorded the biggest win in the history of the Melbourne Derby with a 6-0 thrashing of City last week.

Annalie Longo, Melina Ayres, Lisa De Vanna, Amy Jackson, Catherine Zimmerman and Kyra Cooney-Cross scored in the emphatic performance at CB Smith Reserve.

Victory will seek to claim two wins over City in the same season for the second time and first since 2018/19 when the teams meet again at Epping Stadium.

De Vanna, 36, had a hand in Victory’s first three goals in Round 3, including scoring a spectacular individual effort after receiving a pass inside her own half.

It was De Vanna’s 12th Victory goal, while Zimmerman opened her Westfield W-League account in the closing stages.

Jackson, meanwhile, has netted 14 goals for Victory. The midfielder moved into equal second on the club’s all-time list alongside Caitlin Friend and only Natasha Dowie (34) has scored more times for the club.

The win also came in a milestone game for Jeff Hopkins, who became the first coach in Westfield W-League history to take charge of 100 matches.

Victory has also kept two clean sheets in its opening two games, with goalkeeper Gaby Garton and defenders Polly Doran, Kayla Morrison, Claudia Bunge and Angela Beard starting both encounters.

Head coach Jeff Hopkins’ pre-match thoughts

on the mood in the squad…
“Really good, very positive. We came back yesterday (Tuesday), did a recovery session on the field, done a conditioning session today, worked really hard. We’ve done our review of the game and just looked at a few things we need to work on and improve, but obviously there were a lot of positives that came out of the weekend’s game as well. The players are in a really positive frame of mind, but I think we all know the game on the weekend is going to be a lot different to last weekend. Obviously I’d rather be going into a game winning 6-0 than having lost a game 6-0. Everything’s pretty good, but we’re keeping our feet on the ground.”

on playing another Derby…
“I don’t know what to expect to be honest. The game wouldn’t have turned out as it did, you’d most probably expect them to play a similar side and similar formation but with the way the game ended up towards the end of the game, I don’t know if they’ll make changes to the team, changes to the formation. That’s the thing that’s driving us on this week to make sure that we don’t get complacent. We’re pretty sure things won’t be the same, we’ll be coming up against a different team with a different mentality and maybe a different formation so we really need to be on our toes and on guard that we don’t just overlook anything in our preparation this week.”

on new-look defence’s start to the season…
“I’ve been impressed with them individually and also really impressed with them how they’ve performed as a unit. There were times in the game when we had to defend and defend well. We ran away with it a little bit at the end, but there were times where we had to really put up with some periods of play where we were in our own half and having to defend well and having to be well organised, clearing balls. I thought we defended in general our set-plays pretty well, we cleared balls well. The thing that pleased me was at times when we needed to get desperate we were desperate and we were happy to throw our bodies in and make those last-ditch tackles, which I was very happy with. Our two centre-backs have been very good in the first couple of games, so have our full-backs defensively and the ability to get forward as well. Angie Beard on our second goal was in the six-yard box shooting and Polly’s played nice and high, for a young girl coming into the game she’s shown confidence and shown some really good signs of what she’s going to achieve over the long term. Gaby in behind has been excellent as well. In both games, she’s made some crucial saves at critical times of the game where if we were to concede in those moments the game can easily change in those moments. Whenever she’s been asked to make saves and to put her body on the line, she’s done it. Very, very happy with that and we’ve had two clean sheets which is very, very pleasing for me as an ex-defender as well. I really appreciate those things as well, six goals are nice but two clean sheets are just as nice for me.”

Last time

Westfield W-League 2020/21 Round 3
City 0-6 Melbourne Victory
Sunday, January 10, 2021
CB Smith Reserve, Melbourne

Victory produced a devastating performance in the Derby last week.

It recorded the biggest win in the history of the Westfield W-League Derby with the six-goal display.

As it stands

Match details

Melbourne Victory v City
Epping Stadium, Melbourne
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Kick-off: 4.05pm AEDT

Click here to view the COVID-Safe Event Plan for this match

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