Melbourne Victory hosts Sam Kerr’s Perth Glory in a blockbuster top-of-the-table Westfield W-League clash at AAMI Park on Friday.
Perth and Victory are two of three teams locked on 13 points at the top, and sit first and second respectively.
Victory is looking to bounce back after suffering narrow losses to Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United since its bye.
It rallied late in both games, with Ella Mastrantonio and Laura Alleway getting on the scoresheet against the Reds.
It was Mastrantonio’s first Westfield W-League goal, while it marked Alleway’s first for Victory.
Victory was perhaps unfortunate not to be awarded a first-half penalty against Adelaide, with captain Natasha Dowie – who has scored six times this season – appearing to be brought down in the area.
It looks for a response against Perth in what could mark a milestone appearance for Teigen Allen.
Allen, 24, could play her 100th game in the Westfield W-League if she faces Glory.
Head coach Jeff Hopkins’ pre-match thoughts
feeling in the group…
“Everyone is looking forward to the game. That’s probably the good thing about this group – they had a good think about last week’s game and just want to get out there and prove it right. It’s important that we get a few things right in the way that we’re going to defend on Friday, but we’ve also got to stay really positive. When we’ve been at our best this year, we’ve got at teams. We haven’t thought too much about them. We’ve got to look at them and know what we’re up against, but we’ve really tried to impose our game on teams – that’s when we’ve been at our best and we need to get back to that.”
on facing Sam Kerr and Perth…
“They’re a very direct side, they get the ball forward to their key players, obviously (Alyssa) Mautz, (Rachel) Hill and Kerr. They’re very good individually and they combine really well together as well. We’ll have to be aware of that and put a few things in place just to make sure we are aware of that, but I think we’re more than capable of giving them a few problems at the other end as well, we can’t take our minds off that. For the neutral, it should be a really good game to come and watch, really entertaining. You’ve got to give Sam Kerr respect and their team really for the way they’re going about things, but we’re definitely up for the challenge.”
on Allen potentially playing her 100th Westfield W-League game…
“Teigen’s been great for us. There was a bit of a question mark over her through pre-season, but she’s answered all the questions. She’s really looked after herself well, she’s done everything that she’s had to do and more and she’s proven her worth. She’s 24 and she’s hit that 100-mark. She started very, very early and she’s another one to have hit the mark and it just shows the quality we’ve got at the club here and the quality we’ve been able to bring in, bringing in a player of her age – still a young player with that much experience. It’s great for us having her around so hopefully she’s there on Friday and celebrates it with a good performance.”
Westfield W-League 2017/18 Round 4
Perth Glory 3-1 Melbourne Victory
Sunday, November 19, 2017
nib Stadium, Perth
Victory and Perth last met early last season at nib Stadium.
Dowie put Victory ahead before a Hill equaliser and Kerr brace saw Glory claim three points.
As it stands
Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Friday, December 28, 2018
Kick-off: 5.20pm AEDT