Check out some of the key stories ahead of Saturday afternoon’s New Year’s Eve blockbuster against Canberra United.
Four in a row?
Melbourne Victory will be aiming for a fourth consecutive win when they host Canberra at CB Smith Reserve this weekend.
Victory’s current winning streak represents a dramatic reversal of fortunes for the defending Champions, who began their season with back-to-back losses.
The last time Victory won four games in a row was in February this year, a run which ultimately set up Victory’s charge towards a second consecutive Championship.
Although the current campaign is longer than any previous iteration of the A-League Women’s competition, Victory will hope these kinds of winning streaks continue to be the foundations of their silverware pursuits.
Melina Ayres hot-streak
It is no coincidence that Victory’s improvement in form has coincided with Melina Ayres rediscovering her scoring touch.
The striker has been on a rampage over the last month, scoring five goals in three games.
Now leading the golden boot race, Ayres has reminded everyone why she is considered one of the best strikers in A-League Women’s history.
Canberra will need to find a way to nullify Ayres’ influence if they want to overcome Victory on Saturday – although that is easier said than done.
Happy hunting ground
Victory have not played an A-League Women’s game at CB Smith Reserve since January 2021.
Victory fans will fondly remember that most recent outing as the time Jeff Hopkins’ team ran riot against Melbourne City, winning 6-0.
Those remaining in the squad from that day will be channeling those positive memories in the hopes of producing a similarly dazzling performance this weekend.
Victory have never before played an A-League Women’s game on New Year’s Eve.
Saturday’s game presents a prime opportunity to see out the year in ideal fashion.
A win combined with favourable results elsewhere could mean Victory head into 2023 in the top four, although even just securing the three points ensures they will be hot on the tails of their rivals.
With several high-stakes contests scheduled throughout January, a win against Canberra is crucial to maintain the momentum the team has built in recent weeks.