It’ll be a massive Sunday afternoon for City fans, with the first home double-header of the season seeing our Men’s and Women’s teams facing off against Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar respectively.
Both sides are coming off 2-1 results that carry vastly different meanings, with our A-League side securing a come-from-behind win over Western United whilst the W-League outfit fell short against Adelaide away from home.
Skipper Scott Jamieson returns this week having served a one-match suspension whilst Nathaniel Atkinson is also named in City's squad for the first time this season after overcoming a hamstring strain. New signing Noor Eckhoff headlines the big inclusions for our W-League side, who should also see the return of Jenna McCormick from a head injury.
Here’s what we think will be the biggest talking point for each of our games in this Sunday’s double-header:
A-L: ‘How to keep a clean sheet against Perth Glory for Dummies by Melbourne City’ … ?
There are shades of 2015/16 City about the current Perth Glory side, who have both scored and conceded 10 goals in just three fixtures thus far this season, of which they’ve lost two.
Playing against such a leaky defence, Jamie Maclaren will be licking his lips at the prospect of bumping up his goal tally against the Glory, but the challenge for City will be keeping the men in purple out at the other end.
Recent defensive acquisition Nuno Reis has been excluded from the squad to take on Perth, so it looks as though Rostyn Griffiths will need to have recovered from his game-ending injury against Western United in order to line up alongside Curtis Good in the heart of defence.
With Scott Jamieson and Nathaniel Atkinson returning to the playing squad, Patrick Kisnorbo has a selection dilemma on his hands that he’ll need to resolve if City are to give themselves the best chance against free-scoring Glory.
W-L: How does Noor change the midfield dynamic?
Following her period of hotel quarantine, recent Norwegian signing Noor Eckhoff is looking a likely inclusion to the starting XI for this Sunday’s clash against the Roar.
The holding midfielder will hopefully relinquish Alex Chidiac of any major defensive duties, which should see the young Aussie occupy more advanced positions where she can utilise her quality to contribute to offensive moves.
With no recognised striker, given Rado Vidosic’s fixation on playing natural centre-forward Harriet Withers out wide, late runs from midfield from the likes of a defensively-liberated Chidiac and Chinatsu Kira could prove to be our most effective route to goal in a side sorely-lacking in that department.