With our final two games of the season both against Perth Glory, Melbourne City’s W-League side will look to gain the upper-hand in the two-legged affair when the sides first meet this Friday night.
City are coming off a gutsy 1-0 win over the Newcastle Jets that could be decisive in ensuring that we avoid a maiden wooden spoon, with Chinatsu Kira’s incredible first-half goal proving the differential when the sides met on Sunday.
Perth Glory are coming off a 1-0 result of their own, though the ninth-place side were on the wrong end of that scoreline when they came up against Melbourne Victory on Tuesday night.
Harriet Withers, Teagan Micah and Teigen Allen are all in doubt for this Friday’s game against the Glory, a major disadvantage for the travelling Melbourne team.
Here are the major talking points going into the game:
Can we back up Sunday’s performance?
Whilst the positive result against Newcastle on Sunday night could prove the decisive result in our bid to avoid the wooden spoon, we’re still not quite sure if it was a false dawn or a sign of a proper turnaround in our form.
Having kept our second clean sheet of the season and broken a three-game goalless streak, you’d hope it was the former, but the performance wasn’t convincing enough given our reliance on a freak goal from Kira to win the encounter.
Whilst there’s very little to play for on a grander scale, ending the season with three consecutive wins would lift morale amongst the players and provide a bit of hope for 2021/22; both factors will be decisive in our ability to retain the majority of the squad.
We SURELY can’t lose to Perth… right?
City fans should theoretically be rubbing their hands at the prospect of playing lowly Perth Glory twice in a row to round out the season.
They’ve scored just six goals this campaign, and have accumulated a single point from their nine games played. Their current six-game losing streak equals the club record and, further to this, City have never failed to score when playing away to Perth, so we’ve certainly got history on our side.
These games SHOULD be an opportunity to belt an opposition for the first time this year and restore confidence to a team that is sorely lacking it at the moment.
…The way this season’s been going though, you just never know.
The reality is…
We’re playing for pride.
We can pump up the clash as much as we want but ultimately these remaining games are a matter of reputation for Melbourne City and a matter of morale for the fans.
This season, regardless of our final position on the ladder, has been a disaster for the club, potentially setting our women’s program back by years, depending on our ability to retain our current crop of players and whether or not our reputation amongst potential targets suffers as a result of this campaign.
Whilst it would be a trivial achievement in the grander scheme of things, two wins against Perth Glory would at least ensure we finish the season on a three-game winning run that could sneak us as high as sixth (relying on the Wanderers to finish their campaign with three defeats) or seventh (if the Jets don’t outperform us in their final two games).