We face an important weekend as a club as our two senior teams prepare for crucial clashes against Western Sydney and Canberra United in the A-League and W-League respectively.
Following our first loss of the season against Brisbane, the City boys face a huge test of their resilience when they travel to third-place Wanderers in a match which could see us head into the Bye as league leaders for a fourth-straight week.
Our W-League side will be desperate to earn three points away to Canberra United this Sunday in order to maintain the pace in what is set to be a very well-contested season.
With such vital clashes looming, here are three talking points we’re looking forward to ahead of this weekend:
A short turnaround and fresh opposition
The City boys are facing a five day turnaround from their Sunday afternoon loss against Brisbane to this Friday’s Western Sydney clash.
With the Wanderers having enjoyed the Bye over the weekend just gone, it’ll be interesting to see whether this hands them an even bigger advantage than they already have playing at home.
Accordingly, we may see some changes made just to keep the squad fresh, like the one we’re curious about below…
With just one clean sheet for the men’s side so far, it could be time to change things up at the back.
Richard Windbichler has been available for selection for a few weeks now having battled early-season injuries and is a potential inclusion in this week’s lineup against the Wanderers.
Making panicked selection decisions isn’t always advisable and we’re not really saying that either of our central defenders have done a whole lot wrong to be dropped, but if the change brings about our first clean sheet since the opening round – in a clash against third-place Wanderers which would keep us at the top of the table heading into our Round 8 Bye – then it’ll have been a change worth making.
W-League: This is a must win…
Sure, it’s only Round 2, but this really is a must-win game following our opening round draw against lowly Newcastle.
The likes of Sydney, Brisbane, Victory and Wanderers won't be dropping points against the league’s weaker sides – likely to be Newcastle, Canberra and a Kerr-less Perth this year – so anything less than seven points in the first three rounds (with Canberra and mid-table Adelaide to come) MAY have us out of touch very early on in the piece when there’s only four finals spots available and five realistic contenders.
We’d be once again hoping for our form to come good later in the season if we’re to be any chance at silverware and it’s not a position we’d ideally like to be in.
On another W-League note, Lauren Barnes confirmed on Talking City’s live SEN show last night that Aivi Luik and Rebekah Stott will be returning for another season with City and have already arrived at our Bundoora training base.
These reinforcements will prove to be valuable, with Aivi Luik’s arrival meaning Steph Catley won’t be required to fill in at defensive midfield, whilst Rebekah Stott allows for flexibility in our lineup, opening up the possibility of three-back formations which would utilise the offensive capabilities of Catley and Carpenter as wing-backs.
A-League: Wanderers vs City - 7:30pm Friday, November 22 @ Bankwest Stadium
W-League: Canberra vs City - 4pm Sunday, November 24 @ McKellar Park