Talking City's talking points: City vs Western United and Brisbane
It’s another important weekend for the club with both our senior sides taking on quality opposition in the form of Western United and Brisbane Roar in the A-League and W-League respectively.
Whilst the A-League lads will be looking to get back to winning ways after suffering consecutive defeats for the first time this season, our second-placed W-League side will look to maintain their five-game winning streak against a Matildas-stacked Brisbane Roar.
Here are the big talking points ahead of this week’s clashes:
Olyroos out… again.
With the AFC U23 Championship and Olympic qualification beckoning, we’ll have to go without Tom Glover, Connor Metcalfe, Ramy Najjarine and Denis Genreau until at least January 14, meaning they’ll miss games against Western United and Brisbane Roar.
Whilst we’re still fortunate to have Nathaniel Atkinson and Lachie Wales (though unfortunate for them as individuals), the remaining losses are huge.
Genreau provided the creative spark that turned the last game against Western United, whilst Metcalfe now has two league goals for the club and provides versatility in midfield.
Glover, on the other hand, has been in decent form since taking over from Dean Bouzanis, who’ll return between the sticks for at least the next two games.
The chasing pack
There’s no two ways about it; lose this and we’re back amongst the pack, with Western United directly overtaking us.
Not only would we invariably fall to third, but taking zero points from Friday night’s game means that Perth are also within striking distance with a game in hand, given they’ve got the Bye this weekend.
We’ve outlined our revised expectations following last week’s loss – second or bust. A home loss against Western United is not acceptable.
W-League: Matildas in midfield
The Roar haven’t really gotten anywhere close to the preseason expectations placed upon them and started the 2019/20 season with back-to-back losses. They’re since unbeaten in four games, but they’ve hardly achieved anything noteworthy given their wins have come against lower-placed teams.
The major battle tonight will very likely be in midfield, where Brisbane boast the likes of Katrina Gorry, Hayley Raso (wide) and ex-City player Elise Kellond-Knight, who is expected to start after making her W-League return off the bench last weekend.
Whilst Aivi Luik, Yukari Kinga and Emily van Egmond have been relatively effective so far, the real strength of our own midfield comes from the support provided by wing-backs Steph Catley and Ellie Carpenter and higher-roaming central defender Rebekah Stott, and this is where we’re likely to overcome the opposition midfield to create opportunities going forward, which we’re determined to see our forwards make the most of after a wasteful season thus far.
The City girls will be kicking off this week’s action in their Thursday night blockbuster at 7:30pm against Brisbane Roar at Dolphin Stadium in Redcliffe, Queensland.
The A-League side face Western United on Friday, January 3, at AAMI Park, with kickoff at 7:30pm.