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Talking Points Preview: Adelaide United vs Melbourne City

Melbourne City’s W-League side will be looking to string consecutive wins together when they face Adelaide United this Thursday night following their 3-2 win in the Melbourne Derby last Sunday.

The three points against Victory has helped to keep our City girls in the race for finals following a disappointing start to the season that included a draw with Brisbane and losses to Canberra and Victory.

City’s Thursday night opposition may find themselves in third place on the table, but Adelaide’s two wins have thus far come in a pair of back-to-back clashes against Perth Glory – widely tipped for the wooden spoon. Aside from that result, Adelaide lost their opening game by conceding four against Canberra United, a side that City were just seconds away from securing a point against until a last-minute Nickoletta Flannery screamer spoiled our day.

In his press conference earlier today, City coach Rado Vidosic confirmed the return of captain Emma Checker to the starting lineup, whilst also providing an update on Noor Eckhoff, who leaves hotel quarantine today and arrives in Melbourne tomorrow. The Norwegian will commence training following the Adelaide-City fixture.

Here are the major talking points ahead of tomorrow night’s clash:

Andrew Wiseman / @wisemansports

All the pieces in their place

The squad has slowly been building towards its *final form* for a few weeks now, but Rado Vidosic is set to announce his strongest lineup yet when the side takes on Adelaide United.

Emma Checker, Alex Chidiac and Chinatsu Kira are set to start together for the first time this campaign, with final late-arrival Noor Eckhoff set to be the final piece of the puzzle when she likely returns for the Brisbane Roar game on January 30.

Despite the mass Matildas exodus and subsequent rebuilding of the starting XI, Melbourne City have managed to recruit another strong squad that should still be capable of achieving a successful season, starting with a strong performance against Adelaide, leading into our next point…

Serious about finals playing to your potential? Three points is non-negotiable.

Before our miraculous win in the ‘return-leg’ of the Derby, City’s chances of qualifying for finals were looking slim under the assumption that we’d be left with just a single point after four games. Instead, Sunday’s crucial three points brings our tally up to four, leaving the door ajar for a while longer.

In the first half against Victory, our W-League side exhibited some of the fluent attacking football that they’re capable of playing more often and we’ll need that benchmark performance to be reprised against Adelaide in a game that an assertive-minded City should be expecting to win.

And while we’re on Adelaide…

Our W-League side has never actually had to travel there. Strange, we know.

In the five previous meetings between the two teams – all played at home – City are yet to lose, winning twice and drawing three times.

It’ll be a return to old stomping grounds for Emma Checker, Alex Chidiac and Jenna McCormick, who have all played for Adelaide since 2018.

Melbourne City’s clash with Adelaide United kicks off at 7:05pm on Thursday, January 21.

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