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Talking points preview: City vs Newcastle

Our undefeated ALW side returns to action at Casey Fields again this weekend, taking on the Newcastle Jets on Saturday afternoon.


The City girls were dominant in their 3-0 rout over the Brisbane Roar last weekend, scything through the opposition defence on three occasions to produce goals for Bryleeh Henry, Maria Rojas and Emina Ekic.


Now facing a Newcastle Jets side who have failed to impress despite their four points from three games, Dario Vidosic has the opportunity to continue his unbeaten start as a senior coach and keep his side in touch with Western United at the top of the table.


Here are three of the biggest talking points heading into the encounter:


Photo: Getty Images

Checking in?

City may boast the league's equal-best defence after three rounds, conceding just one goal alongside Sydney FC, but it would be difficult for Vidosic to deny captain Emma Checker a return to the starting lineup now that she has proven her fitness with a substitute appearance over the weekend.


With only two central defensive positions available since our move to a back four instead of a three, Checker would displace one of experienced Kiwi international Katie Bowen or teenage prospect Naomi Chinnama - a clear decision on paper.


Chinnama, to her credit, has been far from poor; the youngster has served as the more tenacious defensive foil to her more experienced counterpart. Bowen has been entrusted with the ball more often in the build-up, whilst Chinnama has been more active in relation to tackles and interceptions.


Unfortunately for the young central defender, the prospect of welcoming back Checker is simply too enticing; City has a lot of quality missing through injury early on this season, and though our performances have been pleasing thus far, one can only dream of our potential once we start reintroducing the star power waiting in our injury wings.


An exhibition in attacking football?

City fans have been treated to some enthralling attacking football across our opening two fixtures, with the team outscoring all others when it comes to goals per game at an average of 3.5.


Now set to face a Newcastle Jets team that has conceded six in three, it may be a little pretentious, but City fans should be getting excited about the potential of another high-octane offensive performance on Saturday.


Photo: Getty Images

The current City squad is one packed full of attacking talent that is young, exciting, or both. Daniela Galic, Bryleeh Henry and Emina Ekic are all 23 or younger, whilst Rhianna Pollicina and 'Cote' Rojas have starred with their performances in our opening two games and would be amongst the early Julie Dolan medal leaders.


We're fortunate to witness such a talented squad playing attractive and high-scoring football, so the potential opportunity to see this play out again on Saturday should be something that all City fans look forward to.


The warm-up

A win against Newcastle would not only keep City in touch with Western United (who've got a bye this week) at the top of the table on nine points, it would also ensure the team rolls into its Round 5 clash with the current league leaders with plenty of momentum behind it.


Western United has exceeded all expectations across its opening three fixtures thus far, defeating the highly-fancied Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United, and thrashing Wellington Phoenix in between.


With the former two Premiership contenders dropping points early, in addition to Sydney FC losing its opening game, the door is open for City to secure some breathing room at the top if it could continue its positive start to the new campaign with a pair of victories over the next fortnight.

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