Our City girls will go into this one tomorrow afternoon against an opponent who have turned their form around in recent weeks, knocking off Western United alongside ourselves, while gaining a hard-fought point against Melbourne Victory midweek.
City will hopefully be the fresher of the two sides as Western Sydney Wanderers have had not even a full three-day break between games. With the return of Caitlin Karic to the squad, we will definitely be fit and firing for what is to be a tough game in relatively warm conditions.
Getting back on the winners list against tough opposition to kick off the second half of the season will be important in our quest to take down Western United.
That being said, here are the three talking points in the lead-up to this one:
We need to be ruthless
There is no doubt that we have a particular attacking prowess; we have goals in us. That being said, our largest scorelines have come against sides who have shipped quite a few goals this season. Western Sydney are not that kind of team, we've noticed.
They run a tight ship at the back, often sacrificing their attacking power, but they're still getting results all the same. That being said, our girls up front such as Rhianna Pollicina, Caitlin Karic, and Bryleeh Henry need to ensure that forward movements are quick and concise. Recycling the play every time the Wanderers make a press will only result in a high possession stat, and not many chances.
As soon as we get the ball, our girls must bomb forward in the search of a quick goal that will shake the Western Sydney defence to its core. Put that doubt in their mind and we will be in a good position.
Karic in the starting eleven?
As Caitlin Karic was rested for the Melbourne Derby, it makes sense that she is straight back in the squad for this one tomorrow afternoon. That being said, does Karic make the starting eleven for the first time this season?
Bryleeh Henry has been playing very well recently, often receiving the ball on the right side multiple times a game. The only thing often missing from her game is finding the right pass, which she executed perfectly last week to set up Hannah Wilkinson for her first goal of the season. More of that, and Henry will be hard to shift.
On the left side of the pitch - where Karic often plays - we have seen a chop-and-change approach since the unfortunate injury of Emina Ekic. Due to no other player particularly making a great challenge to nail down that spot, Caitlin Karic may have the opportunity to prove herself.
A win is a must
It seems like every week is a must-win this season, being that the competition is so fierce for the top spot. However much I continue to bang on this drum, it will not be any less true; we must win. With the Wanderers being such a difficult opponent as of late, maybe we need some superstition.
Luckily, young midfielder Isabella Accardo has been called up to the senior squad for the first time since our wonderful 4-0 win over Canberra United. Having won both of the matches she has been involved in this season so far, maybe the youngster should come onto the pitch to provide some solid luck!
Being the fresher side, with a better tendency for scoring and repelling goals, we should balance the season record against the Wanderers when we face them this afternoon. Get down to Casey Fields and support the girls!
Score prediction: City 3 - 1 WSW