Talking points preview: Newcastle vs City
It has been a difficult couple of rounds for our City girls, but now comes the chance to turn our fortunes around.
With the league title becoming further out of arm's reach, our focus must be on remaining in the top four to secure a Finals appearance.
Playing Newcastle has come at the most perfect time. We need to get back on the winners' list, and this is the moment. A win here, and we go five points clear of dropping out of the Finals places.
Without further delay, let's go through the massive talking points leading into this one:
A must win
Not only do we need to win this game to pump up our confidence and regain control of our table position, but the Jets are not travelling well whatsoever.
Coming off a 6-0 loss to Western United, Newcastle have shipped a whopping 41 goals in only 14 games so far. That is 2.93 goals per game.
We all know that when our girls are on point, we can inflict some devastating pain on opposing teams. This could be a perfect storm in a way, and what a way to begin the final run home with only five games left before Finals.
Coming into a tough run against Western United, Melbourne Victory and in-form Canberra United, a win against the lowly Jets is an absolute must.
Massive 'ins' this week
If you haven't already heard, we're seeing the return of two absolute ballers! Holly McNamara returns from that devastating ACL injury suffered last year, while Maria Rojas returns for the first time since December.
Expecting Rojas to go straight into the starting eleven, her general eye for goal will surely be worrying the Newcastle defence straight from the outset, but there is an interesting partnership to look out for: Rojas and Wilkinson. We haven't seen it this season due to the fact that Rojas was originally an injury replacement for our Kiwi striker, but now we are to be treated with somewhat of a dream team.
If Rojas and Wilkinson get their bearings straight early, who knows how many we'll score tomorrow?
Football is back for the girls
It has been almost a month since we witnessed that gut-wrenching loss to title rivals Western United. In saying that, this has certainly given Dario Vidosic some time to possibly work out some kinks and issues within the playing squad.
Witnessed in many games this season, our transitional play through the midfield has often been undesirable, creating a slow and predictable effort that opposing teams have been able to repel. One would hope that the coaching staff have pushed for more urgency, especially when coming out of defensive areas with space to accelerate into.
The injection of Maria Rojas will certainly help with this endeavour as the Chilean loves to run with the ball at her feet. Hopefully that will inspire the girls around her to not only take risks, but also to push forward with the ball at the right time.
Score prediction: Newcastle 1 - 4 City