Talking points preview: Perth vs City
Here we go: we're finally into the last two games of the season. Our next challenge? Perth Glory away. A win or draw will guarantee our top four spot and finals football.
Perth are in some splendid form leading into this one, winning three from their last five. They will definitely not be an easy beat, especially considering finals football is on the line for the team in purple.
Good form is imperative at this point in the season, and with all top four teams stumbling as of late, it really is anyone's Championship to take home.
Here are three talking points leading into this one:
Best and worst case scenario
Our best case scenario after these final two games are that Sydney slip up something fierce, allowing our City girls to take home six points and steal second spot. On the other hand, the worst case scenario is that we gain no points from Perth and Canberra, and therefore fall out of the top four, forfeiting finals football.
Both options seem quite unlikely, correct? Therefore, let me divulge into a more probable outcome.
One would suspect that we will finish fourth, losing third place out to bitter rivals Melbourne Victory, simply down to the luck of the draw. Victory have bottom-half dwellers Brisbane and Wellington to look forward to, while we take on finals-hopefuls.
This leaves us likely matching up with Western United in finals, who we've come much closer to beating than Sydney FC thus far.
Is that, ironically, the best outcome of all?
Will not be easy
As previously mentioned, Perth Glory are coming into this game with nothing to lose, but all to gain. The Western Australian side have had a solid season, resulting in a positive goal difference while finding themselves in a great position to build on for next season.
Our girls will need to be on their game as we only beat them 1-0 earlier in the season. This foreshadows a difficult affair, which will certainly be entertaining for neutrals, though not so much for fans of either club.
Holly McNamara will be looking to make an impact after her call-up to international duty early next month, pushing towards a hopeful start for the Matildas.
With the exciting attacker continuing to find her feet after recovering from that devastating injury, McNamara is certainly one to watch.
Title hopes lost
It goes without saying, but with our last draw, we are officially out of the race of the Premier's Plate. This signifies the third season in our league title drought, having won our last Plate back in the '19/20 season (undefeated, might I add).
While obviously not the desired outcome, this has been a fantastic season, especially when you consider the playing squad woes we have had to overcome. Injuries have plagued our season; our medium/long-term absentees at points throughout this season - Hannah Wilkinson, Holly McNamara, Emina Ekic, Tori Tumeth, Emma Checker, Naomi Chinnama, Karly Roestbakken, Leah Davidson, Sally James, Melissa Barbieri and Caitlyn Karic - could have just about made up a title-contending squad by themselves.
There is plenty of improvement and excitement to be had for the future, but silverware is still on the line this season.
Score prediction: Perth 1 - 2 City