Perth Glory Women host Westfield W-League table leaders Melbourne City on Saturday, with a chance to leapfrog the table toppers.
After kicking off the season on the road with a win over Melbourne Victory, Glory returned home for a Round 2 fixture against Newcastle Jets. Without star attackers Samantha Kerr and Caitlin Foord, Perth was unable to find a goal, settling for a nil-nil home opener. However, the team was happy with the defensive performance, keeping a clean sheet despite the absence of starting goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold.
The three starters will all likely return to the squad after spending the past week and a half on tour with the Matildas in China, and Head Coach Bobby Despotovski is excited to have them back.
“They are vital to our chances to win and progress in this competition. They had a tough assignment in China, but we welcome all three of them back with open arms, and hope they will all be fit and ready to play.”
Melbourne City head into the match with two wins to its credit, earning a convincing 6-nil win in its season opener against Sydney FC, followed by a hard-fought 2-1 victory over its Melbourne rivals.
“Everyone knows City is the team to beat in this competition. We’re going into the game with the mentality we can get a result because we’re playing at home” said Despotovski.
With eight goals through two games for City, Perth will be aware of Melbourne City’s dangers up front. Former Glory attacker Marianna Tabain has scored twice this season, registering in each of City’s wins. The Sydney-native will surely be motivated to keep her scoring streak alive against her former team mates and club.
Larissa Crummer has also scored twice, both coming on her City debut in Round 1. The 19-year-old will also be looking to continue that form in her 2nd match for Melbourne, after missing Round 2 due to her Matilda’s call-up.
Crummer won’t be the only Melbourne City player returning from Matilda’s duty. Defenders Steph Catley and Laura Alleway, along with former Glory forward and current City captain Lisa De Vanna, are all likely to feature.
“Everyone they have is a quality player. They have no weak links. They have a full squad of Matildas and young Matildas, but in saying that they travelled to China, going back to Melbourne and going on the flight to Perth to play, so anything can happen, as long as we put together a 100% performance, we’ll have a good chance to collect the three points” Despotovski said.
With as many as seven current Matilda’s on display, this match promises to be the most star-studded game of the Westfield W-League season so far.
Get down to Ashfield Reserve and support your Glory Women on Saturday.
Kick-off is at 4pm. Entry is free for Perth Glory FC members.
Saturday, 31 October 2015
Perth Glory Women vs. Melbourne City Women
Ashfield Reserve, Perth
Kick-Off: 4:00 PM
Perth Glory Women probable squad: 1. Mackenzie ARNOLD, 3. Kim CARROLL, 4. Katie HOLTHAM, 5. Shannon MAY, 6. Carla BENNETT, 7. Nicole STANTON, 8. Shawn BILLAM, 11. Emily HENDERSON 12. Katie SCHUBERT, 14. Caitlin DOEGLAS, 16. Thia EASTMAN, 17. Ellie LAMONTE, 18. Gabby DAL BUSCO (GK), 19. Ella MASTRANTONIO 20. Samantha KERR (C)