Match Preview - Epakis encouraged by performances ahead of City clash

Glory Head Coach Alex Epakis has been encouraged by his side's performances in the last two games and is confident that they have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with Melbourne City at Dorrien Gardens on Friday (kick-off at 6.35pm).

The women in purple may not have managed to pick up any points from their clashes with top-four hopefuls Canberra United and most recently, Melbourne Victory, but gave an excellent account of themselves in both games.

And Epakis feels that they have shown enough to suggest that they are capable of downing the reigning Westfield W-League champions in what is their final home game of the season.

"The Canberra and Melbourne Victory performances - that's the type of football that we want to play and we want to play that for 90 minutes," he said.

"We've shown that when we can execute what we want to do for 90 minutes, we can compete with those more experienced teams.

"Based on what I've seen in the last two fixtures, we've got to give ourselves a chance if we play the same way against Melbourne City who, like us, are having a difficult season.

"We just can't drop our standard below what we put out in the last two fixtures."

While naturally frustrated that a maiden victory of the season continues to remain elusive, Epakis was quick to highlight the progress being made by his youthful squad.

"You don't want to lose matches, we know that," he said, "but we also need to be very aware of the wins and we're having some wins.

"They may not be on the scoreboard, but we're having players who are competing with experienced opposition and at times going toe-to-toe with and overpowering them in phases of play.

"We all acknowledged that on Tuesday; it was there for everyone to see.

"So the girls were disappointed with the result, but really happy with the performance."

Isabella Wallhead became the latest WA teenager to make her starting debut in the Victory game and her Head Coach was delighted with the way the defender embraced the challenge. 

"Bella is a perfect example and there have been players doing that for us all season," he said.

"She kept probably one of the most experienced frontlines in the competition at bay for a large part of the game and was tenacious and confident.

"Hana Lowry has also been consistent all season and Tijan McKenna has done fantastically all season.

"We fielded more teenagers on Tuesday than I think ever before and you wouldn't have been able to tell.

"I think every single one of those young players needs to keep their head really high and that was the message post match."

City will head West with their finals hopes all but over having managed just two wins all year, the most recent of those coming last weekend at the expense of Newcastle Jets.

The last six meetings between Glory and the Victorians have yielded an even split of three wins apiece and there has never been a draw in this fixture.

In terms of early team news, meanwhile, Sarah Carroll will return to Glory's selection mix having served a one-game suspension following her sending off against Canberra United.

Match Details

Friday, 19 March 2021

Perth Glory v Melbourne City FC

Dorrien Gardens, Perth

Kick-Off: 6:35pm (Local)(9:35pm (AEDT))

Referee: Kelly Jones

Assistant Referee 1: Adrien Liechti

Assistant Referee 2: Jessica Byrd

Fourth Official: Shane Skinner

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvMCY

To purchase tickets visit www.w-league.com.au/tickets

Perth Glory squad: 1.Lily ALFELD (GK), 2.Sarah CARROLL, 4.Natasha RIGBY (C), 5.Deborah-Anne DE LA HARPE, 6.Tijan MCKENNA, 7.Elizabeth ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 9.Malia STEINMETZ, 10.Alexia MORENO, 11.Patricia CHARALAMBOUS, 12.Sarah MORGAN, 13.Jamie-Lee GALE, 14.Caitlin DOEGLAS, 16.Isabella WALLHEAD, 17.Marianna TABAIN, 18.Taneesha BAKER, 20.Rebecca BENNETT (GK), 23.Katarina JUKIC

**2 to be omitted**

Ins: 2.Sarah CARROLL (returns from suspension), 18.Taneesha BAKER (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 3.Gemma CRAINE (hamstring – season)

Melbourne City FC squad: 3.Teigen ALLEN, 5.Tori TUMETH, 6. Noor ECKHOFF, 8.Hollie PALMER, 9. Alex CHIDIAC, 10.Chinatsu KIRA, 11.Rhali DOBSON, 13. Sarah CAIN, 14.Margot ROBINNE, 15. Emma CHECKER (c), 17. Samantha JOHNSON, 18.Leah DAVIDSON, 19.Tyla-Jay VLAJNIC, 20. Lia MULDEARY, 21. Jenna McCORMICK, 22. Naomi THOMAS-CHINNAMA, 23.Melissa BARBIERI (gk), 30.Sophia VARLEY (gk).

**2 to be omitted**

Ins: 3.Teigen ALLEN (returns from injury), 8.Hollie PALMER (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 1.Teagan MICAH (knee), 4.Chelsea BLISSETT (ACL), 12.Harriet WITHERS (ankle), 16.Sofia SAKALIS (ACL).

#OneGlory