The match between Canberra and Perth looms as a danger gane for the current W-League leaders
This match postponed from a fortnight ago because of Canberra United-s participation at the International Women-s Club Championship is shaping as a crucial encounter for both teams, albeit for very different reasons.
With just five rounds remaining, champions Canberra desperately need three points if they are to remain in touch with an in-form top four. Conversely, frontrunners Perth Glory can take a giant stride towards an unlikely premiership claim, with a win in the nation-s capital to move them five points clear at the top.
What a difference a year makes. Just on 12 months ago, Canberra were in the midst of an unparalleled undefeated season en-route to their maiden title, while Perth had suffered an ignominious Westfield W-League record defeat at Sydney FC. Canberra-s lengthy unbeaten run has suddenly become a distant memory, and in the space of just two weeks they have suffered four losses, including two in Japan.
There are, however, positive signs for Jitka Klimkova-s team who unluckily lost their last two outings in the final minute. Canberra-s young guns continue to make great strides, while inspirational midfielder Sally Shipard continues to look stronger with each match after her lengthy injury lay-off.
There are no such concerns for the Glory who have won five of their six outings, and yet again have a full roster to choose from. The Glory have really hit their straps in front of goal over recent weeks and, after their 3-0 home win over Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday, are only one behind Sydney FC as the league-s top goalscorers.
This match is Perth-s second of three outings within seven days, with a crucial week for the Glory rounded out by a trip to Brisbane Roar on the weekend.
Canberra United squad: 1. Mackenzie ARNOLD (gk), 2. Caitlin COOPER, 3. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, 4. Christine WALTERS, 5. Grace FIELD, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Hayley RASO, 10. Snez VELJANOVSKA, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole SYKES, 15. Sally SHIPARD, 16. Catherine BROWN, 17. Ariane Hingst, 18. Samantha WOOD, 19. Jennifer BISSET, 20. Trudy BURKE (gk), 21. Nikki WASHINGTON (*four to be omitted)
Ins: 5. Grace FIELD, 10. Snez VELJANOVSKA, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 18. Samantha WOOD (all promoted)
Unavailable: Grace Gill (ankle – 2 weeks), Ashleigh Sykes (hip – 1 week)
Perth Glory squad: 1. Carly TELFORD (gk), 2. Sarah CARROLL, 3. Carys HAWKINS, 4. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 5. Shannon MAY, 6. Sasha ANDREWS, 7. Aivi LUIK, 8. Ella MASTRANTONIO, 9. Rosie SUTTON, 10. Jaymee GIBBONS, 11. Lisa DE VANNA, 12. Kate GILL, 13. Elisa D-OVIDIO, 14. Collette McCALLUM (c), 15. Liz MILNE, 16. Thia EASTMAN, 17. Marianna TABAIN, 18. Kirri BOLTON, 19. Shawn BILLAM, 20. Zoe PALANDRI (gk) (*five to be omitted)
Ins: 2. Sarah CARROLL, 10. Jaymee GIBBONS, 16. Thia EASTMAN, 18. Kirri BOLTON, 19. Shawn BILLAM (all promoted)