W-League preview: City v Victory

Melbourne Victory looks to continue its good start to the Westfield W-League season when it takes on City in the Derby at AAMI Park on Friday.

Summary

Victory has picked up four points from its opening two games of the season, including a 2-1 win over the Newcastle Jets before the international break.

Melina Ayres' spectacular strike and Natasha Dowie's first goal of the campaign lifted Victory to its win.

Victory has enjoyed a strong start to the season, leading the league in multiple categories.

No team has taken more shots (42) or made more passes (898) than Victory.

Victory's central midfield three of Christine Nairn, Dani Weatherholt and Grace Maher have been key to its early-season success.

While Weatherholt and Maher provided assists against the Jets, Nairn leads the Westfield W-League in chances created (11).

That has led to opportunities for the likes of Dowie and Ayres, who have had a joint-high nine shots each this season.

Laura Alleway and Emily Gielnik, who scored for the Westfield Matildas on Tuesday, are expected to be available after helping Australia overcome Chile across two matches.

Victory meets a City side that beat Sydney FC last time out, having lost at Canberra United in its opener.

Head coach Jeff Hopkins' pre-match thoughts

on preparations…
"It's given us more time to prepare, which is good, but also after a good performance and a good win, it would've been nice to back it up straight away last weekend and get straight back into it, but there's pros and cons to everything and we're not really worrying too much about that. We've had 10 days, real good quality work, we've been able to monitor the players and make sure they're just right for this game. We're happy and we're looking forward to the game."

assessing the start to the season…
"I'm reasonably happy. Most probably I was very happy with the performance and the win against Newcastle, performance-wise against Adelaide I was reasonably happy but I think we most probably did enough to win the game, we just needed to be a little bit more clinical in front of goal, it's often the way in the first game so I'm not complaining. We're happy enough with where we're sitting and we've just got to move forward from here now."

on Gielnik's impact for the Westfield Matildas…
"On the game on the weekend, she really made a difference and enough of a difference to get them back in the game and the same again on Tuesday night, she came on, obviously the goal was a great finish, but not just the goal, in her overall performance she really was effective in what she was trying to do and caused the Chilean team a lot of problems. I was really pleased for her. She's so focused this year and she knows what she wants and she's really desperate to have a good season this year."

Last time

Westfield W-League 2017/18 Round 11
Melbourne Victory 2-1 City
Sunday, January 14, 2018
Epping Stadium, Melbourne

Victory claimed a come-from-behind win over City in the Derby in January.

After an unfortunate Alleway own goal put City ahead, Ayres scored a screamer from distance before Christina Gibbons struck an 86th-minute winner.

Opta Widget: Last time

As it stands

Opta Widget: WWL table

Match details

City v Melbourne Victory
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Friday, November 16, 2018
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT