A weekend of grand final rematches highlights Australia’s men’s and women’s leagues this weekend.
Melbourne City v Sydney FC
City v Sydney matches in the W-League have become consistently big level games with two of the last three grand finals being played between these two teams.
The Sky Blues enter the match off the back of a big 3-0 derby win over the Western Sydney Wanderers. Ante Juric’s side will be boosted by the return of four young Matildas in Taylor Ray, Amy Sayer, Princess Ibini and Julia Vignes, however they have lost Danielle Colaprico to international duty.
City is likely to make some changes to the lineup which lost to Canberra 2-0 in round one. Although Rado Vidosic is still without Steph Catley and Kyah Simon due to injury and Tameka Butt who is still in Norway, Elise Kellond-Knight and Yukari Kinga have been named in the squad and should slide into the starting XI.
Matches between these sides have been high scoring and it should be much of the same tonight with Sydney FC taking the three points.
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Victory
Neither side has had an ideal start to the season with Victory starting its title defence with back to back losses and Newcastle faring marginally better, able to earn a point against Adelaide United in round two.
Despite last season’s grand final win the Hunter is still somewhat of a bogey ground for the Victory who have only won four times in Newcastle in the league’s history.
The Jets will undoubtedly be out for revenge after the controversial circumstances in which Melbourne won the title last season.
Both teams have built impressive squads but Victory is a little short on strikers at the moment with Kenny Athiu and Ola Toivonen both out injured. Kevin Muscat may look to some young guns with Birkan Kirdar, Rahmat Akbari and Josh Hope all named in the extended squad.
While the Jets have strikers they haven’t scored in three of their last four games at home. While this is of some concern for Ernie Merrick, the Jets should get the win on Saturday night.