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ALW Match Preview: Canberra United vs Western United

Western United A-League Women

Western United’s final Liberty A-League Women fixture of 2023 takes the side to the capital with a Round 10 matchup against Canberra United on Saturday.

Match Details

Liberty A-League Women Round 10

Canberra United vs Western United

Saturday, 30 December

Kick-off: 5:00pm AEDT

McKellar Park, Canberra

Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live and free on 10Play, and on Paramount+

Team News

Chloe Logarzo is in line to make her 100th appearance in the Liberty A-League, bringing up a special milestone in her career.

The Western United co-captain approaches the milestone in fine form on the pitch and will be hoping for some extra post-game celebrations with a win.

It will be a return home for Grace Maher as she prepares to take on her former side, while Hannah Keane and Adriana Taranto will become the first players to reach 30 Liberty A-League appearances for United if they each feature.

Western United squad: 1. Alyssa DALL’OSTE (gk), 2. Stacey PAPADOPOULOS, 4. Jaclyn SAWICKI, 6. Chloe LOGARZO, 7. Kiara DE DOMIZIO, 9. Hannah KEANE, 11. Emma ROBERS, 12. Lucy RICHARDS, 13. Avaani PRAKASH, 14. Natasha DAKIC, 15. Adriana TARANTO, 16. Melissa TARANTO, 18. Grace MAHER, 19. Tyla Jay VLAJNIC, 20. Keiwa HIEDA, 21. Hillary BEALL (gk), 22. Alana CERNE, 24. Julia SARDO

Full Western United squad

Last time out

Western United scored a brilliant win last time out, defeating league leaders Perth Glory 1-0 after one of the best performances of the season.

READ MORE: ALW Match Report: Western United 1-0 Perth Glory

Logarzo’s first-half strike gave United the lead and while the Green and Black had a host of other chances to score, that was all the team needed to pick up a big three points.

The Opponent

Canberra United have been arguably the most exciting team to watch in the Liberty A-League season with goals galore at both ends of the pitch whenever they play.

With 15 goals scored, only Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory have found the net more often than Canberra United, yet a leaky defence so far seems them sitting on the bottom of the table.

A league-high 19 goals conceded have been Canberra’s Achilles heel having conceded multiple goals in all but one of their seven games so far.

Canberra have had games with five, six, seven and eight combined goals scored across the 90 minutes and while they will be eager to continue scoring themselves, they will be hoping to tighten up at the back in order to bank some points.

Key Matchup: Grace Maher vs Vesna Milivojevic

Returning to her hometown club, Maher will have a little extra motivation and knowledge of her opponents to hopefully spur herself and her teammates over the line.

Maher has played every minute of Western United’s season so far, slotting in seamlessly next to Alana Cerne at centre-back and controlling United’s defensive line.

With her leadership as vice-captain, her superb quality on the ball and her ability to read the game and hold out opponents defensively, Maher has already emerged as one of the signings of the season.

Back in familiar territory, it will be a player that Maher knows very well that she will be trying her best to stop from taking over the game.

Vesna Milivojevic was outstanding for Canberra last season and has seemingly gone to another level, leading the league with eight goals scored in just seven appearances.

Whether it be in a midfield or more attacking role, Milivojevic has an eye for scoring goals and creating chances and is one of the deadliest players in the competition when at the top of her game.

Up against her former teammate, Maher will need to use every ounce of her quality to get on top of her individual battle and to collect an important three points for the team.

Player to Watch: Melissa Taranto

One of the big stories from this Western United team so far this season has been the performances of Melissa Taranto, often in tandem with her sister Adriana.

In eight appearances so far this season, Melissa Taranto is going at a goal contribution every other game with one scored and three assisted, including Logarzo’s winner against Perth last season.

Playing in an all-action midfield role, Taranto has frequently imposed her authority in midfield and is influencing matches to push her side towards victory.

Returning to the place where she scored her first Western United goal last season, Taranto will be primed for another match-winning display in midfield to ensure United ends the year on a high.

Words from Kat Smith

On celebrating Chloe Logarzo’s 100th game and her impact on the group

“Her impact is significant, we’ve seen that on the pitch over the last couple of weeks, but more importantly the impact she’s had off the pitch with her leadership.

“100 games, that’s an amazing milestone. For her it’s really pleasing, for us it’s amazing that we get to experience that milestone with her. We’ll be going out there to put on a really good performance as a team, especially for one of our leadership players in Chloe.”

On the result against Perth last time out and looking to use that to build momentum going forward

“We were really pleased with the performance and, obviously just as much, the result.

“We’ve been trying to instil our principals. It was always going to take some time for the girls to overcome some challenges and some new concepts, but with that being able to translate from the training pitch to the match, we’re going to see a little bit more of that consistency come over the next couple of weeks with our performances.”