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ALW Match Preview: Western United vs Canberra United

Western United A-League Women

Western United will hope its third home Liberty A-League Women match in a row brings about a sixth win in a row when Canberra United visit City Vista Pavilion and Sports Field in Round 18.

Match Details

Liberty A-League Women Round 18

Western United vs Canberra United

Friday, 1 March

Kick-off: 4:30pm AEDT

City Vista Pavilion and Sports Field, Fraser Rise

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

Western United Team News

Kat Smith could hand out two Western United debuts on Friday with Kathrine Larsen and Catherine Zimmerman both included in the extended squad.

Larsen will be aiming to start in goal after signing last week following Hillary Beall’s departure to join pre-season training with San Diego Wave.

On the other hand, Zimmerman joined the Club at the beginning of the season but is yet to make her debut after an unfortunate spell with injury.

Chloe Logarzo will be eager to keep her form rolling on after re-joining the Matildas camp over the past fortnight, while Jaclyn Sawicki and Tyla Jay Vlajnic may be forced to miss this game due to lengthy travels from Europe after their respective international duties.

Kahli Johnson is unavailable for the fixture as she gets set to take part in the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup with the Young Matildas.

Western United squad: 1. Alyssa DALL’OSTE (gk), 2. Stacey PAPADOPOULOS, 4. Jaclyn SAWICKI, 5. Aimee MEDWIN, 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, 22. Alana CERNE, 24. Julia SARDO, 31. Kathrine LARSEN (gk), 34. Catherine ZIMMERMAN

Full Western United squad

Last time out

Western United cruised to a 3-0 win over Wellington Phoenix last time out, thanks largely to a dominant second-half display.

Watch the highlights from Western United’s 3-0 triumph against Wellington Phoenix last time out

Logarzo put United ahead in the first period but the Green and Black really turned it on after the break, adding two more goals and creating a host of other chances to secure the victory.

The Opponent

Canberra United remain one of the most curious cases in the Liberty A-League this season, and Western United will do well to read nothing into their standing in last place on the table.

Despite sitting in 12th, Canberra have one of the most dangerous sides in the competition thanks to their dynamic attacking duo of Michelle Heyman and Vesna Milivojevic.

Fresh from her four-goal haul for the Matildas on Wednesday night, Heyman will be eager to add to her league-leading 12 goals this season, though Milivojevic could miss the clash as she returns from her duties with the Serbia national team alongside Vlajnic.

Overall, only Melbourne City have scored more than Canberra’s 30 goals this season, which is made even more impressive by the fact that Canberra have played two games less.

For their incredible firepower up front, Canberra’s Achilles heel has been at the back with 33 goals conceded, tied for the most in the league.

The all-action style of Njegosh Popovich always brings entertainment, and Western United will need to be on high alert to secure an important win.

Key Matchup: Kathrine Larsen vs Michelle Heyman

There may not be a bigger baptism of fire for Western United’s new goalkeeper, with Larsen set to debut against the golden boot leader in Heyman.

The 35-year-old’s story is remarkable, returning to the top of the game and reemerging as one of the Liberty A-League’s deadliest attackers. Aside from her goals, she also ranks equal second in assists with five.

But Larsen is similarly experienced and boasts big-game quality that she will be hoping to bring in front of her new home supporters.

A tall, athletic goalkeeper, the Danish international has big gloves to fill after Beall’s departure but her resume suggests she will fill them perfectly.

If she can keep out Heyman and Canberra’s advances and hold onto a debut clean sheet, she could go a long way to helping the Green and Black add an important three points to the tally.

Western United Player to Watch: Catherine Zimmerman

Western United fans have been waiting for some time to see Zimmerman in action and will finally get the chance to do so on Friday afternoon.

The American forward has been a star in the Liberty A-League across a number of seasons, scoring 14 goals in 39 appearances and winning two Championships at Melbourne Victory.

Making her return to training, Zimmerman has not lost a single bit of pace or sharpness and she will be ready to put on a show for the Green and Black faithful.

Pulling on the No.34 for the first time as a Western United player, Zimmerman will be itching to cap the day off with a goal and a win to carry the team into the final weeks of the season.

Words from Kat Smith

On how she and the team have worked through the international break to maintain sharpness

“With that break in the season, we looked at what our objectives were for individual players, and we feel that we’ve met those. Some players needed a bit of a top up, and those that have been our regular starters – just making sure they get a refresh and go again this weekend.”

On the depth and readiness of the squad heading into the run-in to the end of the season

“I still have headaches! That’s how you compete at this time of the season, we’re in a great position and we call on every player in the squad.

“They know what their role is, we’ve got that depth and those players are stepping up which is really pleasing.”