ALW Match Preview: Western United vs Western Sydney Wanderers

Kahli Johnson Western United

Western United closes the Liberty A-League Women regular season with the visit of Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 20 on Saturday afternoon.

Match Details

Liberty A-League Women Round 20

Western United vs Western Sydney Wanderers

Saturday, 1 April

Kick-off: 3:00pm AEDT

City Vista Pavilion and Sports Field, Plumpton

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

Team News

Mark Torcaso has been forced into one change to his extended squad from last weekend, with Emma Robers set to miss out on the fixture.

Having featured in every single match so far this season, Robers has been ruled out with an ankle injury sustained against Canberra United. The midfielder is expected to be fit to return to the side for the beginning of the Finals Series, however.

Sydney Cummings will be hoping to get through 90 minutes which would mean she will have played every minute of the regular season.

Western United squad: 1. Alyssa DALL’OSTE (gk), 3. Silver Bell MORRIS, 4. Jaclyn SAWICKI, 7. Francesca IERMANO, 9. Hannah KEANE, 13. Danielle STEER, 14. Natasha DAKIC, 15. Adriana TARANTO, 16. Melissa TARANTO, 18. Aleksandra SINCLAIR, 19. Tyla Jay VLAJNIC, 20. Sydney CUMMINGS, 21. Hillary BEALL (gk), 22. Alana CERNE, 23. Angie BEARD, 24. Julia SARDO, 25. Tiana JABER

Full Western United squad

Last time out

Western United suffered defeat against Canberra United last time out, going down 3-0 at City Vista on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors opened the scoring within the opening minute and added two more after half-time to secure the three points.

The Opponent

Western Sydney Wanderers have undergone significant improvement this season under new head coach Kat Smith.

After winning just one match in the whole of last season and going through the first six games of this campaign without Victory, the Wanderers have risen to a respectable seventh position on the table with five wins and four draws.

One of those five wins came against United in January, at the time serving the Green and Black its first defeat of the campaign.

Clare Hunt has shone at the back for the Wanderers and earned a Matildas debut as a result, while a potent attack including Sophie Harding and Philippines star Sarina Bolden will look to threaten United’s defence.

Key Matchup: Hannah Keane vs Clare Hunt

Hunt could feature in one of the key battles on the pitch as Hannah Keane looks to secure the Liberty A-League golden boot.

With 11 goals for the season, Keane sits one strike behind Michelle Heyman at the top of the charts and will aim to at least match the Liberty A-League legend this weekend.

Hannah Keane found the net last time out against the Wanderers

There has been much fanfare about Hunt’s performances this season and while the Wanderers cannot reach the top four, she will be eager to put in another strong display to build her case for post-season individual honours.

Keane’s work across the final third as well as her threat in the box make her difficult to stop at her best, and the American will hope she can find the back of the net to help the Green and Black get back to winning ways.

Player to Watch: Stacey Papadopoulos

Stacey Papadopoulos made her return to the side last week with great success, providing a burst of energy and forward threat from wing and full-back positions in her half hour cameo.

United’s No.2 had not played in over two months and was a welcome addition to the side having been instrumental in the run of wins early on in the season.

Papadopoulos will be eying a return to the starting line-up this weekend and could provide a necessary spark to help get the team over the line.