W-League Preview: Victory v Jets

The Jets travel to Melbourne on Saturday to take on Melbourne Victory.

Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets Saturday 3 December 2011 Skilled Stadium, Geelong Local kick-off: 3pm Live: ABC TV

Though we are just at the halfway point of the Westfield W-League season this match-up is shaping as crucial to the finals hopes of both teams. With Canberra United way out in front, and perennial challengers Sydney FC and Brisbane building momentum, it is more than conceivable that Melbourne Victory and Newcastle will be jostling for a remaining finals berth come seasons end. Aside from the potentially pivotal nature of this match, an intriguing sub-plot will be the return of Jets and Matildas goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri to her home state after an abrupt off-season departure from the Victory.

Melbourne are perhaps the unluckiest team in the league, having suffered three one-goal defeats this season. However they are yet to beat a team higher on the table and this contest could provide a gauge to their ongoing progress. At the moment they have their nose in front of the Jets on the table thanks only to goal difference, although the Victory have played a match more. Melbourne-s most recent visit to Geelong last season resulted in a 1-0 win over Canberra, with the three points going a long way towards the club achieving their maiden finals appearance.

The challenge for the Jets going into the match will be to not only recover from two hefty defeats, but to use last weekend-s free weekend to their advantage. As always the great unknown will be the mood, and subsequent impact, offered by Lisa De Vanna. Four goals in the opening two rounds for the pacy frontrunner gave way to two muted performances, with the Jets consequently losing altitude with defeats against Sydney FC and Canberra United.

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Brianna DAVEY (gk), 2.Rebekah STOTT, 3. Maika RUYTER-HOOLEY, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 5. Danielle JOHNSON, 6. Rita MANKOWSKA, 7. Stephanie CATLEY, 8. Ashley BROWN, 9. Georgie KOUTROUVELIS, 10. Jodie TAYLOR (c), 11. Caitlin FRIEND, 12. Jackie VOGT, 13. Katrina GORRY 14. Enza BARILLA, 15. Amy JACKSON, 16. Louisa BISBY, 17. Gulcan KOCA, 18. Stephanie TANTI, 19. Laura SPIRANOVIC, 20. Cassandra DIMOVSKI (gk) * five to be omitted In: Gulcan Koca (returns from international duty), Jackie Vogt, 16. Louisa Bisby, 18: Stephanie Tanti, 19. Laura Spiranovic (all promoted) Out: None

Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Melissa BARBIERI (gk), 2.Hannah BREWER, 3.Alanna KENNEDY, 4.Gemma PEARCE, 5.Alex HUYNH, 6.Nicola BOLGER, 7.Gema SIMON, 8.Linda O'NEILL, 9.Tara ANDREWS, 10.Emily VAN EGMOND, 11.Lisa DE VANNA, 12.Monnique KOFOED, 13.Stacey DAY, 14.Bronte BATES, 15.Rhali DOBSON, 16.Cassandra KOPPEN, 17.Ariane HINGST (c), 20.Alison LOGUE (gk) *three to be omitted In: None Out: None

A reminder Newcastle Jets Ticketed Members are entitled to free entry to all W-League home games.