Canberra United will aim to bounce back from their first setback of the season when they meet Melbourne City at Seiffert Oval in Queanbeyan two days prior to Christmas in what promises to be a Liberty A-League cracker.
Having seen a two-goal lead overturned by Perth Glory in Round 5, United will head into the encounter in seventh place, but well within touching distance of the top four as they look to make inroads into the team’s leading the table.
City have enjoyed a fine start to the season sweeping aside Wellington Phoenix, Brisbane Roar, and Newcastle Jets in a swathe of goals before seeing their perfect start to the campaign derailed by the incredible story that is league newcomers, and early pace-setters, Western United who won 3-1 in Melbourne last weekend.
For Canberra, this is a return across the border to New South Wales with, hopefully, better weather than curtailed the previous scheduled match in Queanbeyan, the Round 12 fixture with Melbourne Victory in 2018/19 which was abandoned due to the proximity of lightning activity to the match venue.
On that occasion, play was suspended in the 16th minute of the match Under the FFA Thunderstorm and Lightning guidelines, eventually being abandoned completely and replayed at McKellar Park.
City have had the wood in United in matches in Canberra, winning five of the seven played to date with Canberra having won just twice, so perhaps a move into Seiffert Oval due to the unavailability of the regular home haunt of McKellar might serve as a lucky omen for the team in green.
United’s last win over City was secured in dramatic fashion back in January 2021, a goal three minutes into time added on from Nickoletta Flannery seeing the home side to a narrow 2-1 win, Flannery adding to an earlier goal from ace goal-machine Michelle Heyman. Former United star Jenna McCormick struck for the visitors.
It’ gong to be a tough assignment for Njegosh Popovich and his group, but the belief is there within the squad that they can secure the three points and an early Christmas present for the Canberra United faithful.
Friday 23 December 2022
Canberra United v Melbourne City
(Seiffert Oval, Queanbeyan, 18:00)