Liberty A-League R17 Preview: League leaders could be knocked off top spot, Matilda to hit key milestone

Round 17 Preview | Liberty A-League

Round 17 of the Liberty A-League season is upon us! Ahead of the action getting underway, previews all six of the contests.

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Friday, 7pm AEDT: Melbourne Victory v Western Sydney Wanderers

It’s a case of fifth hosting fourth on Friday night in the Liberty A-League as Melbourne Victory welcome Western Sydney Wanderers to the Home of the Matildas.

Victory’s draw with the Mariners in Round 16 means they’re now riding a five-game unbeaten streak but the bad news is their last loss actually came at home, a 4-1 defeat to Western United.

Furthermore, the last time these two sides met it was the Wanderers who went home with the three points following a 2-0 win on December 30, 2023.

Since that win Robbie Hooker’s team have recorded four victories and two losses from six games and head into the contest knowing a win will guarantee they finish the round inside the top four.

Coming into round 17 the Wanderers possess the third best defence in the competition having conceded 19 goals from 17 games but they’ll have to be on their guard against Victory striker Emily Gielnik, who will bring up 50 Liberty A-League goals this weekend should she score a brace.

Furthermore, Victory can also hit a special milestone this weekend; one more goal is needed for them to reach 350 goals in A-Leagues history.


  • Melbourne Victory: D – W – D – W – D
  • Western Sydney Wanderers: W – W – L – L – W


  • Melbourne Victory: 5th
  • Western Sydney Wanderers: 4th

Opta stats

Western Sydney Wanderers FC won 2-0 in their last A-League Women game against the Melbourne Victory, ending an 11-game winless streak against them in the competition (D6 L5); though, they have never won back-to-back games against them in the competition.
The Melbourne Victory (22.4) and Western United FC (20.3) are the only teams to have made 20+ crosses per game this A-League Women season; the Victory (22.8%) boast a higher crossing accuracy than the Wanderers (22.4%) this campaign.

Opta win probability

Melbourne Victory 52.3% Draw 26.6% Western Sydney Wanderers 21.1%

Saturday, 5pm: Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar

The Jets will play their 200th Liberty A-League game this weekend when they face Brisbane Roar at Maitland Sportsground.

Despite taking the lead against Western Sydney last time out Newcastle ultimately succumbed to a third loss in five games meaning they now sit three points outside the top six.

The in-form Sarina Bolden will be out to keep her good form going having registered five goals and three assists in her last seven A-League matches and she currently sits four goals behind Michelle Heyman in the race for the Golden Boot.

As for Brisbane, Alex Smith’s side have recorded just one win in their last five matches and suffered an agonising late defeat to Western United last time out.

Historically the Roar have the upper hand in this contest and have won seven of their last nine matches against the Jets, although the latest meeting between these two sides saw Newcastle win 2-1.


  • Newcastle Jets: W – L – L – W – L
  • Brisbane Roar: L – D – W – L – L


  • Newcastle Jets: 8th
  • Brisbane Roar: 10th

Opta stats

Jordan Silkowitz (Brisbane Roar FC) has made more clearances (21), punches (10), and passes (613) than any other goalkeeper in the 2023/24 A-League Women season.
Brisbane Roar FC have lost their last two A-League Women games and will be looking to avoid a third straight defeat in the competition for the first time since February 2022; in fact, the Roar have won only two of their last 14 games in the competition (D5 L7) despite scoring at least one goal in 12 of those games.

Melindaj Barbieri (99) is one away from reaching her 100th appearance in the A-League Women while Roar duo Chelsea Blissett and Deborah-Anne De La Harpe are both on 49 appearances.

Opta win probability

Newcastle Jets 26.8% Draw 25.8% Brisbane Roar 47.4%

Saturday, 5pm: Canberra United v Sydney FC

The league’s great entertainers host the reigning champions on Saturday afternoon as Canberra United play Sydney FC at McKellar Park.

Despite sitting bottom of the table Canberra have still managed to find the back of the net 30 times this season, bettered only by league leaders Melbourne City (33), with Michelle Heyman (12 goals) and Vesna Milivojevic (9 goals) both competing for the Golden Boot.

However it’s at the back where Njegosh Popovich’s side have struggled, conceding 33 goals in total – the worst defence in the league this season.

After a disrupted start to their campaign due to continental commitments Sydney FC have finally been able to get some rhythm and now find themselves right in the mix at the top of the ladder.

Since their 1-1 draw with Canberra on January 3 the Sky Blues have won three, drawn three and lost one of their last seven matches and now sit just three points off top spot.

Somewhat key to their good form is Matildas forward Cortnee Vine who has two goals and three assists in her last five matches whilst she will also reach 100 games for Sydney FC should she play this weekend.


  • Canberra United: W – L – L – W – D
  • Sydney FC: L – W – D – W – D


  • Sydney FC: 3rd
  • Canberra United: 12th

Opta stats

Canberra United will be looking to win back-to-back A-League Women games at McKellar Park for the first time since March 2023 after defeating Melbourne City FC 3-1 in their most recent game there; they have scored an average of 2.4 goals per game across their last 10 games at the venue (W4 D2 L4).
Sydney FC are unbeaten in their last seven A-League Women games against Canberra United (W5 D2) and were awarded a 3-0 win in their last away game against Canberra United due to their opponents utilising an ineligible substitute.

Opta win probability

Canberra United 18.8% Draw 25.2% Sydney FC 56%

Sunday, 5pm: Western United v Wellington Phoenix

Western United go in search of a fifth-straight win when they face Wellington Phoenix on Sunday evening.

Fresh from their dramatic 3-2 victory over Brisbane Roar in Round 16, Kat Smith’s side now sit just one point behind Melbourne City at the top after a late Chloe Logarzo penalty.

Logarzo’s form has been crucial to Western’s surge up the ladder and the Matildas midfielder has now registered four goals and two assists in her last six matches.

Meanwhile Wellington are back in action this weekend having not played in Round 16 due to a large number of their players having international commitments with New Zealand.

Paul Temple’s team have hit a rough patch of form of late, recording just one win in five whilst they’ve also lost their last seven matches played on Australian soil.


  • Western United: L – W – W – W – W
  • Wellington Phoenix: L – L – L – W – L


  • Western United: 2nd
  • Wellington Phoenix: 9th

Opta stats

Western United FC (2) have dropped fewer competition points from winning positions than any other team in the 2023/24 A-League Women season while no team has dropped more than the Wellington Phoenix (14).
Western United FC are on a four-game win streak heading into this fixture which is as many games as they had won across their 10 previous fixtures in the A-League Women (W4 D2 L4); in fact, they have also won their last three straight games at City Vista Recreation Reserve.

Opta win probability

Western United 52% Draw 26.3% Wellington Phoenix 21.7%

Sunday, 5pm: Melbourne City v Adelaide United

The league leaders could find themselves knocked off top spot come the end of Round 17 should they not beat Adelaide United.

Dario Vidosic’s team have hit a real slump in the league, losing three of their last five games, picking up just four points during that period – a real shock for most given they’d picked up 10 points from the five games prior to their poor run starting.

They will though be boosted by the fact they have an excellent recent record against the Reds, winning their last five matches against Adelaide whilst also keeping four clean sheets in the process.

Adrian Stenta’s side come into the fixture looking to make it three-straight victories for the first time this season – and the fifth time in club history.

However they’ll have to keep an eye out for the excellent Daniela Galic though given she’s scored four goals and registered one assist in her last two games against the Reds, including a hat-trick against them in the last meeting.

If results go their way in Round 17 then Adelaide could jump up a spot on the ladder, overtaking Brisbane Roar however they could also find themselves propping up the rest of the league should they suffer defeat.


  • Melbourne City: L – W – L – L – D
  • Adelaide United: L – L – L – W – W


  • Western United: 2nd
  • Adelaide United: 11th

Opta stats

Adelaide United have won their last two A-League Women games, each by a score of 2-1 on the day; a third-straight win would equal the club record for longest winning streak in the competition which they have done five times previously – the most recent of which was in February 2022.
Taylor Otto (Melbourne City FC) has a passing accuracy of 90.4% from 988 passes this A-League Women season, the only player with an accuracy of 90% or higher this campaign (min. 5 passes).

Opta win probability

Melbourne City 57.6% Draw 23.7% Adelaide United 18.7%

Sunday, 10.30pm AEDT: Perth Glory v Central Coast Mariners

The final game of the round sees a somewhat desperate Perth Glory host Central Coast Mariners at Macedonia Park.

Despite starting the season in electric form Alex Epakis’ Perth have suffered an alarming dip in form having gone six games without a win and now occupy sixth spot on the ladder – just a point clear of the Mariners in seventh.

In fact Glory’s last win came against the Mariners on New Year’s Eve where they secured an impressive 2-1 win at Industree Group Stadium care of a Millie Farrow brace.

However Farrow hasn’t found the back of the net since that meeting in Gosford, going six games without a goal, while Perth are winless in their last five games at home.

The Mariners arrive in Western Australia with two wins from their last five matches and know a big victory against Perth could see them jump from seventh all the way up into fourth should results go their way.

Emily Husband’s side are the second lowest scorers in the Liberty A-League this season though, finding the back of the net just 19 times, however their rearguard performances have been strong, conceding just 18 goals – the second-best defensive record in the league.


  • Perth Glory: D – D – L – L – D
  • Central Coast Mariners: W – L – W – L – D


  • Perth Glory: 6th
  • Central Coast Mariners: 7th

Opta stats

The Perth Glory have faced (286) more than twice as many shots at they’ve made (141) this A-League Women Season, the largest negative disparity (-145) of any team in the competition, while the Central Coast Mariners have outshot their opposition by 34 shots this season.

No player has won possession more times in the final third this A-League Women season than the Central Coast Mariners’ Rola Badawiya (24); indeed, she has won possession a total of 71 times this season.

Opta win probability

Perth Glory 33% Draw 29.3% Central Coast Mariners 37.7%