The race for the Westfield W-League Finals: how the final round decides the Premiership

We’re down to the final round of the Westfield W-League 2018/19 Season and incredibly four clubs can still win the Premiership.

In a thrilling climax to one of the most pulsating campaigns in recent memory, Melbourne Victory, Brisbane Roar, Sydney FC and Perth Glory are all shooting for top spot heading into Round 14.

Currently first – and with a game in hand – it’s Victory in the box seat but in a season that’s had plenty of twists and turns you can’t rule anything out.

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With top four spots, home finals positions and the Golden Boot winner all up for grabs, we take a look at how things could pan out over the next week.

But first: this is how the table looks as we head into Round 14.

Melbourne Victory (1st, 20 points, +5GD)

Victory stayed at the top of the ladder despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Sydney FC last weekend, a result that assured themselves a spot in the finals.

But despite only being ahead of closest challengers Brisbane on goal difference, Jeff Hopkins’ side head into the final week of the regular season with the luxury of a game in hand on their rivals.

The recent washout fixture against Canberra United will be played next Tuesday, by when Victory will know exactly what they will need to do to clinch the Premiership.

But before that they head west to play a Perth Glory side just one point behind them on the ladder, who also need a point of their own to ensure they are playing in the Finals Series.

The run home: Perth Glory (a), Canberra United (a)

Brisbane Roar (2nd, 20 points, +2GD)

Fighting to secure their top four spot a couple of weeks ago, Mel Andreatta’s side are now the main challengers to Victory for the Premiership.

Last weekend’s big win over Canberra has drawn Roar level on points with Victory and within striking distance of their goal difference as well (trailing by three).

All the defending Premiers can do is go out and beat the Reds on Friday night and hope Victory fail to get maximum points in their two remaining matches.

While their top-four spot is confirmed, you wouldn’t rule out the improbable happening and Roar getting their hands on the Premiership for a second straight season… as unlikely as it seems.

The run home: Adelaide United (a)

Sydney FC (3rd, 19 points, +11GD)

The Sky Blues missed their chance to move to the top after they were pegged back twice to draw with Victory last weekend.

It means Ante Juric’s side will need results to go their way massively to leapfrog both Victory and Roar to finish at the summit.

They’ll also need to beat a Melbourne City side who know they need a win – and a big one at that – to keep their own faint finals hopes alive.

It would take a five-goal loss to City for the Sky Blues to miss the finals altogether given their eight-goal better difference between themselves and the three-time Champions.

The run home: Melbourne City (h)

Perth Glory (4th, 19 points, +9GD)

Even with their massive win over the Wanderers last weekend, Glory didn’t move up the ladder and are the big outsiders to land top spot.

To get there, Glory would need to record a healthy win over Victory and then hope Sydney FC, Roar and then Victory (in their catch-up clash with Canberra) all drop points to overtake all three.

Securing their spot in the top four is likely to be the main focus, which means a draw against Victory on Friday night is the bare minimum result.

The run home: Melbourne Victory (h)

Melbourne City (5th, 16 points, +3GD)

Is this the season where the City juggernaut is finally halted?

It appears that way with a minor miracle needed for Rado Vidosic’s side to sneak into the top four.

To ensure they get there the equation is simple (or rather quite tricky). If City beat Sydney FC by five goals they will stay alive for a fourth straight Championship.

They can also get there with a big win over Sydney, coupled with Glory suffering a heavy loss to Victory on Friday night.

So it’s not impossible… but extremely unlikely City will break-up the current makeup of the top four.

The run home: Sydney FC (a)

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The Golden Boot race

Last weekend’s penultimate round all but confirmed Sam Kerr will finish with the Golden Boot for a second straight season.

Kerr’s brace against the Wanderers not only saw her become the Westfield W-League’s greatest-ever scorer, but also open up a three-goal lead at the top of the scorers charts with 12 for the campaign.

Both Sydney FC’s Caitlin Foord and Adelaide United’s Veronica Latsko failed to find the net last weekend to remain on nine, where they were joined by Victory striker Natasha Dowie, who scored her side’s equaliser in their 2-2 draw with Sydney FC.

With still two games to play, Dowie appears Kerr’s most likely challenger, especially if she can upstage the Westfield Matildas star in their blockbuster clash on Friday night.

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