W-League Preview: Canberra United v Newcastle Jets

Newly in-form Canberra United will be aiming high when the youthful Newcastle Jets visit the nation’s capital still hunting their first points of the campaign.

Canberra United v Newcastle Jets Saturday 1 February 2014 McKellar Park, Canberra Local kick-off: 4pm

Newly in-form Canberra United will be aiming high when the youthful Newcastle Jets visit the nation-s capital still hunting their first points of the campaign.

Despite some erratic form since Christmas, Canberra are suddenly flying high and if things go their way over the weekend could find themselves at the top of the pile.

The Canberrans started slowly before eventually steamrolling Perth Glory last weekend, while their midweek win over the hitherto unbeaten Sydney FC was arguably their best performance of the season.

Canberra know they can make it four wins on the trot this weekend ahead of their final-round visit to Sydney FC.

And Canberra boast a fantastic record against the Jets, having only tasted defeat once - in the very first Westfield W-League match back in October 2008, where the Jets claimed a 2-1 win. Since then, Canberra have won all other meetings between the two teams, including a 3-0 win in Newcastle earlier this season.

Canberra have made a number of changes to their squad for this one, with the most notable being the welcome return of Matildas midfielder Sally Shipard after an absence of nearly two years due to ongoing knee problems.

The Jets come into this game in the midst of a forgettable season, having lost all 10 of their matches, scoring only eight goals and conceding 40 with their most recent result being a 4-1 home loss to Melbourne Victory.

The fixture at McKellar Park on Saturday will be the inaugural Play By The Rules round which will see the Canberra United team sporting rainbow coloured socks in support of the program. Play By The Rules and Fair Go Sport are government initiatives aimed at raising awareness and identifying the need to understand homophobic harassment, discrimination and exclusion in sport.

Canberra United squad: Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, Grace FIELD, Caitlin MUNOZ, Ellie BRUSH, Meg McLAUGHLIN, Michelle HEYMAN, Sally ROJAHN, Nicole SYKES, Ashleigh SYKES, Sally SHIPARD, Lori LINDSEY, Holly HOUSTON, Jennifer BISSET, Trudy BOURKE

Ins: Sally Shipard (returns from injury), Grace Field, Holly Houston, Jennifer Bisset (all promoted)

Outs: Stephanie Ochs, Catherine Brown, Kendall Fletcher, Grace Gill (all omitted)

Unavailable: None

Newcastle Jets squad: 1. Eliza Campbell (gk), 2. Hannah Brewer, 3. Stacey Day, 4. Siahn Bozanic, 5. Ciara McCormick, 7. Gema Simon, 9. Tara Andrews, 10. Rhali Dobson, 11. Grace McIntyre, 13. Jasmin Courtenay, 14. Libby Copus-Brown, 16. Cassidy Davis, 17. Lauren Brown, 18. Clare Wheeler, 19. Adrianna Jones, 20. Claire Coelho (gk) (one to be omitted)

Ins: Jasmin Courtenay, Adrianna Jones (both promoted)

Outs: Sophie Nenadovic (ankle - one week)

Unavailable: Maddy Searl (knee - season), Ashley Spina (ankle - two weeks), Hannah Beard (thigh - two weeks)

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