W League - Matchday 13 Preview: The race for play-off spots heats up

W League - Matchday 13 Preview: The race for play-off spots heats up

The penultimate round of the W-League is here and there is still so much to play for...

Katie Mishner

The play-offs of the W-League are beckoning the top four with just two rounds left to go. In Round 12 of the league there was a series of shocks and plenty of goals to shake things up, demonstrating it is still all left to play for - even if the top three places look set in stone. 

Round 13 promises much of the same as the fixtures offer a chance for multiple teams to stake their claim in the race for the play-offs.

Newcastle Jets face a tough test

Taking on the league leaders, Sydney FC, is never an easy task but Newcastle Jets have shown they capabilities in their locker even if . The Jets need three points in order, while Sydney are only two points above second place Canberra United - the recipe for a gritty battle.

Sydney will be the hosts of the match, entertaining a Newcastle side that have fell into a slumber, drawing the majority of their games since November. However, last week amongst the goal fest Jen Hoy rescued all three points in additional time, this confidence could prove vital going away to the leaders.

The history of this fixture again plays another advantage straight into the palms of the Sky Blues who have not been defeated by their northern rivals in five years.

Battle for fourth place

On paper Melbourne City should be the favourites to win this game having once ruled the W-League but a costly slump and a series of losses has left them clinging onto their fourth place ticket to the finals. They will host Brisbane Roar who sit just one place underneath them, although the home side have a game in hand.Both teams, in fact, have faced a huge drop in form with City suffering four losses and two draws in six games and The Roar with a slightly better record of four losses and two wins. 

While last year's Champions have not struggled, rarely going a game without scoring, the amount they have conceded has been creeping up to the point where their goal difference is positive by just one. While their Round 13 opposition have scored the same amount.

Should Newcastle Jets win their game, City will be vulnerable to the Brisbane as it would set up a the perfect final match in Round 14 where the two sides would fight it out for.

Top of the table takes on the bottom

Canberra United and Perth Glory have all but put one hand on their spot in the final and in the penultimate round. The Glory could have their work cut out for them as bottom place Adelaide United stunned the league with an emphatic 10-2 victory over, Canberra's opponent, Western Sydney Wanderers.

However, in Perth's locker is W-League top scorer Sam Kerr who has so far netted 10 and looks to be a player that could damage anyone's defence - and this has transpired in Perth's run as they place in third. Just under the team in green who have been nothing short of inspiring. Canberra have proved they can iron out the blips in their season, such as the 6-1 loss to Sydney FC with a 7-2 thumping of Perth.

The two teams at the top are the clear favourites going into Adelaide and the Wanderers all to play for is pride, but as Adelaide demonstrated last week...that is more than enough.