The stingiest defence host the competition’s most prolific attack.
It’s Adelaide United against Perth Glory in what promises to be an absolute cracker for the battle for second place when the two sides meet in Round 6 of the Westfield W-League 2018/19 season at Marden Sports Complex on Thursday night.
The Reds have conceded just the one goal this season, keeping three clean sheets and are yet to be breached from open play.
Meanwhile, Perth’s free-scoring quality has been equally impressive. Led by superstar protagonist Sam Kerr, the Glory have bagged 13 goals from their four matches to begin the new campaign.
We spoke to Reds Captain, Emma Checker, and defender, Georgia Campagnale on some of the ways of curtailing the Glory’s attacking threats, while at the same time trying to implement their own game plan.
Sam Kerr, Rachel Hill, and Alyssa Mautz have bagged a combined 11 goals and four assists for the visitors.
Checker said while they acknowledge Perth’s attacking class, it is equally important to focus on themselves and trust their own ability.
Checker on Perth’s firepower…
“I think for us not a lot changes to be honest,” Checker said.
“Obviously we respect the quality that they’ve got up front and what they’re capable of in terms of goal-scoring and threatening in the attacking half.
“But I think for us we’re at a point now where we back ourselves and we’re confident as a group with what we have.
“And I think the biggest thing for us is when we do what we do well then threats like that aren’t so significant and aren’t so worrying and concerning for us.”
Checker on facing Sam Kerr…
“No defender wants to be one on one with any attacker let alone Sam Kerr,” she said.
“So for us if we can limit the balls coming into her then that’s a big tick off the list for us.
“And then it comes down to how we set up and be disciplined and when they’re looking to attack that we’re just blocking out those chances and trying to limit the chances that she has one-on-one.
“And with Sam’s pace, you’ve to give her credit she’s good in behind as well, it’s not just her running at players as a threat.
“It’s about trying to limit those runs she does make because she’s deceiving and she is hard to keep track of because she’s a quality player and make those runs in behind without you even realising.
“So it’s just about staying aware and staying switched on.”
Campagnale on defending as a collective…
“Obviously their forward line has been fantastic this year,” Campagnale said.
“To contain them there’ll be a particular focus on Sam Kerr, she’s a fantastic player and very dangerous – setting up goals and scoring.
“But for all of their players probably pressing them very high and with a lot of pressure.
“So not letting them have time on the ball and pressing them on their first touch, making sure they can’t turn easily.
“We’re a hard-working team so that’s implemented in our game as well to continue working hard, press hard for the full ninety minutes.
“And once we get that ball quickly transition into attack.”
Adelaide United host Perth Glory in Round 6 of the Westfield W-League 2018/19 season on Thursday, 6 December at Marden Sports Complex. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT. Gates open at 6.00pm.