ALW Match Preview: We’ve regrouped ahead of Sydney test – Sakalis

Midfielder Sofia Sakalis believes that Glory are well-placed to bounce back from last week’s surprise defeat to Adelaide United when they take on Sydney FC at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday (kick-off at 4pm WST).

Watch Sofia’s full pre-match interview HERE

A first victory against the Sky Blues in six attempts would potentially move the women in purple to within four points of leaders Melbourne City in what is becoming an increasingly congested top end of the Liberty A-League table.

And Sakalis is quietly confident that they can do exactly that.

“I think we’re all a little bit disappointed as we would be, naturally [by the defeat against Adelaide],” she said, “but with the fact that it’s a longer season, the message has just been to make sure we stay focused.

“We’ve kind of regrouped as a team this week, realigned our goals and reaffirmed what we’re here for as a team.

“Individually, we’ve all looked inwards and I’m really confident that all the answers are within our squad.

“We had such a strong start to the season and we really have to keep that behind us and go into every game like the team we were in those first games of the season.

“There’s no belief lost in the team.

“In the top five, there’s just one point separating four of the teams and that just showcases the importance of every game.

“That’s also been a message this week; that we can’t take any game lightly.

“We have to go into every game 100{e0eacfde3737b7a6d6d38e6c2fa2b27ad4b47af816b194a8894ca596baf1880e} and not holding back.

“That’s so important heading into the mid and back-end of the season.

“Every point counts.”

The 21-year-old also feels that Saturday’s game could be a more open affair than when the two sides last met and fought out a 0-0 draw at Macedonia Park back in mid-December.

“Sydney have enjoyed a lot of success in past seasons and are always towards the top of the ladder,” she said.

“That’s something that we’re aware of, but as I mentioned before, we have to go into every game in the same way.

“Obviously it’s going to be a great test and challenge for us, but I have every belief in the group and I think it’ll be a great game in which to bounce back from last week and a big statement too.

“Our first game against them was a draw and it was a very defensive game.

“But I feel like everyone is chasing at this point and really wants to get a win, so I feel like it will be a different game.

“I hope from from when the whistle blows we’re on the go, get an early lead and dominate the game.”

Currently in her third season in purple, Sakalis enjoyed a personal milestone last weekend in the form of her 50th career A-League appearance.

“I was actually quite shocked myself that I’d reached 50 games,” she said.

“It kind of seems like a blur, but it’s a huge honour and especially to be able to achieve that while being at Perth, a club that really supports me so much, that was special as well.

“It means a lot and I just want to keep building on that.”

Ante Juric’s Sydney side will head into Saturday’s Round 15 clash having won two, drawn two and lost one of their last five games.

The Sky Blues have conceded a competition-lowest 11 goals, but have only scored 18, six of which have been shared by Matildas representative Cortnee Vine and English striker Fiona Worts.

Worts may not recover from injury in time to face Glory, while for the visitors, Susan Phonsongkham will miss the game through suspension after picking up her fifth yellow card of the season last weekend.

You can catch Saturday’s game live and FREE on 10 Play from 4pm WST.

Match Details

Liberty A-League 2023/24 Season Round 15

Sydney FC v Perth Glory

Leichhardt Oval

Saturday 3 February 2024

Kick-off: 4pm WST (7pm Local)

Sydney FC squad: 1.Jada WHYMAN (GK), 2. Margaux CHAUVET, 3. Charlotte MCLEAN, 4. Tori TUMETH, 5. Kirsty FENTON, 8. Darcey MALONE, 10. Sienna SAVESKA, 11. Cortnee VINE, 13. Aideen KEANE, 14. Abbey LEMON, 15. Mackenzie HAWKESBY, 16. Jordan THOMPSON, 17. Jynaya DOS SANTOS, 18. Taylor RAY, 19. Zara KRUGER, 20. Princess IBINI ©, 21. Shay HOLLMAN, 22. Indiana DOS SANTOS, 26. Madeleine CASPERS, 30. Tahlia FRANCO (GK)

Four to be omitted

Ins: 2. Margaux CHAUVET (promoted), 8. Darcey MALONE (promoted), 10. Sienna SAVESKA (promoted), 13. Aideen KEANE (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 6. Lucy JOHNSON (injured), 9. Shea CONNORS (injured), 12. Nat TOBIN (injured), 23. Fiona WORTS (injured)

Perth Glory squad: 1.Morgan AQUINO (GK), 3.Jessika COWART, 4.Natasha RIGBY (c), 7.Liz ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 9.Millie FARROW, 11.Grace JALE, 12.Sofia SAKALIS, 13.Sarah CAIN, 14.Tia STONEHILL, 17.Abbey GREEN, 18.Sadie LAWRENCE, 19.Izzy FOLETTA, 20.Quinley QUEZADA, 22.Claudia MIHOCIC, 23.Isobel DALTON, 24.Sally JAMES (GK), 25.Grace JOHNSTON, 27.Georgia CASSIDY

Three to be omitted

Ins: 13.Sarah CAIN, 14.Tia STONEHILL, 17.Abbey GREEN, 25.Grace JOHNSTON


Unavailable: 10.Susan PHONSONGKHAM (suspended), 16.Isabella WALLHEAD (injured)