Sport

W-League: Canberra United use final two games to build momemtum ahead of title run

Canberra United coach Rae Dower is weighing up whether to rest players ahead of the W-League finals, but is wary of messing with the momentum gained from their current six-game winning streak.

The defending champions have locked up second spot on the ladder and a home semi-final with two games remaining in the regular season.

It gives Dower the chance to rotate her squad if she wishes for Sunday's home clash with the Western Sydney Wanderers at McKellar Park, and Friday week's away encounter with Adelaide United.

"As professional athletes, you're never really 100 per cent, you've always got a bit of a niggle, so it's a luxury if you can," Dower said.

"Players will be the last ones to put their hand up and being such a short season (12 games), you don't want to mess with team momentum either.

"Combinations are going really well and it's taken this long into the season, especially for our front third to really click.

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"You can see that in recent weeks with their understanding on and off the ball."

With the exception of defender Emma Checker, who is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL, United has had a smooth run with injuries.

Jenna McCormick was switched from the right wing to defence after Checker's injury in the warm-up, while Catherine Brown will also come into consideration for a spot in the back four.

"Both players bring different attributes to the team so we will more than anything look ahead, strategically and tactically, what will fit the best," Dower said.

"It's great we have those options so we don't have to play players out of position.

"It was another impressive performance against Perth last weekend, so the majority of the team will stay the same."

Even without the services of Matildas representatives Michelle Heyman, Lydia Williams and Caitlin Munoz, who were in camp with the national team in Sydney, United easily accounted for the Singapore national women's team 13-0 in a training match on Wednesday night.

Ashleigh Sykes continued her wonderful form with four goals, while Meg McLaughlin made a brilliant impact off the bench with a hat-trick inside six minutes.

"It was a football conditioning night for the girls so we would have been doing a lot of running anyway," Dower said.

"It was an opportunity to give game time to some of the girls who haven't played much recently.

"There were some willing challenges and our combinations were a little bit superior on the night."

United is six points clear of third-placed Sydney FC, but their massive +22 advantage in goal difference is enough to ensure second position is theirs.

If United and Sydney FC win their respective games this weekend, they will face off in a semi-final in Canberra.

Runaway leaders Melbourne City have already clinched the minor premiership having gone unbeaten through their first 11 games of the season to be 11 points ahead of Canberra.

SUNDAY: W-League: Canberra United v Western Sydney Wanderers at McKellar Park, 4pm.

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