Friday night match likely to provide clues ahead of women’s Grand Final

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Looking for clues as to the likely winner of the Women’s National League Grand Final?

There’ll be plenty on Friday night when finalists Eastern Suburbs and Western Springs meet in the final round of the league competition.

While the match at William Green Domain won’t make any difference to the league placings, the fixture provides an intriguing insight into how things might play out when the sides face each other in the Grand Final at Mt Smart Stadium (Sunday December 18, 2pm).

Or will it?

Will either coach risk squad rotation to rest key players? Will tactics and set pieces be kept under wraps till final time?

Will either coach decide Friday’s game is the perfect chance to make a statement and take the psychological upper hand?

Likely changes to starting line-ups

Last weekend, Eastern Suburbs lost two prominent players to injury during their game against Southern United.

The league’s leading scorer, Tayla O’Brien, and age group international Ella Findlay might well be rested on Friday.

Main photo: Top scorer Tayla O’Brien … injured last weekend.

READ MORE: Suburbs lose key players to injury >>>>

Western Springs will be without three players, all heading overseas — Rina Hirano, Emma Pijnenburg and Arisa Takeda have all been essential components in a Springs side that has scored 45 goals in the national league.

How will Springs fare without them?

READ MORE: Western Springs clinch place in Grand Final with big win >>>>

These questions — and a few more, no doubt — will be answered on Friday night.


Game to be played on Friday December 9, 2022

Women’s National League

Eastern Suburbs v Western Springs
William Green Domain, Pakuranga, 7.30pm

Live stream


Other weekend fixtures

Games to be played on Saturday December 10, 2022

Canterbury United Pride v Capital Football
English Park, Christchurch, 12pm

Northern Rovers v Southern United
McFetridge Park, Glenfield, 2pm

Game to be played on Sunday December 11, 2022

Central Football v Auckland United
Massey University, Palmerston North, 12pm

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