Victory skipper tips Sky Blue W-League win

Sydney have been tipped to beat Perth in the W-League grand final by Melbourne Victory's captain.
Sydney have been tipped to beat Perth in the W-League grand final by Melbourne Victory's captain.

Melbourne Victory's premiership-winning captain Natasha Dowie has tipped Sydney FC to put the clamps on Sam Kerr and beat Perth Glory to this year's W-League title.

But the Melbourne Victory striker says the champions should enjoy their success this year as her side will return with a hunger to claim next year's crown.

Dowie and her team are licking their wounds after a 4-2 extra-time loss to Glory which means they won't be involved in Saturday's showpiece match.

"But credit to Perth. On the day they deserved to win," she told AAP this week, being too upset to speak to media in the immediate aftermath of the semi-final defeat.

The Englishwoman will be watching with interest on Saturday, expecting the Sky Blue defence to be the crucial factor.

"Sydney's squad is still the best in the league with regard to their individual talent. If they can bring it all together on the day I see them winning," she said.

"What Perth Glory has up front with Rachel Hill and Sam Kerr and the direct way they play, it suits them.

"If Sydney can keep those two quiet you're already half way there. But we didn't find it too easy.

"(In previous games against Perth) we defended well, were physical, were tight and doubled up.

"So if Sydney FC can do that, they'll win. If not, Perth will run away with it."

Victory were the only side to beat both grand finalists during the season, scoring 11 goals in five games against them.

Dowie said in the aftermath of the semi-final, key players - including star American playmaker Christine Nairn - expressed their desire to return and get the job done next season.

"The team togetherness is really special and I'm sure (coach) Jeff (Hopkins) will want to keep the core crew together," she said.

"I'm really proud of our team. In my opinion we were the best in the league ... it needs to make us hungrier for next year.

"I think Christine and myself see our futures in Melbourne and she's admitted that.

"But we didn't make the final.

"There's still more improvement needed and I'm sure Jeff will be looking strengthen even more because there's going to be teams like City who didn't make the finals that are going to up their game."

Australian Associated Press