Holmes back, but will De Vanna play?

Justin Chadwick |

Star Adelaide United midfielder Dylan Holmes will make her highly-anticipated A-League Women return on Saturday, but it remains to be seen whether Perth Glory unleash striker Lisa De Vanna.

Holmes’ standout season for the Reds in 2020-21 saw her make a switch to Swedish outfit BK Hacken in March.

The 24-year-old made 15 appearances across all competitions for BK Hacken, as well as making her Matildas debut in April against the Netherlands. 

Holmes rejoined the Reds on December 15 in a deal that will take her through to the end of the ALW season, and she will be thrust back into the action in Saturday’s clash with Glory at Coopers Stadium. 

“She’s a great person to have amongst the group, a wonderful footballer and she’s fit in really well,” Adelaide coach Adrian Stenta said.

“She’s in good condition, because she’s come out of the European season, albeit the temperature is a slight adjustment for her given it’s quite hot here.

“We’re really excited to see what she can bring to our team.”

Doubts surround veteran De Vanna’s availability after the former Matildas star appeared to injure a hamstring in the club’s 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar on December 10.

De Vanna also limped off with a hamstring complaint in Glory’s 2-1 win over the Roar on December 4, and she had to manage a hamstring issue last season while at Melbourne Victory.

Glory haven’t played since round two due to COVID-19 forcing the postponement of a host of matches, and the three-week break has given De Vanna extra time to heal from her latest injury.

Perth are unbeaten following their two late wins over Brisbane Roar, and a fit De Vanna would be a huge boost to their hopes of making it three wins on the trot.

Adelaide have posted a win and two losses from their three games to date.

“It will be a tough game, they’ve recruited well, they’re well coached,” Stenta said of taking on the Glory. 

“It’s a bit hard to get a gauge of where the’re at, because they’ve only played the one opposition and haven’t played a for a couple of weeks now. 

“But we’re expecting a tough match and really well fought contest.”