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Match Preview: Birmingham City vs Bristol City Women

Bristol City Women travel to the Midlands as they look to extend the gap between themselves and the relegation zone when they take on Birmingham City (4pm KO).

A win for the Robins could potentially move them four points clear of 11th and ahead of Birmingham into 9thplace. 

Last time out:

City’s last fixture saw the Robins draw 1-1 against Tottenham Hotspur at the Hive in what was a close encounter between the two sides.

Siri Worm put Spurs ahead just three minutes in powerful free-kick, but Gemma Evans’ header in the second half made sure that the Robins left the capital with a point. 

Great saves from Sophie Baggaley towards the end of the 90 minutes ensured City earnt a valuable point, with the result moving them off bottom spot and above West Ham United.


Form: 

Bristol City Women

Last five games: LWLLD

It's been a mixed bag of results for Bristol City in the last couple of weeks, however the Robins have picked up four points in their last three league games in their bid for WSL survival.

Losses against the league’s top two, Chelsea and Manchester City, have been the only games where the Robins haven’t won a point in their last five games, and Matt Beard will be hoping that his side can claim another three points against the Blues. 

Birmingham City

Last five games: DLLLD

After an encouraging start to the season, the Blues have suffered a dip in form and now find themselves amongst the relegation battle in the WSL, with their last victory coming in mid-November against local rivals, Aston Villa.

The Blues came close to suffering a fourth defeat on the bounce in their most recent match, however a last-minute goal from Ruby Mace earned the Midlands side a 2-2 draw against bottom of the league West Ham United.

Interestingly, despite their 12 points this season, Birmingham have managed to keep five clean sheets in 16 games, the sixth-best record in the league this season.

  


One to watch: Hannah Hampton

Birmingham City’ 20-year-old goalkeeper Hannah Hampton is already in her third season as the number one for her club, and she’s only getting better.

Hampton has played all 15 league matches for Birmingham this season and along the way has managed to keep an impressive five clean sheets.

The England Under-21 international has a record of pulling off miraculous saves for her side, so the Robins will need their shooting boots on when they face the ‘keeper on Sunday.


Word from the camp: Matt Beard & Faye Bryson

Ahead of the game, City boss Beard praised Birmingham boss Carla Ward and her side, and stressed how big of a fixture this is for both sides.

“It’s a big game for both clubs,” said Beard.

“Birmingham are a team that have impressed me, Carla has done a fantastic job in getting the points on the board early, so it won’t be an easy game by any stretch of the imagination. Getting the last-minute winner at West Ham shows they are a group that never gives up and when you look at our performance against Tottenham it was very similar.

“It will be an interesting game and I think if anyone will win it, it will come down to the decision making in the final third. We’re in a fantastic position now, we’re in and amongst it though other teams have games in hand on us. I’d rather have the points than the games so for us it will be a tense afternoon, but we’ll be prepared for it and give it our best shot.”

After recovering from a decent spell on the side-lines, Faye Bryson has looked back to her best in recent weeks, and the defender has urged her side to be the better side from minute one.

“It’s been a big focus for us [to start well]. It needs to start as soon as the first whistle goes because we can’t afford to wait to the second half and be chasing games or even a goal behind, we have to perform from the get-go.

“Every game in the WSL is a big test but I’m confident in the girls and we’re all confident in each other. You can see that in training, and you can see that in the performances on the pitch, it’s about us taking that into Sunday now.”


Where to watch:

Supporters can watch Bristol City Women take on Birmingham City at Solihull Moors on Sunday afternoon (4pm KO) live on the FA Player App.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FA PLAYER


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