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Match Preview: Bristol City Women vs Manchester United

Bristol City Women host Manchester United at Twerton Park this Sunday as the Robins look to pick up valuable points in the penultimate game of the season.

Currently sitting one point behind second-bottom Aston Villa, a result against the Red Devils will put City in a strong position heading into the final game of the season, but it won’t be a simple task with United still fighting for a top-three place. 

Last time out: Aston Villa Women 2-2 Bristol City Women

The Robins provided themselves a WSL lifeline in their last game as they fought from two goals behind to snatch a dramatic 2-2 draw at Aston Villa.

Villa went two goals ahead in the first half – the first coming early on when Megan Sargeant was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time as she deflected the ball into her own net, and the second when Natalie Haigh’s header looped over Sophie Baggaley and into the bottom corner. 

Faye Bryson made an instant impact from the bench with an emphatic half-volley from the edge of the box, and fellow substitute Ella Mastrantonio rescued a point for City in the 95th minute when her free-kick threaded through a sea of bodies and into the net.


Form: 

Bristol City Women

Last five games: DDLLD

Three draws and a loss in their last four league games has seen City stay firmly in the battle for safety, with the only league loss in the last five coming against Arsenal. 

Due to Birmingham City and Aston Villa’s draw earlier in the week, the Robins currently sit one point behind Villa, two behind West Ham United, and three behind the Blues, meaning the Robins enter the game knowing that a win would give them a huge boost in their bid for Barclays FAWSL safety.

Manchester United

Last five games: LWLWW

2021 has been a mixed year of results for Manchester United with the Red Devils winning six and losing five in all competitions, however after a 6-0 win over Burnley in the Vitality FA Cup and a 4-1 win over Tottenham in the league, they look to be finding their feet again as they enter the end of the season.

Currently sitting in fourth, United are three points behind and hot on the tails of Arsenal, who currently occupy the third and final Champions League qualification spot. 


One to watch: Ella Toone

The England international has had a great campaign for Manchester United this season, with the forward registering eight goals and four assists so far.

The 21-year-old pitched in with a goal and two assists in their last game against Tottenham, so Toone will be fired up to keep her hot streak going against the Robins. 

Formerly of Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City, she made her England debut in February as she came off the bench to score against Northern Ireland.


Word from the camp: Carla Humphrey & Matt Beard

Carla Humphrey has encouraged her side to use last weekend’s two-goal fightback as confidence and inspiration ahead of this weekend’s match-up against United.

Speaking to Robins TV the midfielder said: “Everyone knows what is at stake. Obviously, the only priority is for us to stay in the division, and everyone wants to go into the last two games and get maximum points.

“I know everyone will do everything they can to get three points. They [Manchester United] are a good team and they maybe weren’t on form, but they had a good result this weekend so we’re looking to break that back up again.”

Matt Beard also believes a good start against United is imperative if they’re to get something from the game.

“I think the biggest thing for me is us having the belief in our own ability. We’ve started too many games conceding early – I think we started really brightly against Aston Villa and we had a sucker punch with the own goal, which rattled us,” said Beard, speaking exclusively to Robins TV.

“I was really pleased with the response in the second half [against Aston Villa] - I want us to take that belief and positivity into the Manchester United game. Yes, it’s going to be a tough game but Manchester United are not going to like coming to Twerton Park and there is a lot at stake for both teams on the day.

“There’s pressure on both teams because they need to keep winning games to try and get that third European spot and we’re fighting for our lives to stay in the division. It’s going to be an intriguing battle and I’m sure the girls will be up for it.”


Where to watch:

Supporters can watch Bristol City Women take on Manchester United at Twerton Park on Sunday (2pm KO) live on the FA Player App.

WATCH HERE


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