Two teams in contrasting form meet in a tantalising FA WSL 1 match-up on Sunday as Bristol City travel to Birmingham City.
Sunday 14 January, 2pm
FA WSL 1
Birmingham City v Bristol City (Solihull Moors FC)
Bristol sit just a couple of places higher in the league but are in a rich vein of form and look fully adjusted to the rigours of the top tier following last season’s promotion.
Birmingham are one of the FA WSL 1 ever-present sides but are in desperate need of a change in fortunes after a disappointing winter.
Birmingham have won just once since October and have lost their last three games without scoring a goal.
The Blues, who finished fourth last season, currently sit ninth above only winless Yeovil Town in the league but know that a win could see them move up two places.
In contrast, Bristol City’s tails are wagging after a 2-1 win against Everton.
Willie Kirk’s side have won three of their last four in all competitions, with Manchester City and Chelsea the only sides to have beaten them since October.
They sit seventh in the table, one point clear of Everton and three ahead of Birmingham.
This is the first meeting between the sides this season but Birmingham will take confidence from the last time the two sides met.
An Ellen White brace saw Birmingham beat Bristol 2-0 in the FA WSL Spring Series in May just days after they lost the SSE Women’s FA Cup final to Manchester City.
Marc Skinner made five changes to the Birmingham side but they showed how much strength in depth they possess to emerge comfortable winners.
ONE TO WATCH – Ellen White
Ellen White will hope to celebrate an England recall with a five-star display on Sunday and inspire Birmingham to their second win in the league this season.
The forward is perhaps the Blues’ most dangerous player with speed, energy and an eye for goal making her a shoe-in for the England squad.
Bristol may be in form but, if they want to keep that momentum going, then they must keep a close eye on White throughout.
WHAT THEY SAID:
Jess Carter, Birmingham City defender & recent England debutant:
“There is no time to sit and dwell over the (Sunderland) game, or the result and feel sorry for ourselves like that, we’ve got to review our last game and prepare for Bristol City.
“It’s good the game is coming up so soon after the Sunderland game.
“We’ll be looking to put things right against Bristol City, we need to learn from our mistakes and take our good home form into the game.
“Bristol are a hardworking side, they are a very together unit, but they’ve got a lot of individual talent in the ranks as well. They’ll come at us and expect to beat us.
“We know it’s going to be a close game, it’ll be a case of who wants it more and who is more clinical in front of goal and get the win.”
Willie Kirk, Bristol City manager:
“I’ll certainly be happy if we can keep our third clean sheet in a row.
“It should be a good game because both teams play a similar type of football and it will be an even match in a lot of areas of the pitch.
“It will be a good test against a team just above us in the table, although we both have the same number of points.”
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