Bristol vie to upset Manchester City in push to survive relegation

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Bristol City will welcome second-placed Manchester City to Twerton Park this evening in the Women’s Super League.

Matt Beard’s side will be coming into this match full of confidence after their 3-2 win over Reading last Monday. The victory saw them escape the relegation zone for the first time this season. 

The Vixens have conceded early in the majority of their matches so far. This will be something that they will be looking to improve on as they will want to stay in the game for as long as possible. 

Despite suffering a heavy defeat at the weekend in the Continental Cup final, Bristol had a few positive passages of play in Chelsea’s attacking third in which they can use as inspiration. 

Bristol will be hoping to reduce the scoreline from the reverse fixture back in November in which they suffered a defeat of an 8-1 margin. 

The Opposition

Manchester City are unbeaten in their last five Women’s Super League games and have kept four clean sheets in that time. 

Gareth Taylor’s side have had a strong start since the turn of the year as they currently sit second in the table behind leaders Chelsea. 

City will be looking to capitalise on every opportunity to keep the pressure on leaders Chelsea at the top end of the table.

Sam Mewis celebrates with her team-mates after scoring the fourth goal against Fiorentina (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)

Last time out Man City put five goals past Serie A side Fiorentina with an aggregate score of 8-0 to comfortably progress into the quarter-finals of the Champions League. 

Predicted XIs

Bristol City;

Baggaley; Bryson, Rafferty, Evans, Purfield, Palmer, Pike, Humphrey, Wellings, Daniels, Salmon. 

Manchester City

Roebuck; Bronze, Houghton, Greenwood, Morgan, Walsh, Mewis, Weir, White, Kelly, Hemp. 

Previous Encounters

There have been 15 meetings between the two sides over the past seven years across all competitions. Bristol have only beaten Man City twice with those wins stretching all the way back to 2014. Their highest victory over City came in 2014, when they ran out 2-0 winners in the WSL. 

As for Manchester City they have won 11 games against Bristol City. England international Ellen White is their current top scorer against said team with three goals. Steph Houghton is the only player to have appeared in all 15 matches. 

[Stats via Peter Simpson, @realisano on Twitter]

Form Guide

Bristol City have only won ⅖ of their previous matches, scoring seven goals and conceding 12. 

Manchester City have won all five previous games in the WSL, scoring 14 goals and conceding just the one. 

Ones To Watch

(Photo by Catherine Ivill The FA/Getty Images)

Ebony Salmon has played in all 15 games this season, including ten starts. The young forward has six goals this campaign.

Salmon recently made her senior England debut in a friendly back in February against Northern Ireland.

Last time out, Salmon clinched the winner over Reading to secure all three points to lift Bristol out of the relegation zone.

The No.9 has taken the most shots compared to her team-mates with 44, with 16 of them on target (via FbRef).

In the reverse fixture in Manchester, the forward scored what proved to be a concelation goal when she capitalised on an error within the defence. Bristol will be looking to use the pace of Salmon to spring counter-attacks.

(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Weir has appeared in 14 WSL matches so far this season, including 11 starts. The No.19 has been directly involved in nine attacking returns this campaign including six goals, and three assists. She’s joint-second on goals scored in the league for City with Chloe Kelly.

Gareth Taylor has confirmed that Lucy Bronze and Houghton will face a late fitness test after not featuring midweek. Aside from the England duo, he has no other injury concerns.

Where To Watch:

The match will take place this evening – 17th March at 7:30pm (UK). Catch the game live on the FA Player.

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