Leicester City Women’s injuries pile up ahead of crucial March fixtures

Denny Draper of Leicester City scores
Denny Draper of Leicester City scores her team's fifth goal during the WSL match against Bristol City at The King Power Stadium on February 18, 2024. (Photo by Morgan Harlow/Getty Images)

At the start of the season, Leicester City manager Willie Kirk stated his aims were for his side to finish sixth in the Women’s Super League. Jump ahead to March 2024, and the Foxes sit seventh.

They also find themselves in the quarter-final of the Adobe Women’s FA Cup. The team has started to gel, with 16 goals since the turn of the year, matching that scored in the whole of 2023. The great form will need to continue amidst an increasing injury list as they head into a crucial month.

Leicester City press conference

During Thursday’s press conference at Belvoir Drive, Leicester City manager Willie Kirk confirmed that goalkeeper Janina Leitzig will be out for ‘an extended period of time’. The German shot-stopper has been in and out of the starting lineup in 2024. So this news will come as a blow to Leicester fans hoping March represents the possibility to cement their league place and continue an exciting cup run.

“Janina will be out for an extended period because of an injury to her shoulder. Rehab has started positively for her but we’re not sure how long she’ll be out for. It will be nice to have her back before the end of the season, but we’ll have to see how she develops.”

Goodwin and O’Brien miss Chelsea

Also among the injured list for Leicester City are returning Young Lionesses Missy Goodwin and Shannon O’Brien, who will be sidelined for the upcoming Chelsea fixture. The duo were called up to the U23s England squad for the Spanish warm weather camp, and two international friendlies, but will be disappointed to have both been injured with ankle knocks.

It is especially devastating for O’Brien, who has had a torrid run of injuries throughout her career, and has been in fine form with a run of matches.

“Missy and Shannon came back with ankle injuries. Shannon is looking worse than Missy and will be out for an extended period but Missy might be back next weekend.”

No update was given on long-term injured pair Remy Siemsen and Hannah Cain, whilst Deanne Rose is still away on international duty having qualified with Canada for the knockout stages of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

This latest injury blow leaves Leicester seriously short on attacking options for the foreseeable. Kirk might have to again turn to his academy players Denny Draper and Ava Baker to offer an option from the bench.

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Leicester City back to action

The Foxes return to Women’s Super League action this Sunday. They then welcome the current league leaders Chelsea to King Power Stadium for a 6pm kick-off. The fixture will be shown live on Sky Sports. They have a crucial run of matches in March and will hope to cement their best ever Women’s Super League position. They take on Liverpool in the Adobe Women’s FA Cup quarter-final on March 9th.

Leicester City have confirmed a free coach will leave the King Power for this fixture. The fans should book via the club website. Then, on March 17th, Leicester travel to Tottenham Hotspur who currently sit in sixth, which is one place above Leicester in the WSL table. A win would see Leicester break even on points with the London side.

On March 24th, Leicester host Brighton, a side desperate for points as they sit just one place off relegation. The last match during the busy month is on March 30th. This sees the Midland rivalry spark back up with Leicester travelling to play Aston Villa.

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Villa’s poor results have been the shock of the season. Despite their squad of internationals, they still sit below Leicester on goal difference in eighth.

However, how much will these latest injuries impact Leicester’s season aims? Losing fan favourite Leitzig will be a big blow to fans. This news increases the importance of upcoming March fixtures. And, in the latter stages of the month Kirk will be hoping to have some players return to shore up the squad. So they can continue their progress and establish themselves as one of the best teams outside the top four.

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