Manchester City are back on the road this weekend as they travel to East London to face an unpredictable West Ham United.
West Ham United have had a mixed-bag season. Since suffering a 2-0 defeat on the opening day of the season, the Hammers have picked up an equal amount of wins, draws, and losses. They are currently seventh on the table, ahead of Reading with a better goal difference.
Olli Harder’s side are one of the four teams still in the running for this season’s Women’s FA Cup. West Ham will welcome Manchester City once again to Victoria Road on April 16, in what is set to be an intriguing semi-final match-up.
The Blues can’t afford to drop any points from their remaining five fixtures as they look to secure Champions League qualification.
City currently sit in fourth on the table, three points behind local rivals Manchester United who occupy third. However, Man City have a game in hand which could prove crucial in the race for third place.
Last time out
West Ham United suffered a 2-0 defeat at home last weekend to Brighton & Hove Albion. Aileen Whelan’s early opener and Inessa Kaagman’s 81st-minute goal were enough to claim three points for Hope Powell’s side.
Prior to that defeat, West Ham saw off the challenge of third-tier side Ipswich Town in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. A 1-0 victory, with a goal courtesy of Arsenal loanee Lisa Evans, allowed the Hammers to progress to the next round.Embed from Getty Images
The Hammers also drew against Manchester United in mid-March. Returning to the Women’s Super League, Grace Fisk’s injury-time header was enough to rescue a point against the Red Devils.
Manchester City were last in action a fortnight ago, as their recent scheduled fixture against Birmingham was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak. They hosted Everton for the second time in quick succession in which they comfortably won by a scoreline of 4-0.
West Ham United (all competitions)
- Last 5 — LWDWL
- Goals scored: 4
- Goals conceded: 7
- Clean sheets: 2
Manchester City (all competitions)
- Last 5 — WWWWW
- Goals Scored: 14
- Goals conceded: 1
- Clean sheets: 4
October saw West Ham visit the Academy Stadium in which they ended up taking advantage of an injury-hit Manchester City side and won the game 2-0.
Icelandic international Dagný Brynjarsdóttir opened the scoring before half-time, and then Yui Hasegawa wrapped up the points for West Ham by scoring a long-distance stunner in the 94th minute.
The result was disappointing for Gareth Taylor’s side, especially as the Hammers ended City’s unbeaten run at home.
West Ham United: Arnold, Cissoko, Flaherty, Fisk, Longhurst, Stringer, Brynjarsdottir, Hasegawa, Svitkova, Yallop, and Leon.
Manchester City: Roebuck, Bronze, Kennedy, Greenwood, Stokes, Weir, Walsh, Stanway, Hemp, White, and Raso.
Gareth Taylor’s squad will receive a massive boost as winger Chloe Kelly is set for a return to the match-day squad for the first time this season. The No. 9 hasn’t featured for City since rupturing her ACL last May.
Kelly could potentially be in line for some minutes on the pitch. However, Taylor did share that due to the nature of her injury, Kelly’s reintegration will be carefully monitored.Embed from Getty Images
In her debut season at City, the forward was joint-top scorer with Sam Mewis—netting 16 goals in all competitions. She was also joint-top provider in the WSL recording 11 assists. Which made her the only player to reach double figures for goals and assists in the 2020/21 season.
Elsewhere in the squad, Esme Morgan has returned to pitch training after suffering a lower leg fracture in September. Morgan is nearing a return, but she is unavailable for the trip to West Ham.
Captain Steph Houghton is facing a race against the clock as she tries to stake a claim to be named in this summer’s Euros squad. Taylor stated her recovery is going well, but it is unlikely she will feature for the remainder of the season.
There was also an update on midfielder Vicky Losada. The Spanish international is close to being back out with squad, but her return is most likely to come after the international break.
How to watch
The match gets underway at 11:30 a.m. BST and will be available to watch live via Sky Sports. Also, international viewers can watch for free via The FA Player streaming platform.