Man City search for important three points against Brighton

Ellen White and Alex Greenwood of Manchester City celebrate
Alex Greenwood celebrates scoring Man City's fourth goal with teammate Ellen White during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match against Leicester City (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Manchester City are back at home this weekend as they welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to the Academy Stadium. Gareth Taylor’s side can’t afford to drop any points from their remaining three fixtures as they continue their quest to secure Champions League football for next season.

City currently sit in fourth in the table, one point behind local rivals Manchester United. However, the Citizens have a game in-hand, which could prove crucial in the race for the third champions league qualification spot. Brighton are in seventh place in after eight wins from 20.

Throughout the season, the Seagulls have enjoyed wins away at Birmingham City, Aston Villa, West Ham and Everton.

They also managed to take points from champions Chelsea back in January after a goalless draw on the South Coast. Hope Powell also recently celebrated her 100th game in charge. She has won a total of 49 games during her tenure with Brighton.

Embed from Getty Images

Last time out

Man City were last in action against Leicester. The Sky Blues comfortably won by a 4-0 scoreline to continue their winning streak in the Women’s Super League. Caroline Weir, Lauren Hemp, Alex Greenwood and new signing Julie Blakstad were all on the scoresheet.

Prior to this victory, City saw off the challenge of fellow WSL side West Ham United in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. They chalked up a 4-1 victory courtesy of a Hemp brace, an Ellen White diving header and a first goal since returning from injury for Chloe Kelly.

Brighton were also in league action last weekend, however they suffered a shock 3-1 defeat to relegation contenders Birmingham City. Irish international and captain Louise Quinn bagged herself a second-half brace to lift the spirits of the Brum camp.

Form guide

Manchester City (all competitions)

Last 5: WWWWW

Goals scored: 18

Goals conceded: 1

Clean sheets: 4

Brighton & Hove Albion (all competitions)

Last 5: WLWLL

Goals scored: 4

Goals conceded: 7

Clean sheets: 2

Previous encounters

The last meeting between these two sides came earlier in the year as Man City travelled down south for the first match back after the Christmas break. The game saw a fairly even and goalless first half, however Taylor’s side were ruthless in the second period as they managed to score six goals.

The match also brought long awaited returns for England duo Lucy Bronze and Steph Houghton, who had been sidelined for a lengthy period due to injuries.

Embed from Getty Images

Predicted XIs

Manchester City: Roebuck; Bronze, Kennedy, Greenwood, Stokes; Weir, Walsh, Stanway; Hemp, White, Raso

Brighton & Hove Albion: Walsh; Le-Tissier, Kerkdijk, Williams, Kulberg; Connolly, Kaagman, Whelan, Green, Z. Olme, Lee

Team news

Manchester City

Taylor shared that Esme Morgan, Houghton and Karen Bardsley are all unavailable for the match due to various injuries. There was also an update on midfielder Vicky Losada — the Spanish international is progressing well and could make a return to action before the end of the season.

A further update explained the absence of youngster Jess Park who sustained an injury over the international break with England U23s. Taylor added that she is edging closer to a comeback.

Brighton & Hove Albion

Ellie Brazil will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a meniscus tear whilst away on international duty with England U23s.

How to watch

Man City vs Brighton will get underway at 11:30 GMT on Saturday, April 30th and will be available to watch live via Sky Sports Premier League & Showcase channels. International viewers can watch for free via the FA Player streaming platform.

MORE from Her Football Hub: