Sports Mole previews Friday’s Women’s Super League clash between Birmingham City Women and Everton Ladies, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
With five games remaining, Darren Carter‘s side must win at least three matches to retain their top-flight status, and with fixtures against Chelsea and Manchester City to come, this week’s outing is crucial for the hosts.
The Blues have only managed to secure one win so far this season, which came from a surprising 2-0 victory against then league leaders Arsenal, suggesting that three wins from their last five matches may be out of their reach.
Carter’s side were due to travel to the Academy Stadium to face Man City on Sunday, but that match was postponed due to an outbreak of coronavirus in the visitors’ squad.
That means their last outing came in the FA Cup on March 20, when Birmingham crashed out of that competition with a heavy 5-0 defeat against reigning champions Chelsea.
Birmingham were just edged out by West Ham in their last league outing, falling to a 1-0 defeat, and that certainly pushed the Blues further towards the Championship.
Everton have also struggled to make their presence felt in the division this season, and being on home soil, Birmingham cannot afford to let this opportunity to collect three points slip away from them.
Interim boss Chris Roberts has guided his side to safety this season, but he will want his team to finish the season with a string of good results to gain some confidence ahead of the next campaign.
The Toffees got off to the perfect start at Old Trafford last weekend, when Claire Emslie gave the visitors an early lead, but Manchester United went on to turn the game around and sent Everton to a 3-1 defeat.
Everton currently sit ninth in the table, seven points behind Reading, who sit just above the Toffees, suggesting that the position they occupy now is likely to be where they end the season in a few weeks time.
Roberts’s side will be heading to St Andrew’s looking to return home with three points, and they will view Friday’s outing as a good opportunity to collect maximum points given Birmingham’s position.
Birmingham City Women Women’s Super League form:
Birmingham City Women form (all competitions):
Everton Ladies Women’s Super League form:
Everton Ladies form (all competitions):
There is no new injury or suspension concerns for either side, meaning that Everton could name a similar lineup to the side that started at Old Trafford last weekend.
Toni Duggan replaced Simone Magill up top, and the former is likely to retain her place and lead the line for the visitors, with Friday presenting a good opportunity to add to her tally of two goals this season, given Birmingham’s leaky defence.
Birmingham City Women possible starting lineup:
Hourihan; Holloway, Scott, Louise Quinn, Lawley, Finn; Lucy Quinn, Robertson, Murray; Smith, Sarri
Everton Ladies possible starting lineup:
MacIver; George, Finnigan, Bjorn, Turner; Dali, Christiansen, Graham, Galli, Pattinson; Duggan
We say: Birmingham City Women 2-1 Everton Ladies
Birmingham are certain to show courage on Friday, as they now have nothing to lose and have to go for all three points, which could work in their favour especially by getting their own crowd behind them.
Everton will understand that Birmingham are fighting for their lives at the bottom and so will not go into this game lightly, but with not much to play for, the hosts should be able to use that to their advantage.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data
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