Match Preview: Birmingham City vs Liverpool Ladies

 For the final away game of the season Liverpool Ladies travel to Stratford-upon-Avon to face last seasons runners up Birmingham City.

 Midweek Arsenal narrowly beat Chelsea 1-0 in the London derby to further decrease the points difference between ourselves and them. The Gunners are now 2 points behind us in the league with a game in hand, this makes each of our 4 remaining games a must win if we are to challenge until the end.

 Liverpool go into this game on the back of a thumping 9-0 win away at Doncaster Belles, the landslide victory coming after two narrow 4-3 victories and giving our goal difference a welcome boost.

 Prior to this game Liverpool conceded 6 goals in 2 games, leading to a half time substitution during the Chelsea game. Rachel Laws then remained in goal against Doncaster to keep our first clean sheet this side of the season.

 Natasha Dowie and Fara Williams continued their fine run of form over the last couple of games, Natasha bagged a first half hat trick over the Belles. New number 7 Kate Longhurst also scored her first Liverpool goal after coming on as a substitute while brilliant German Nicole Rolser also added her 8th goal of the season and Liverpool’s 8th of the game during a more subdued second half.

 In contrast to our season, our opponents have had a disappointing campaign by their standards. Already qualified for this years Champions League they were effectively out of the running for next years by the time the summer break came around – unable to keep up with the pace set by both Liverpool and Bristol Academy.
  During the second half of the season Birmingham manager David Parker has been giving the clubs youth a chance to impress, dropping lead scorer Rachel Williams to the bench.
 Melissa Lawley in particular has impressed and has a record of 3 goals in her last 3 starts for the blues. Karen Carney, who was injured during the first half of the season, has also featured in each of Birmingham’s last 3 games. Carney came on as a substitute against Doncaster and Lincoln and started last weekends defeat to Arsenal. 
 @LFCLadiesFans will be providing coverage of the game on Sunday, travelling to Stratford-upon-Avon much to the delight of my friend who has inherited my season ticket for some other game taking place at Anfield the same afternoon! If any other reds are going to be at the game get in touch! Kick off is at 2pm.
 A few other bits to conclude this preview, tomorrow Liverpool’s Katie Zelem and  Ellie Stewart will be part of the England squad defending the Under 19’s European Championship trophy. The final against France kicks off at 3pm and you can watch the game by following this link.
 Secondly the next Liverpool Ladies monthly round up for This Is Anfield will be online over the next couple of days, bring yourself up to date by reading June & July’s.
 Lastly the  official LFC magazine is due out early September and will feature Amanda Da Costa’s latest diary, which is always worth a read! There will also be a brief interview with myself – which I am slightly nervous about but if you want to know who my favourite player is (and I did manage to settle on just one after initially going through several) make sure you pick up a copy.
Thanks for reading!

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