Match Preview: Liverpool Ladies v Manchester City Women

 Tomorrow Liverpool Ladies will begin the defence of their 2013 Women’s Super League title. The reigning champions will play host to WSL newcomers Manchester City in a tie that will be shown live on BT Sport. Kick-off is at 7:45pm at Select Stadium in Widnes, tickets are available on the gate and are priced £5 adults, £2.50 concessions.
Liverpool celebrate vs Sunderland
 Liverpool go into this game unbeaten in all competitions for their last 12 games, winning every one. In 2014 so far the reds have won 5 out of 5, despite being faced with a number of key players missing through injury – showing the strength in depth. Four youth players have made the step up to the first team although Katie Zelem will miss the first half of the season with a broken collarbone, Ashley Hodson, Hannah Dale and Ellie Stewart all made second half appearances at the weekend. The trio did not look out of place with Dale in particular impressing and Hodson having a goal ruled out for offside.
 Amanda DaCosta picked up a knock during the warm ups at the FA Cup game in Sunderland on Sunday and did not play, hopefully just as a precaution. In her absence Martha Harris moved into midfield, working well alongside Kate Longhurst and Gemma Davison in creating opportunities going forward. 
 Harris opened the scoring after Longhurst beat the defender to put a low ball into the box, Liverpool’s new signing finishing with a great left-footed strike that swung past keeper Rachael Laws.
Fara Williams vs Sunderland
 On the stroke of half-time Sunderland must have thought they had an equaliser when a long range effort headed towards the top corner, Libby Stout somehow getting there and making the brilliant save on her competitive debut for the club.
 Natasha Dowie had scored 3 goals in 4 appearances during pre-season and scored Liverpool’s second to ensure the reds progress to the quarter finals, tapping home from inside the 6-yard box when Gemma Davison‘s shot was saved.
 A new season also brings a new centre back pairing to Liverpool, Lucy Bronze moving into the middle to partner captain Gemma Bonner and the pair put in a solid display together. 
former Liverpool midfielder Jess Holbrook
 Liverpool’s opponents Manchester City have strengthened considerably since their promotion to the top tier of English women’s football. Signing the backbone of the England team with goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, defender and captain Steph Houghton and Everton Ladies duo Jill Scott and Toni Duggan. Jess Holbrook, the former Liverpool Ladies midfielder, has also signed up alongside New Zealand international Betsy Hassett. Bardsley however will miss the season opener through injury.
 City have also begun full-time training, however unlike Liverpool this does not include the whole squad with just a handful of players currently training full-time. They have played 3 games so far in 2014, winning all 3 beating Durham, Aston Villa and Reading.
Liverpool & Sunderland observe a minutes silence prior to their FA Cup tie
 Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, the Liverpool Ladies squad attended the memorial at Anfield where speeches were given from Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez, Andy Burnham, Trevor Hicks and Margaret Aspinall. As a Liverpool supporter growing up in the city, the 96 are never far from your mind. The dignity and strength that the families and survivors have shown over the years are a great inspiration. As on Sunday, the team will wear the Hillsborough patch on their shirts in remembrance of those who lost their lives.
 Thank you for reading,

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