MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool Ladies vs Notts County

 Liverpool Ladies will take on Notts County Ladies tomorrow afternoon in the penultimate home league game of the FAWSL 2014 season.

 Last time the two sides met in May, both failed to create clear goal scoring opportunities with a 0-0 draw. As the season enters the final quarter both are now facing battles at either end of the league table, with Liverpool keen to keep the pressure on leaders Birmingham City and Notts looking to extend the gap between themselves and bottom placed Everton.

 Notts County haven’t won a league game since a 2-0 win over Everton back in April, since then they have picked up just 2 points out of a possible 15 which places them 5 points clear of the blues in 8th. Controversially The FA decided to award the 3 points from the postponed clash with Bristol Academy to the Vixens, after deciding Notts had failed to find an adequate alternate venue. Notts are appealing the decision.

 Despite the poor league form, Notts have reached the latter stages of the Continental Cup, winning all but one of their group games to set up a semi-final with Arsenal Ladies.

 Like Liverpool, Notts County have found themselves struck with an injury crisis this campaign. Winter signing Ellen White and defenders Sophie Bradley and Anna Green all ruled out for the entire season with the same injury as Liverpool’s Lucy Staniforth and Nicole Rolser. Winger Dunia Susi has also been ruled out for up to 8 weeks after picking up an MCL injury during the last game.

 Liverpool will be boosted by the return of U20 World Cup trio Martha Harris, Katie Zelem and Ellie Stewart, giving manager Matt Beard the most options he has had all season. Staniforth and Rolser are the only two players who will be missing for the reds.

 In their last game against Chelsea, Liverpool attacked the in-form London side from the opening whistle. Immediately putting their visitors on the back pedal and maintaining a high level of attack with Lucy Bronze and Corina Schroder pushing high up the pitch and Gemma Davison causing the defence all kinds of problems.

 Davison won a penalty, which the winger duly took and scored, before Bronze doubled the scoreline before half-time to secure an all-important 3 points for the reds in a crucial tie.

 This game comes just 3 days after England beat Wales 4-0 in a World Cup qualifier to ensure the Lionesses place in Canada next summer. Fara Williams featured for England, while Natasha Dowie was an unused substitute – meaning Liverpool’s top scorer will be fresh and looking for her 30th goal in a red shirt.

 Kick-off is at 3pm, Select Stadium, Widnes. Anfield season ticket holders are granted free entry to all Liverpool Ladies home games, alternatively adults are £5 and concessions £2.50 on the turnstiles. Tomorrow 2 kids go free with every paying adult.

 In other news, the development squad’s Yasmine Swarbrick has completed a move to Preston North End Women and could make her first team competitive debut against Bradford City tomorrow.

 On-loan Liverpool left-back Megan Alexander should also be in action for Oxford United as they face Doncaster Belles. Alexander has played in each of Oxford’s last 4 league matches.

 Thanks for reading!

 Heather

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