MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool Ladies v Notts County Ladies

 Liverpool Ladies face Notts County Ladies on Saturday 18th July in their first home game since the Women’s World Cup.

 After attendances across the league upon it’s return last weekend were boosted in the wake of England’s success at the World Cup in Canada, Liverpool will be hoping for their biggest crowd of the season, if not a record WSL home attendance, at Select Security Stadium in Widnes. The current record is held by the final day of the 2013 season when 2,135 watched the Reds lift the league trophy after beating Bristol Academy.

 Tickets are available on the gate for the 2pm kick-off, priced at just £5 adults and £2.50 concessions.

 Last Sunday, Liverpool picked up an important 3 points away at previously unbeaten Arsenal Ladies. Fara Williams starred in the 3-1 win, opening scoring with a wonderfully struck long-range strike then providing the assist for Becky Easton to nod home her first goal for the club. After Arsenal had pulled one back, and Liverpool looked to be in for a nervy end to the game, Natasha Dowie set up Asisat Oshoala who chipped the ball neatly over Emma Byrne to secure the victory. 
 Rosie White also played her first 45 minutes as a Liverpool player, coming on for Katrin Omarsdottir at half-time and effortlessly slotting into the attack quartet that included Dowie, Oshoala and Kate Longhurst – almost scoring and turning well to bring the ball infield, her final strike the wrong side of the post. White could make her first start on her home debut. 
 Omarsdottir had returned from an injury which had capped her playing time during the first half of the season, her comeback also marking the return of the 4-2-3-1 formation which has given Matt Beard much success in his, almost, 3 years on Merseyside. Omarsdottir and Williams in the centre of midfield is one of the best partnerships amongst this Liverpool side, together they control and dominate the centre of the pitch, while also providing extra protection to the back 4.
 Liverpool had a trio of players missing last Sunday, Corina Schroder, Ingrid Ryland and Lucy Staniforth all having travelled with the squad but unavailable for the match day squad. Supporters could see Staniforth feature tomorrow, while there has been no official word on whether Schroder or Ryland will be available. Katie Zelem is still in Israel with England U19s.
 The Reds opponents Notts County suffered a last-minute defeat at the hands of Sunderland Ladies last weekend, Beth Mead scoring the winning goal in the 90th minute to lift the WSL1 newcomers Sunderland to 3rd in the table – tied on 12 points with 2nd placed Arsenal (Liverpool are in 5th on 9 points with a game in hand over those above them in the table).
 County are on 11 points, 2 ahead of Liverpool meaning a win for the home side will lift them above their visitors and into the top half of the table. They will be missing goalkeeper Carly Telford, Telford returned from the World Cup with an injury meaning Notts drafted in Telford’s England team mate Siobhan Chamberlain to cover until the end of the season.
 Jess Clarke and Ellen White will provide the main attacking threat for Notts, while Alex Greenwood is a danger from left-back – if Liverpool can prevent her getting down the wing and sending her pinpoint crosses into the box then they will cut off the main supply to County’s attack. 
 It was through Greenwood’s set piece in the last game before the break that Liverpool fell to a 1-0 defeat, the former Everton defender’s corner finding another ex-Blue Fern Whelan in the box.
 The last 3 games between the two sides has produced just the 2 goals, Liverpool have won one, drawn one and lost one.
 Finally, Liverpool Ladies Development Squad will receive their league trophy at half-time during the game. The young Reds were crowed league champions with 3 games to spare, for a full season review including a look at every player click here.  

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