Manchester City Women travel to Leicester City for their final Continental Cup clash, knowing victory will guarantee the blues top spot in the table and progression into the next round.
The blues are second in the table, three points behind Manchester United, but with a greater goal difference. A win at Leicester will send the blues to the top and through, while defeat will send Leicester through instead.
City currently have six points while Leicester are on five, and a draw will see the two face off in a penalty shoot-out to determine the destination of an additional bonus point. If City win the shoot-out, they finish second and face a ‘best second placed team’ scenario with Group C’s Charlton Athletic. That is decided by and in order of:
· Highest number of average points per game,
· Highest average goal difference per game,
· Highest average goals scored per game.
City have an average of two points per game, a +2 goal difference average per game and an average of 3 goals scored per game. Charlton have an average of two points per game, a +2 average goal difference per game and 2.7 average of goals scored per game, so City’s hopes of qualifying would be in doubt.
The simplest option would be for City to win and end all connotations!
The blues have won their last three WSL matches and have started to knock the goals in too. A 6-0 at Brighton was preceded by a 3-2 win at Birmingham and a 5-0 home win over Aston Villa.
Leicester have won just one of their eleven WSL matches to date and, despite Jessica Sigsworth scoring for the Foxes when these two teams last met, City ran out 4-1 winners.
Steph Houghton and Lucy Bronze looked to have come through Sunday’s match at Brighton unscathed and may be in contention for a place in the starting line-up. Manager Gareth Taylor has said the blues are waiting updates on Bunny Shaw and Caroline Weir ahead of the match.
“Bunny might be a little bit closer than Caroline but we just don’t know what that looks like because there’s a return to training and playing protocol that every player has to go through.
“Whether that’s too soon for the weekend, it looks that way, but we’re doing our very best and the medical team are working really hard to try and give us that option.”
City will also be without Hayley Raso, who was outstanding in the match at Brighton, and Alanna Kennedy, who are both on international duty with Australia at the Women’s Asia Cup until February. There have been no further updates on Ellie Roebuck and Chloe Kelly.
The blues have to win to guarantee their place and they should manage it. City look to have got into their stride and will take some beating.
Leicester City Women 0-3 Manchester City Women