Manchester City Women head to North London on Sunday on a double mission as they look to continue their fine form after claiming the League Cup last weekend.
The blues beat Chelsea 3-1 at Plough Lane to bring the trophy back to Manchester and end Chelsea’s domestic dominance, and now turn their attention to qualifying for the Champions League – and also gaining a modicum of revenge against the London Whites.
The blues looked set to draw with Spurs at the Academy Stadium in September until Spurs claimed a controversial last-minute winner. Rosella Ayane looked to have handled inside the City penalty area before the ball hit the post and into the back of the net via City keeper Karima Benameur Taieb. With City appealing for handball, the referee pointed to the centre circle and, in doing so, inflicted City’s first league defeat of the season.
City are also in contention for a place in the Champions League, which seemed unlikely just a few months ago, and victory against Spurs will put them to within five points of United in third place with a game in hand.
However, a win for the home side will put them level on points with the Stretford reds with eight games remaining, so it is likely to be a tight game on Sunday.
City have been in great form since the start of the year and, in the last five games, have picked up eleven points. Spurs have picked up eight points in their previous five matches and their last game at Reading ended in a goalless draw. Both teams have lost one of their last five.
City have no new injury worries ahead of the match. Vicky Losada, who missed last weekend’s League Cup victory, is likely to miss the trip to London, while Steph Houghton misses out as she recovers from surgery on her troublesome Achilles injury. Chloe Kelly is closing in on a return to training but isn’t quite there yet.
“Vicky is improving but it’s probably too close for her,” manager Gareth Taylor said in his press conference. “Then we go into a heavy schedule, so it is about dropping these players in at the right time. There are no real changes from the last game.”
It is likely to be a tight game with a lot at stake for both teams. Neither will want to make a mistake that will change the course of the game, but at the same time, both need to go for it if they are to stand a chance of Champions League qualification. City may just edge this one and gain revenge for September’s defeat.
Tottenham Hotspur Women 1-2 Manchester City Women