Holders Manchester City face Bristol City on Wednesday as they continue their quest for a second successive League Cup. The blues have won the competition four times to date and beat Chelsea 3-1 in the final last year to secure Gareth Taylor’s second major trophy as City boss. Both teams topped their individual groups, with the blues winning all four of their fixtures and Bristol City sneaking through after three teams all finished on the same number of points.
Wednesday’s meeting will be the first between the two sides since March 2021 when the blues won 3-0 at Twerton Park. Caroline Weir, Ellen White and Sam Mewis were all on the scoresheet that evening and City will be hoping for a similar result on Wednesday.
The blues go into the match on the back of a 13-match unbeaten run that has seen the girls win 11 and draw just two. Bristol City are currently second in the table, one point behind the leaders London City with a game in hand. Their match with the leaders at the weekend was postponed. The home side have won three and drawn one of their last four, and have lost just once at home this season - 1-0 to Birmingham City.
The City girls must pick themselves up after losing ground in the WSL at the weekend. After sitting just three points behind United, Saturday’s home draw with Aston Villa, together with the reds 1-0 win at Reading sent them to the top of the table and five clear of the blues.
With an FA Cup clash at home to Sheffield United at the weekend, manager Gareth Taylor may be tempted to again rotate his squad. Hayley Raso, Sandy MacIver and Ruby Mace may be some of the names that could face the Robins on Wednesday. Esme Morgan, who was substituted at half-time at the weekend, faces a battle to be fit for the clash, with Taylor waiting until the last possible moment before naming his team. For Demi Stokes, the match comes too soon following her recovery from injury.
It’ll come as no surprise that I’m predicting a City win, but not because of Bristol’s lower league status. The home side are not chasing promotion by accident and will be a stern test for the blue girls. However, City will have something to prove from the weekend’s abject performance, so we should probably brace ourselves for a blue backlash.
Bristol City 0-4 Manchester City