Manchester City Women welcome Liverpool to the Joie Stadium, as they look to continue their excellent pre-Christmas form against the fifth-placed Reds. The blues have won their last four matches to take them within three points of leaders Chelsea, and victory over the Merseysiders will keep the pressure on Emma Hayes’ side.
However, a Liverpool win will boost their chances of finishing in the top three for the first time in their history and City will need to be wary of the threat the Mersey Reds pose.
City are the WSL’s form team at the moment following those four straight wins and will be favourites to make it five when they face Liverpool on Sunday. City are the division’s second highest scorers with 25, but have the best defence in the league, conceding just seven.
Of the goals scored, Bunny Shaw has nine to her name this season and has attempted 31 shots on goal, the joint-highest in the league. Her shot accuracy from nine matches stands at 58%, while her goal conversion rate is 29%. Jill Roord has hit six in her debut season with City and Lauren Hemp has five.
Liverpool have scored just 15 WSL goals so far, with six of those coming from Sophie Huag and Marie-Therese Hobinger, who have three apiece. Haug has had 24 shots at goal, giving her a goal conversion rate of just 13%, however, Hobinger is the one City need to watch. From ten matches, Hobinger has had just nine shots on goal, giving her a 33% goal conversion rate. Her shot accuracy currently stands at 89%, the second highest in the league and Khiara Keating (who will presumably remain between the sticks), will need to be on high alert for the threat from Hobinger.
Chloe Kelly hasn’t been as much amongst the goals this season, scoring just three, but she does have three assists to her name. Kelly has created 23 chances overall and has a pass accuracy of 84%. This is only bettered by teammates Laia Aleixandri (89%), Roord (87%), and Alex Greenwood (87%), which is joint with Chelsea’s Fran Kirby. This give City a strong edge in the midfield area,
For Liverpool, it seems the combination of Haug and Hobinger is heavily relied upon as the two are also responsible for assists. Both have two apiece, with Hobinger creating 25 chances, the highest in the league, to Huag’s three. Hobinger also has a higher pass accuracy than her teammate with 70% to Huag’s 60%.
City’s only injury concern is defender Alanna Kennedy. However, there is positive news from Gareth Taylor in midweek who said the Australian international is very close to returning to full fitness.
Leanne Kiernan will miss the match with a hip injury and Ceri Holland is serving a one-match suspension following her sending off against Bristol City. Joint top scorer Sophie Roman Huag, who missed last weekend’s FA Cup tie, will be back in contention for a place int he starting 11.
Liverpool look like a decent team this season, however, home advantage and incredible form from City should hopefully see them take the three points. I’m predicting a home win for the blues.
Manchester City Women 3-0 Liverpool Women