Preview: Bristol City vs Manchester City

Bristol City fall to a 2-1 defeat to FA Cup finalists West Ham.
Bristol City fall to a 2-1 defeat to FA Cup finalists West Ham.

Bristol City welcome Manchester City and their passionate fans and their colourful banners to the Stoke Gifford Stadium on Sunday for the 12.30 lunchtime kickoff in round 7 of the ‘Women’s Superleague’ and will be broadcast live on BBC Sport.
Despite a sluggish start in the league we got a much-needed morale-boosting 3-3 draw at Reading last week that several of us ‘Bristol City Women Supporters Club’ members were lucky to be at, not only did we show enormous character in coming back from 2 goals down twice but to score 3 goals in a game and away from home at that was a huge bonus as it is an area of the pitch in which we have been struggling for some time now, we returned to earth with a bump with a 7-0 thrashing at the hands of a very good Arsenal team which is always liable to happen.

We need to be at our very best to beat a star studded  Manchester City team which should include a fit again Ellen White who are coming good now after an indifferent start to the season and beat West Ham 5-0 in there last league game and currently sit in 2nd place in the WSL a point behind leaders Chelsea, but to do so we will need to address our leaky defence which has shipped 13 goals in our last 4 games and we have not tasted victory in a WSL game in 12 games since we beat Yeovil 2-1 at the SGS in February when the much missed Lucy Graham scored for Bristol, another player much missed is Belgian midfield maestro Julie Biesmans & since her departure in the summer our midfield has been almost incohesive, and if we are to have any success this season her boots need to be filled and quick ,that said we do now look a threat going forward on the evidence of the Reading game with the brilliant teenager Ebony Salmon and the  improving attacker Charlie Wellings, If Bristol can show the steel we showed in the first half of last season I see no reason why we cant replicate the 2 extremely impressive draws we had against Manchester City last season. 
I spoke to Dave Sheel from the ‘Manchester City Women’s Supporters Club’ and asked him for his thoughts on the game “We are looking forward to Sunday, always a good day out at stoke Gifford and we love meeting up with the Bristol City women supporters club, few laughs, bit of banter as usual no doubt! on the pitch I’m expecting a tough game again, last season was a 1-1 draw and ultimately too many draws it could be argued cost us the title, we need to win to keep up the challenge at the top, but it will not be easy as we know the Vixens are a good young team who can turn it on especially on there home patch, I’m sure Lauren Hemp is looking forward to returning to her old stomping ground and she is in sparkling form at the moment, so she is my pick of our team as the one to watch ,prediction wise please bear in mind I am terrible at them and also a little bit biased ha ha but I’m going for 2-0 to the Blues! I wish all travelling to the game a safe journey and look forward to seeing you all on Sunday.”

Previous meetings in the WSL/spring series: since the Blues first season when Bristol City did the double over them it has been a struggle for us including a couple of big defeats including Sophie Baggaley scoring her only own goal for us to date in a 6-1 loss in 2018 although we had 2 superb draws against them last season including an epic 2-2 at the Academy stadium in which we went 2-0 up with goals from Dani Kerdijk & Juliette Kempi which were cancelled out in the final 10 minutes by a Nikitta Parris and a thunderous strike by Steph Houghton.
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