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Preview: Blues Women v Aston Villa

Carla Ward’s side will be taking to the field looking to complete a double over a side they beat 1-0 away from home in November.

BCFC

Blues Women host the Second City derby on Wednesday evening as they take on their close neighbours in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.

The match is the first time that Blues have hosted their city rivals in the FAWSL.

And Carla Ward’s team will be taking to the field looking to complete a double over a side they beat 1-0 away from home in November when Claudia Walker’s second-half goal was enough for all three points.

Victory would also build on the impressive point picked up at Everton over the weekend and, depending on results elsewhere, could lift Blues up to seventh in the table.

THE OPPOSITION:

Tonight’s opponents are under new management after hiring former Blues boss Marcus Bignot last month as interim manager, with Gemma Davies and her staff retained in their existing coaching positions. Davies was in charge when the sides met earlier this season and helped tonight’s visitors to promotion from the FA Women’s Championship last term.

However, they were made to wait until the penultimate month of 2020 for their inaugural FAWSL win. This came on the road at Brighton & Hove Albion courtesy of goals from Anita Asante and Ramona Petzelberger.

A further two successes have followed in the league against Bristol City and Tottenham Hotspur. The most recent against Spurs, which was also the first top flight women’s clash to feature the option of concussion substitutes, saw Japanese international Mana Iwabuchi hit the winning goal.

A recent arrival, the former Bayern Munich player joins a squad that features former Blues such as Chloe Arthur and Marisa Ewers.

LAST TIME OUT:

Blues Women collected a superb point in the North West as they drew 1-1 with Everton on Sunday afternoon. Responding to an early setback after Danielle Turner had fired in a free-kick, Blues levelled before the break as Napier pounced on the loose ball from Claudia Walker’s penalty to poke home. Ward’s team then limited their fifth-placed hosts to half-chances in the second period to see out their second draw of the season.

Wednesday’s opponents also enjoyed a rewarding weekend as they beat Tottenham at Walsall’s Banks's Stadium on Saturday lunchtime. Iwabuchi's 12th-minute effort proved the difference with Cho So-hyun coming closest to finding an equaliser for the Lilywhites late on.

WE MEET AGAIN:

Blues will be hunting six points from six against their city rivals after leaving B6 with the maximum earlier this campaign.

Despite only naming two substitutes, Ward’s squad proved worthy incumbents of the Second City bragging rights as they showed all the characteristics of a derby winning Blues team.

This saw them leave the claret part of Birmingham victorious in the clubs' first FAWSL showdown.

Converting from a Lucy Whipp cross, Walker’s strike 18 minutes from time was enough to sink their hosts and was greeted by wild celebrations on the Villa Park pitch.

WATCH LIVE:

The game will be streamed live on the Birmingham City Women’s Facebook page, kick-off is at 6pm.

Alternatively, the match will be available to view on the FA Player.

MATCH OFFICIALS:

Referee: Emily Heaslip

Assistant Referees: Magdalena Golba and Karl Buckley

Fourth Official: Richie Watkins

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