Match Preview

FA WSL
FA WSL
Sunday 2 May 2021
Kickoff at 15:00 BST
Academy Stadium, North Gate, Etihad Campus 400 Ashton New Rd Manchester M11 4TQ
BBC Red Button
Live text, audio and stats at mancity.com
Everything you need to know ahead of our FA Women's Super League visit of Birmingham.

WHEN AND WHERE

The game will take place at the Academy Stadium on Sunday 2 May, with kick-off scheduled for 15:00 BST.

The match will be broadcast live on the BBC Red Button and you can also keep up to date with all the action as it on unfolds in our Matchday Centre.

A comprehensive match report, as well as reaction from Gareth Taylor and one of our players, will also be available just after full-time here on ManCity.com and the Man City App.

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Birmingham City

MATCH PROGRAMME

View your FREE digital edition of the City v Birmingham matchday programme here...

RULES

For safety reasons in the wake of the pandemic, the fixture will be played behind closed doors.

In line with current protocols, additional balls will be placed at intervals around the pitch.

FORM GUIDE

City head into this clash in fine league form, having won 12 of our last 13 league matches; unbeaten in our last five in all competitions.

Birmingham meanwhile are winless in their last six games, falling to a 6-0 reverse to Chelsea last time out.

Since facing City at St George's Park at the end of February, the Solihull outfit suffered three successive 4-0 home defeats (City, Arsenal and Everton) before earning draws with West Ham (2-2) and Bristol City (1-1) before visiting Chelsea.

WATCH: City 2-2 Chelsea: Extended Highlights

TEAM NEWS

Gareth Taylor says it is unlikely Steph Houghton will feature for City again in the 2020/21 campaign.

The City and England captain has not featured since March’s victory over Everton – her 200th appearance for the Club – due to an Achilles injury.

With only three games of the season remaining and attentions turning to Olympic squad announcements, Taylor was asked whether the centre-back is likely to return in the coming weeks, and whether her injury could affect her Team GB hopes. He replied he is hopeful of her selection.

Taylor also shared an update on long-term absentee Megan Campbell, hailing the Republic of Ireland defender’s effort during a difficult period.

Gareth Taylor preview

“The mood is really good. It’s still an objective to win the final three games (with the FA Cup) – nothing’s changed in that respect.

“Birmingham are fighting for their lives. There aren't any easy games, especially when you approach them. After, you can say if you were really good, creative… all of those things but you never know going into it.

“We’re expecting a tough game like it was at St George’s Park. We just have to work on what we can do. We’ll pay the ultimate respect to Carla and her team. We need to make sure we implement our gameplan on Sunday.

“Hopefully it won’t be different [from the away fixture – a 4-0 win] for our part but Birmingham will make it difficult.

“I remember that game and it was a case of staying calm. Composure will be a big one for us. People expect us to roll over teams at home but it’s not easy and teams make it difficult by blocking up.

“We need to make sure we’re capable of moving the ball quick enough, maintain good speed in possession and hopefully, we’ll take our chances when we get them. I’m expecting a tough game and as long as we maintain our composure, we’ll be okay.”

LAST MEETING

Sam Mewis marked her return from injury with a brace, as City claimed a thumping 4-0 win over Birmingham at St George's Park.

The United States star, making her first appearance since December, netted five minutes either side of half-time, as Gareth Taylor’s side moved to within two points of league leaders Chelsea, capitalising on our game in hand.

Lauren Hemp and Caroline Weir added gloss to the scoreline after the break to continue an impressive streak, with the visitors showcasing another ruthless display with a clinical second-half performance.

WATCH: Birmingham 0-4 City: Match highlights

LAST TIME OUT

City head into the game needing a win to keep alive hopes of a second FA Women's Super League title.

Taylor's side missed out on the chance to move top of the table after being held to a breathless 2-2 draw against Chelsea last time out.

Chloe Kelly’s close-range finish cancelled out Sam Kerr’s headed opener inside the half hour, but Pernille Harder hauled the league leaders in front once again before the break from the spot.

The hosts probed for the equaliser, and were rewarded for our efforts when Lauren Hemp pounced on a miscued clearance from Millie Bright with 15 to play.

City laid siege to the Chelsea goal in search of the win, but the stalemate means we remain two points behind Emma Hayes' side with two matches of the season to play.

City 2-2 Chelsea: Full-match replay
WATCH: City 2-2 Chelsea: Full-match replay

Stats 

o   City have won each of the last five league games with Birmingham by an aggregate score of 13-2, with Gareth Taylor's side keeping a clean sheet in each of the last four.

o   Birmingham haven’t won a league match at City since beating their opponents on the very first trip in October 2014 (2-1), drawing two and losing four of the six visits since.

o   City’s 12-game winning run came to an end last time out versus Chelsea, drawing 2-2 with the Londoners. However, we remain unbeaten in our last 16 top-flight games (W13 D3).

o   After a three-game winning run away from home in the Women’s Super League, Birmingham are winless in their last five top-flight games on their travels (D2 L3), shipping 14 goals.

o   Lauren Hemp has either scored (6) or assisted (7) in 10 of her last 11 appearances in the Women’s Super League, with only Chloe Kelly (19) having a direct hand in more league goals for City this season.

News about Man City v Birmingham City

Gallery: Sharpening up for Birmingham test!

All the best pictures from City's training session at the CFA ahead of this weekend's WSL clash with Birmingham. View more.

City v Birmingham: Taylor on team news

Gareth Taylor says it is unlikely Steph Houghton will feature for City again in the 2020/21 campaign. Read more.

Taylor: Ludlow's work ethic is top drawer

Gareth Taylor says he is delighted with City's appointment of Jayne Ludlow MBE as Girls Academy Technical Director. Watch more.

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