We have the opportunity to claim a third consecutive victory in the Women’s Super League on Thursday night we host Bristol City at Meadow Park
THE STORY SO FAR
It’s been over three weeks since we were last in WSL action, due to a busy international break involving a number of our stars.
Leah Williamson and Beth Mead won the She Believes Cup with England in the USA, with the latter scoring twice in three appearances, while Kim Little, Louise Quinn and Vivianne Miedema also found the back of the net for their respective countries.
This serves as the perfect confidence booster ahead of our final six WSL games of the season
We’re currently second in the table on 36 points, just two adrift of table-toppers Manchester City - but we have two games in hand.
In addition to this, we’ve also scored 53 WSL goals over the course of the season so far, smashing City’s previous record of 51 with six games to spare.
Vivianne Miedema remains our top goalscorer this season with 25 in just 20 starts across all competitions.
Bristol City are currently fifth after 15 fixtures, having won six, drawn four and lost five.
They started their season in fine form, holding both Chelsea and Manchester City to draws - but over recent weeks their form has slipped away, having failed to win any of their last three outings across all competitions.
The last time we faced the Vixens we ran out comfortable 4-0 winners at Stoke Gifford, thanks to a brace from Miedema and strikes from Jordan Nobbs and Danielle van de Donk.
Lucy Graham will be their greatest goalscoring threat on Thursday night, having scored six goals and assisted twice in the WSL this season.
It’s also worth keeping an eye out for former Gunner Carla Humphrey, who’s likely to start in attack for the visitors.
The 22-year-old is a product of our Centre of Excellence programme and departed north London in June 2017 after making 23 appearances, scoring three goals.
THE MANAGER’S NOTES
“The reality is that when teams are safe from relegation they can play with a lot of freedom at this stage of the season, which is obviously very dangerous,” said Joe Montemurro.
“You don’t know to expect from them, so each game is going to be a new challenge. We need to respect every team that we face and remain focused on the task at hand.
“Last year is the perfect example of showing how important it is to beat the so called ‘small sides’. We done an incredible job to catch up with Manchester City and Chelsea, but ultimately a negative result against Yeovil meant that we missed out on Champions League football.
“I think that’s where we’re different this year because we’re more resilient against the teams lower in the table.”
ONE TO WATCH
Coming into this fixture off the back of the international break, Mead will be full of confidence having scored twice for the Lionesses in the She Believes Cup.
The 22-year-old came off the bench against Brazil and scored the winner in a 2-1 victory, rifling the ball into the top corner from what seemed to be an impossible angle, before scoring a fine solo goal against Japan in a 3-0 final win.
But under the guidance of Montemurro, Mead has proven that she’s far more than just a goalscorer.
The versatile forward has created more chances than any other player this season - and currently leads the way for assists in the WSL with nine in 13 appearances.
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