WSL Cup Final Preview - Manchester City vs Birmingham City: Champions face underdogs hoping to secure double
Photo: Chloe Leadbeater

WSL Cup Final Preview - Manchester City vs Birmingham City: Champions face underdogs hoping to secure double

Manchester City take on Birmingham in the WSL Cup Final.

Chloe Leadbeater

Manchester City will be taking on Birmingham in the Continental Cup final at the Academy Stadium. City go into this game having just wrapped up the WSL 1 title beating former champions, Chelsea 2-0. Birmingham have had a decent season which has improved since the summer transfer window and they will be relishing the underdog status.

Manchester City's road to the final

The WSL Cup changed from a group and knockout format to a straight knockout format. This meant that WSL 1 teams could face WSL 2 teams right away or even face their own. Manchester City started off their journey at Coles Lane where they faced WSL 2 side, Aston Villa. Their quality and talent showed as they thrashed the Villans 8-0.

After that routine win, they then went onto face WSL 1 relegation battlers, Doncaster Belles. City had faced the Belles previously in the league with the Sky Blues running out 6-0 winners. There wasn't so many goals this time but they asserted their dominance with a 4-1 win.

Then came City's toughest opposition: Arsenal. Arsenal have a great record in this cup having won four out of five times since the cup was started along with the league in 2011. Manchester City won their first league cup and first silverware in the 2014 final in which they faced Arsenal. City were 1-0 winners and it was a similar story once more in a tight game that City just edged it thanks to a Jennifer Beattie goal 10 minutes from time.

Birmingham's road to the final

Birmingham had a slightly tougher route to the final. They have had experience of the cup final before in 2011 and 2012 where they lost twice to Arsenal, 4-1 and 1-0 respectively.

Birmingham kicked off their Conti Cup campaign against a WSL 2 side like City. They faced Oxford United, dominated and came away with a 2-0 win.

In the next round, they faced Liverpool in a nail biting game. Neither side could find the all important breakthrough in 90 minutes so the game went into extra time. The tie looked as if it was going to penalties until Coral-Jade Haines stepped up to put Jess Carter's cross in the back of the net in the final few moments of the game.

Next up was history makers London Bees. London Bees became the first WSL 2 side to make the semi final after they shocked everyone when they knocked WSL 1 champions Chelsea out on penalties. Chelsea had previously beaten the Bees 13-0 then 8-0 so this match was a great watch for all to witness.

Despite this result, they were no match for Birmingham. Birmingham knew how well they had done and recorded a 4-0 win to ensure their place in the final.

After last Sunday, Manchester City will want to add to their silverware collection and regain the title that they won in their first season in WSL 1 in 2014.  Birmingham won't mind that the focus is on City however and their solid defence could be a nightmare for them. Expect a tight game and maybe an upset.