Aston Villa vs Liverpool Women Preview: Can the Villans cause a League Cup upset?
Image: GettyImages/Andrew Powell

It's a double-header this Saturday as both Liverpool's men and women travel to the Midlands to face Aston Villa.

Vicky Jepson's side face the Championship leaders at Boldmere St Michaels just hours after the men's team play the Villans at Villa Park in the Premier League.

It's match-day three of five in the League Cup group stage and Liverpool will be looking to edge closer to the top of Group A with a win tomorrow night.

Team News

Niamh Fahey was the key omission for the Reds last time out against Birmingham City, the defender wasn't part of the matchday squad.

Leighanne Robe filled in at centre-half with Jemma Purfield occupying the left-back position - question marks remain over whether or not she'll be fit to face Villa on Saturday.

For the hosts, Ella Franklin-Fraiture will be a key absentee after the defender broke her ankle in last weekend's 1-1 draw against Durham.

A crucial period for the Reds

It's been a disappointing start to the Women's Super League season for the Merseyside club, who currently sit rock bottom of the table.

With difficult fixtures coming up after the international break against Everton, Arsenal and Manchester City; Jepson will be viewing these games against lesser opposition as an opportunity to pick up some good results.

After beating Coventry 1-5 away on matchday two in the League Cup, the Reds suffered defeat just a week later to relegation rivals Birmingham.

Liverpool could find themselves third in their group by kick-off tomorrow, should Durham, Sheffield United or Coventry pick up results in their respective fixtures.

Pressure is piling up and a win against Villa could help spur the Reds into an upturn of form heading into a tricky winter period.

Villa's impressive start

The hosts currently sit top of the FA Women's Championship on 16 points, just one point clear of second-placed London City Lionesses.

Gemma Davies' side have won five and drawn one of their games so far this season, earning themselves top spot.

However, they've won one and lost one in their League Cup campaign so far and they sit fourth in the table, level on points with tomorrow's opponents and Sheffield United.

What the Villa boss had to say

Speaking to AVFC.co.uk, Davies expressed how her side are revelling the challenge of facing top-flight opposition.

She said: “We always welcome opportunities to test ourselves against the best teams in the country, and Liverpool are unquestionably one of the biggest names in the women’s game.

“We have the chance to see what we can do against a side from the Women’s Super League.

"We aspire to be in the top division next season, so this is an opportunity for our players to see what it takes to make it at the next level.

“I have the utmost faith and confidence that the playing squad and backroom staff that we’ve assembled will meet the challenge head-on.”

Players to watch

Mel Johnson is in fine form for the Midlands club, netting three league hat-tricks already this season.

The forward may not start tomorrow's game, as she only featured as a substitute in their previous group game against Durham.

But, whether she starts or comes off the bench, Johnson is an impactful player that will want to make her mark against Liverpool.

Kirsty Linnett may have missed out against Birmingham last week, but the forward impressed in the Reds' last group stage fixture against Coventry.

A first-half hat-trick caught the eye of those watching on and if she's given the nod on Saturday evening, she'll want to build on that goalscoring form.

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