Birmingham City returns from a slightly longer break to face Manchester City, as the Second City Derby against Aston Villa was yet another victim of a frozen pitch. Sunday's match will be the Blues' first action since a well-won draw with Everton on February 7.  

The Blues have a strong test to face in the next two league weekends, as they face this week a Manchester City side that has been playing terrific football all season and sit second in the table. 

To be successful this week, the Blues will have to bog down the City attack in the midfield.  Birmingham's front five will be tested frequently and will need to prevent City making dangerous attacks down the right side.

  • Team News

Birmingham looks at a short bench again this week, with injuries and COVID-19 issues leaving the team down several players.

Defender Harriet Scott and striker Ruesha Littlejohn once again joined the Republic of Ireland side; goalkeeper Hannah Hampton got her first England call-up, while midfielder Chloe McCarron and left-back Rebecca Holloway played for Northern Ireland.

Manchester City returns to WSL play with some minutes in the bank from the international break as well - Ellie Roebuck, Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Alex Greenwood, Georgia Stanway, Lauren Hemp, Ellen White and Chloe Kelly all featured for England. 

Caroline Weir for Scotland, Janine Beckie for Canada, Megan Campbell for the Republic of Ireland, and Rose Lavelle for the USA also saw international action.  

Veteran goalkeeper Karen Bardsley has gone on loan to American side OL Reign through June.  The move allows her to see more minutes on the pitch.  Sam Mewis remains sidelined with a nagging injury for City.

  • Predicted Line-ups

Birmingham City 4-5-1:
Hannah Hampton (GK)
Rebecca Holloway, Ruby Mace, Harriet Scott, Sarah Mayling
 Jamie-Lyn Napier, Lucy Whipp, Ruesha Littlejohn, Chloe McCarron, Claudia Walker
Emily Murphy

Manchester City 4-3-3:
Ellie Roebuck (GK)
Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton, Abby Dahlkemper, Alex Greenwood
 Georgia Stanway, Keira Walsh, Caroline Weir
Chloe Kelly, Ellen White, Lauren Hemp

  • Ones to Watch

For Birmingham, Claudia Walker has been having a fantastic season.  She has five goals this WSL season, and is always a threat at the top of the box.  Fresh off her first senior squad call-up, Hampton is looking to further her growth.  Against the vaunted City attack, she will likely be very busy between the sticks.

As of late, one cannot talk about City without mentioning the amazing Weir.  She has been scoring at will lately; her goal in the Manchester Derby is one to be remembered.  White's scoring touch is just as deadly.  She recently took over the all-time WSL scoring record and had a hat trick against Northern Ireland. The City offence feeds off the amazing play-making of Kelly.  If she plays as she has been, City will have chances all afternoon.

  • Previous Meeting

It has been some time since the two teams last met.  The Citizens claimed a 2-1 victory in the Group Stage of the 2019 FA WSL Cup on goals from White and Weir.  The sides have not faced each other in league play since 2018.  City is flying high, posting a 9-0-1 record in their last ten in all competitions.  Birmingham, meanwhile,  has put up a 4-2-4 record over the same number of matches.

  • How to Watch

Sunday's match will now be played at St. Georges Park. Kick-off is slated for 14:00.

The match can be viewed internationally on the FA Player.

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