Manager Matt Beard called upon his team to, "draw on everything we’ve been through together and put it into one last performance" in order to take all the points against Brighton & Hove Albion and potentially pull off the great escape. Bristol City have spent nearly the entirety of the Women's Super League season rooted to the bottom of the table following a dreadful start which saw them not pick up a single win in their first 10 matches. However, since Beard took over as maternity cover for manager Tanya Oxtoby, the side has picked up 10 points in 11 games. 

City are two points behind relegation rivals Aston Villa, but will be hopeful that the Villans lose when they travel to third place Arsenal. For Brighton, there is little to play for. The Seagulls are level on points with Reading in the battle for sixth place, capping off a similarly impressive second half of the season.

  • Team News

Brighton, who are in with a chance of getting their first ever top-half finish in their history, have a full complement of players available for Sunday's match. They are also boosted by the return to goal-scoring form for Lee Geum-Min, who scored her first goals of the season when she grabbed a brace with just 30 seconds between them. For a side that has really struggled in front of goal this season, it is a timely boost as they look to over take Reading in the hunt for sixth place.

Bristol City are boosted by the returns of some long term injuries. Meaghan Sargeant has recently returned to the first team after a spell out. The Robins are also boosted by the return of Jesse Woolley, who came on as a substitute to make her first appearance in 19 months following injury.

  • Predicted line-ups

Brighton predicted XI: Walsh (gk), Le Tissier, Kerkdijk, Williams, Koivisto, Simpkins, Whelan, Kaagman, Green, Lee, Heroum 

Bristol City predicted XI: Baggaley (gk), Bryson, Sargeant, Evans, Purfield, Humphrey, Skeels, Salmon, Pike, Daniëls, Wellings

  • Ones to watch

In a side that relies heavily on its defence for its success, any reliable goal scorers are invaluable. With seven goals to her name, Inessa Kaagman has been worth her weight in gold for the Seagulls. The Dutch midfielder has had a poor season in terms of creativity, failing to register a single assist. However, she has made up for that by having her most prolific season in front of goal.

In a side that is more about defensive discipline and hard work, Kaagman provides the sparkle of ingenuity and quality that has been the difference between a relegation fight and a comfortable mid-table finish.

The biggest break out season for Bristol City and perhaps in the league has been Ebony Salmon. The centre forward's goals have been central to the revival of the club, and even earned her a first England cap. In the last meeting between the clubs, Salmon scored a brace to win the Robins their first three points.

While she has not been as lethal in recent weeks as she was in that mid-season spell, if Bristol City are to grab all three points and potential safety, their attacking hopes will rest on the young forward's shoulders.

  • Previous meetings

The reverse fixture back in January was poignantly the most crucial fixture in Bristol City's season. The Robins, following a run of four losses and 18 goals conceded in the league, blew away Brighton 3-0 and kickstarted their brilliant recovery. The sides most recently met last month in the Women's FA Cup,  where a Kaagman goal won the tie and sent the Seagulls through to the next round.

  • How to watch

The match will kick off Sunday at 14:30pm (GMT) at Twerton Park and will be shown on the FA Player.

About the author