WSL 2 Week Nine Preview: Bristol City looking to keep pressure on at the top

With every team in action in the WSL 2 this week, Bristol City will be looking to maintain pace with current leaders Yeovil.

WSL 2 Week Nine Preview: Bristol City looking to keep pressure on at the top
Everton and Bristol City will be looking to keep the pressure on Yeovil at the top | Picture: VAVEL UK.

We're starting to get to the business stage of the WSL this season, and it's still all to play for despite Yeovil Town's current two point advantage at the top of the table. However Bristol City will be looking to keep the pressure on their title rivals this week after both sides dropped points last time out. Meanwhile it's also hotting up for the teams behind them as the likes of Watford and Millwall bid to lift themselves off the bottom of the WSL 2.

Yeovil facing stern test

After a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Everton last week, Yeovil will be looking to bounce back as they bid to gain promotion to WSL 1. They face a tough game against a  Durham side who managed a 0-0 draw with Bristol City last time out, and are currently sitting above expectations in the league. They have two games in hand over their opponents on Sunday and a win could do wonders for what would be a hugely unlikely promotion. 

The North East side did lose last time the two teams met as goals from Sarah Wiltshire and Atlanta Primus sealed a 2-0 win for Yeovil last month. Revenge could be on the cards for Durham then as they look to take the positives from their draw last week and the fact they know they've only conceded seven times in the WSL this season. 

Bees hoping to sting Bristol promotion chances

The weekends first WSL 2 fixture is between the London Bees and Bristol City who play on Saturday evening. Bristol were relegated last season and will be looking to bounce back straight away, and victory against the Bees on Saturday will go a long way to doing just that.

They achieved a remarkable victory over  Chelsea in the Continental Cup not long ago, before beating  Oxford. However they suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Sheffield in their last encounter and therefore confidence could be dented going into a tough game for the visitors against Bristol.

Despite that they will be doing everything they can to put a sting in the tail of Bristol's title claims after their draw last weekend. They will take confidence from the fact they beat this weekend's opponents 3-0 when they last met, and after missing the chance to go top last week will be looking to put that right this time out and keep the pressure on Yeovil. 

Chloe Kelly, being hugged by her team mates, was in good form last time out | Photo: Everton Ladies.
Chloe Kelly, being hugged by her team mates, was in good form last time out | Photo: Everton Ladies.

Everton looking to end poor away form

The Merseyside club have two games in hand over promotion rivals Yeovil and Bristol, so another win here would only be good for their chances as they look to reach the WSL 1 again. However they will have to improve on their away form if they're to do that after just one win on the road in the league in 2016.

They travel to Abingdon for a match-up with Oxford United who have struggled this season and after a disappointing loss to Watford last time out they could find this game difficult. If you consider that they've gone four games without a win in the league then an Everton win is surely expected despite their poor away record.

If Oxford are to end their poor run though they will have to keep Arsenal loanee Chloe Kelly quiet who scored twice against Yeovil last weekend and has been impressive since joining the Toffees. 

Watford searching for third straight home win

It seems as though bottom placed side Watford are beginning to make Berkhamsted a bit of a fortress. Wins over Everton and Oxford in their previous two home outings have slightly overshadowed their poor early season form but there is still much work to do for Katie Rowson's players. Despite being on the end of a thrashing by Yeovil, they have seemed to be rejuvenated at home after the mid-season break.  

They do have a game in hand over the team above them and after finishing bottom last season will be hoping they can creep their way up the table. The Golden Girls face Aston Villa this week, who despite sitting in mid-table only just ended a dismal run of form last week with a win over Millwall. It may just be the right time for Watford to take on the Lady Villains then.

In-form Sheffield take on Millwall Lionesses

You couldn't get a bigger contrast in form between these two opponents. Sheffield have been excellent in recent weeks, winning their previous three WSL 2 encounters, including wins over both Bristol City and Everton. The Lionesses meanwhile haven't won since March and their confidence will be extremely low. This comes in a week when it was revealed that Oxford were granted a walkover after their game with the London side was postponed in May. 

The hosts Sheffield have played the least amount of matches in the WSL 2 this season so far, and with their games in hand will be looking to climb the table and finish in a respectable position. For Millwall, they will simply be hoping to end this poor run of form and ensure they don't finish bottom of the league with Watford looking to overtake them in the coming weeks.