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Preview: Rovers Ladies v Birmingham City Women

Rovers begin their Continental Cup campaign against Super League opposition

7 October 2020

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The opening fixture of Rovers' 2020-21 Continental Tyres League Cup campaign sees Birmingham City visit Bamber Bridge this evening (7:45pm kick-off).

Gemma Donnelly's side welcome the Barclays FA Women's Super League outfit to Lancashire looking for a positive start in the competition. 

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the match…

GAME DETAILS

The Conti Cup group stage game is a 7:45pm kick-off on Wednesday 7 October at The Sir Tom Finney Stadium, Bamber Bridge. 

The game will be played behind closed doors and supporters are reminded not to travel to the stadium.

STATE OF PLAY

The pair were drawn in Group E alongside Leicester City, with all three teams playing each other once in a mini league.

The first placed team will automatically qualify for the quarter-finals, alongside the best two runners-up from all six groups. 

FORM GUIDE

Rovers have won one and lost two of their opening three FA Women's Championship fixtures, sitting ninth in the table. 

The Blues beat Crystal Palace 3-2 last time out after defeats to Leicester City and Charlton Athletic. 

Birmingham are yet to get off the mark in the Barclays FA Women's Super League, losing their first three league matches to Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester United and Chelsea.

However, they did progress into the semi-finals of the Women's FA Cup, defeating Brighton on penalties before losing 3-0 to Everton in the last four. 

TEAM NEWS

Rovers welcome back forward Ria Montgomery to the squad, who is now fit again after suffering a broken toe during pre-season. 

Defender Issy Dean is working her way back to fitness after missing the Crystal Palace game, while Lauren Thomas is awaiting surgery for her ruptured ACL. 

Hope Knight has made a return to training, but tonight's match will come too soon for her, and Milly Robertson, who continues to work hard with the medical team following her operation. 

Loanees Fran Bentley and Elise Hughes are both eligible for selection. 

OUR OPPONENTS

Birmingham City ended the shortened 2019-20 campaign with an 11th place finish in the top flight, narrowly avoiding relegation. 

They appointed former Sheffield United manager Carla Ward as their new boss in the summer and recruited a host of new players. 

New number 10 and co-captain Christie Murray came in from Liverpool, while fellow midfielder Mollie Green moved from Manchester United. 

Jamie Lee-Napier joined on a season-long loan from Chelsea and Chloe McCarron also joined, on a permanent deal from Linfield. 

Former Utah Royals defender Rachel Corsie completed City's summer incomings. 

Birmingham lost England international midfielder Lucy Staniforth to Manchester United, while Kerys Harrop and Rachel Williams moved across to Tottenham Hotspur. 

Freya Gregory also departed, joining Aston Villa and Adrienne Jordan left for Tenerife. 

Goalkeeper Alex Brooks left the club at the end of her contract to re-join Rovers.

PREVIOUS MEETING

The two sides played out a pre-season friendly at Bamber Bridge ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, but you have to go back a decade for the last time they met in a competitive fixture. 

Danielle Sheen scored the only goal of the game as Rovers triumphed over their then National Division opponents at Stratford Town FC in May 2010.

HOW TO FOLLOW  

The game will be available to view on the FA Player as a full match replay from midday on Thursday. 

The Club's official Twitter account, @RoversLadies, is the place to follow all the action as it happens, with build-up and live match updates followed by post-match reaction and video highlights.


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