The big game preview : Liverpool v Bristol

On Sunday we have a title decider between Liverpool and Bristol. How lucky is the FA to have that game on final day considering how unlikely Bristol was to be there at the end of the season. If anyone had predicted Bristol to finish better than 4th after Fishlock’s departure, I want their lottery and coupon prediction right now.

So what should we expect : 2 attacking teams with many foreign players as the English players will certainly be a minority on the day. Unless someone is injured on international duty, Liverpool will have the regular starting 11 that Matt Beard has used throughout the season. He has been very consistent in using the same 10 outfield players whenever possible.

So Liverpool should look like Laws, Bronze Bonner Engen Schroder, Omarsdottir Williams Da Costa, Fors Dowie Rolser. That team is well organised and roles perfectly defined. 2 attacking full backs, 2 solid center backs led by super talented Whitney Engen. A few weeks ago there was a mention Engen could join Tyreso after the international break but surely this can’t happen. A typical defensive midfielder Omarsdottir, a quaterback Williams a playmaker Da Costa is the midfield trio and up front two creative wingers Fors and Rolser combining with a powerful center forward Dowie.
They have scored 44 and conceded 19 so we will see a very attacking Liverpool team even if they only need a point to be crowned champions.

Bristol have scored 30 and conceded 18, they need a win so will try to attack although I am sure they won’t go with all guns blazing because of Rolser and Fors face linking with Williams and Da Costa passing accuracy. Predicting a starting 11 is more difficult as Mark Sampason has many many options especially in midfield and up front :
Chamberlain, McCatty Rose Matthews Yorston, Vega James Windell , Harding Pablos Sanchon Del Rio.
Heatherson and Watts can also start in attack depending on Del Rio’s fitness. Curson can also start in midfield as she has done in previous games. Bristol will look to use Harding’s pace on the wing, Del Rio trickery to create chances and Pablos Sanchon does not need much more than a half chance to score a goal. Bristol will we working really hard and might create opportunities from winning the ball back very high or from midfield positions and transfer the ball quickly to the attacking players.

As usual the referee will have a crucial role, you really don’t want the title to be decided by a dodgy decision. A game of that magnitude need quality refereeing and as it is broadcasted live, it will be there for all to see if something goes wrong. BT Sport will show the game on Sunday and it is great for the sport exposure.

So Liverpool are clear favorite to win the title but big games are won and lost on small margins ( players mistakes, tactical substitution etc ). Both teams have clear game plans and it should be a fascinating encounter. It should be a great story should Bristol win it as a local paper publisehed an interview where it was stated Liverpool budget was about 10 times the size of Bristol’s one. I would be surprised if the gap is that big to be honest but the underdog winning would please many people.

Liverpool should be praised because their bold approach to women’s football as been rewarded. They invested massively ( still dwarfed by many european teams though) and are rewarded with Champions League football and a possible title. And a last interesting fact. Should Arsenal or Birmingham win the 2013/14 Champions League, England would have 3 teams in 2014/15.

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