Birmingham City will be relegated from the WSL for the first time if they fail to beat the Champions League by chasing Manchester City at the Academy Stadium on Wednesday.
The Blues – founding members of the WSL back in 2011 – currently sit five points behind second from bottom Leicester with two games remaining, meaning only a challenging victory on Wednesday evening will preserve their top flight status.
They couldn’t ask for a much tougher test in the shape of a Manchester City side who have won 11 games on the bounce in all competitions, found the net seven times last time out against Brighton and also need to win to ensure their own Champions League hopes remain in their hands.
When is kick off? Wednesday 5 May, 19:00 (BST)
Where is the match being played? academy stadium
TV channel/live stream? FA Player (UK & international)
highlights? FA Player, BBC Sport website
Referee? elizabeth simms
Gareth Taylor confirmed that Wednesday evening’s match will likely be ‘too close’ for Vicky Losada and Jess Park as the pair continue their comeback from their respective knee and calf injuries.
Steph Houghton and Esme Morgan remain long-term absentees for Manchester City, having been ruled out for the season through injury.
Sarah Ewens has been included in Birmingham’s last two match day squads as she continues her comeback from a shoulder injury sustained in February, but has been an unused sub on both occasions.
Darren Carter’s side turned in a spirited performance against Chelsea last time out, coming so close to taking a point off the champions, and could line up identically against City.
Manchester City (4-3-3): Roebuck; Bronze, Kennedy, Greenwood, Blakstad; Walsh, Weir, Stanway; Kelly, Shaw, Hemp
Birmingham (5-3-2): Ramsay; Cowie, Scott, Quinn, Lawley, Robertson; Finn, Murray, Pennock; Sarri, Quinn
Birmingham have proven stubborn opposition in recent weeks, taking four points against Everton and Brighton and only narrowly losing to Chelsea due to a Pernille Harder penalty.
But Manchester City are currently the WSL’s form team and have been blitzing past opponents on a weekly basis. Lauren Hemp and Caroline Weir have been unstoppable, and the return of Chloe Kelly has made Taylor’s side an even more formidable attacking force. City will claim all three points and bring an end to Birmingham’s stay in the WSL.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-0 Birmingham