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Preston V Cardiff City Preview

Sunday’s early Championship fixture is between Preston North End and Cardiff City. Both clubs have four points from their opening four games prior to the international break.

Preston come into this match after a fantastic 4-2 win away at Brentford, while Cardiff held a free scoring Blackburn at Ewood Park last time out. Preston currently sit in 14th place whilst Cardiff are 16th.

Last season’s fixture saw the Bluebirds win 3-1 as they made a run into the playoffs. Historically, however, Deepdale has not been a happy hunting ground. Cardiff having lost by three goals in 2017,2016, 2010 as well as a 6-0 defeat in 2009. The latter resulting in the swing in goal difference that allowed Preston to beat Cardiff to the Play-offs.

Team News

For Preston Alan Browne is unlikely after being in close contact with with an ireland teammate who has tested positive for Covid-19. Browne has given a negative test but under current rules must still isolate for 10 days.

Preston Manager Alex Neil told Lancaster News:

“I presume at the moment that alan won’t be available, but I’m not quite sure. We need to take medical advice although we’ve already had some discussion with the doctor”.

Browne was forced to miss both of Irelands Nations League games this week.

There was, however, better news for midfielder Daniel Johnson:

“DJ to be fair was making good progress just before the international break. But he’d only trained once or twice with us before the Brentford game which wasn’t quite enough. He trained with us on Tuesday this week and hopefully will do so for the remainder of the week”.

Cardiff, meanwhile, will be without playmaker Lee Tomlin who is suspended after his red card at Blackburn. Joe Ralls will most likely play just behind the striker for Cardiff after returning from injury in the Blackburn game.

Kieffer Moore limped off during Wales’ game v England, but did play in the game against Ireland.

Speaking to Wales Online, Cardiff manager Neil Harris said:

“Kieffer’s come back to us. Fortunately he’s healing well, so has a good chance for the weekend”.

Another problem for Harris is the fitness of full back Joe Bennett who had to come off at Blackburn after just 13 minutes:

“Joe Bennett came off with a hamstring, so we have to keep an eye on that. We’ll have to wait and see”.

Key Players

Scott Sinclair has enjoyed a really good start to the season with three goals in four games. The winger who will know Cardiff well having been a former Swansea City player will be desperate to make it four goals. a wide player who likes to get into the box, he will be a handful for the Cardiff defence.

For the Bluebirds, Joe Ralls will need to be the creative force and push forward to support Moore. Cardiff forwards have often looked isolated this season so Ralls will need to be quick to support Moore when Cardiff play direct. He has the passing ability to open up the Preston defence and if Kieffer Moore can get into good spaces they can be a real threat. Preston will also have to watch out for his set piece play.

Where to Watch

This game is being shown live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event from 11:30 with a 12:00 kick off.

Prediction: Preston North End 1 – 1 Cardiff City

Two teams who have started slow and unlikely to change this weekend. Cardiff will be the happier side with a point away from home.

Blackburn Rovers v cardiff city: preview

Sixth placed Blackburn welcome Cardiff City to Ewood Park this Saturday in matchday four of the Championship. Rovers come into the game in good form following big wins over Wycombe and Derby (5v0 and 4v0). Cardiff lost for a second time this season last time out falling to Reading 2v1. Last season the sides drew 0-0 at Ewood Park while Blackburn won at Cardiff City Stadium 3-2. The Bluebirds are without a win in Blackburn since 2012 so will face a huge task to pick up the points.

Team News

Cardiff manager Neil Harris confirm that Lee Tomlin and Josh Murphy would be unlikely to play 90 minutes. The pair could make an appearance from the bench again as they did against Reading, Tomlin scoring for Cardiff. There could be returns for Joe Ralls and Joe Bennett, with harris saying:

“Both trained today (Thursday) which is really good news”. “Hopefully they train tomorrow and be ready for the weekend”.

As for Blackburn Corry Evans and Sam Gallagher have both trained this week with Rovers boss Tonybray saying:

“Corry Evans has come back training this morning (Thursday), Sam Gallagher has trained this week“.

He continued:

“Tyler Magloire is another two weeks and there are a couple of other younger players on the route back”.

Joe Rankin-Costello is ruled out with a slight hamstring strain.

Managers

Cardiff boss on Blackburns good start:

“Blackburn have been in good form the last couple of weeks, scored some good goals, every opportunity they’ve had has gone in”.

“They’ve got good players and attacking players, good continuity. They’ve added two or three. They are a dangerous side at the moment, Adam Armstrong a top striker at this level”.

When asked about a lack of creativity:

“I think that’s a fair assessment. When you play at home and its 0-0 and you haven’t started great you want the fans to get behind you”. “We have had moments but not sustained periods”.

“We had it at Nottingham Forest our best 45 minutes of the season. Against Reading we were the better team, dominated the stats, but didn’t win the game”.

Tony Mowbray focus on his players speaking about Sam Gallagher:

“As long as he comes through training today. He’s trained all week, he’s trained a little bit at the end of last week and if he gets through today he’ll be in some form of contention this weekend”.

Key Players

For Blackburn Adam Armstrong is in fine form scoring four in Blackburns last two wins, with a total of five for the season. With Gallagher doubtful they will be looking for Armstrong to lead the line.

Cardiff most likely without Tomlin from the start and possibly no Joe Ralls will have to find a solution to fill the gap in the number 10 role. With callum Paterson leaving this week to join Sheffield Wednesday, Leandro Bacuna will be the man tasked with sparking some creativity for the Bluebirds.

Prediction: Blackburn 2 v 0 Cardiff

Blackburn have been scoring for fun and Cardiff will do well to stop them. A lack of service for Kieffer Moore has seen the striker playing off scraps. History is also against Cardiff, this should be a comfortable win for Blackburn.

Manchester city book wembley place

Manchester City secured their place in the FA Cup Final with a 2-1 win over Arsenal at The Academy Stadium. Sam Mewis scored the winner with her first goal in English football. Steph Houghton had given City the lead before a stunning strike from Jordan Nobbs leveled the game.

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro commented during his pre match interview that the game would go to who took control early. This turned out to be the case as City started the brightest, getting their passing game going early. Arsenal struggled to gain a foothold in the early exchanges.

City Start strong

City created some early half chances Mewis shooting wide after some good interplay with Lucy Bronze. Sam Mewis was pulling the strings in midfield linking up well with Chole Kelly as City continue to work down the right side. A long cross field pass from Houghton finding Kelly deep inside the Arsenal half, but her shot from the right side went over the bar.

Despite their good work down the right, City’s opening goal came from the left. City won a freekick five/six yards from the Arsenal 18 yard box, just left of the goal. Houghton fired the ball over the wall and into the corner of the goal giving Arsenal keeper Zinsberger no chance.

City 1-0 Arsenal 19′

Arsenal struggling to get their passing flowing and were chasing shadows for long periods of the first half. Vivianne Miedema cut a lonely figure as the Gunners were unable to get the dutch forward in to the game. They did get level slightly against the run of play. Jordan Nobbs with a stunning first time strike looping the ball up and over Ellie Roebuck from 30 yards.

City 1-1 Arsenal 38′

Arsenals parity lasted just two minutes as City fired straight back. A fast pass cross along the six yard box form Chole Kelly towards the incoming Ellen White, who was blocked from goal by Leah Williamson. White managed to play the ball back towards the incoming Mewis who fired home. Arsenal players clamed a handball as White pulled the ball back but the referee gave the goal.

City 2-1 Arsenal 40′

Arsenal pressed for a second equaliser in the second half, Miedema latched on to a through ball and looked to be clear. Demi Stokes followed the run and made a superb challenge in the box, forcing Miedema inside but Stokes was there again to deny the Arsenal forward.

Arsenal kept going and had their best chance in stoppage time. A McCabe free kick straight into the wall fell back to her and she drove into the city box. Whipping a cross along the city six yard box towards Miedema charging in for a free header. With the goal wide open for Miedema to level the game, City keeper Ellie Roebuck’s outstretched hand pushed the ball away from the Arsenal player.

Full-Time City 2-1 Arsenal

After the game Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro told BBC Two:

“They dominated the first 60 minutes, they were better than us and we have no excuses”. “Its disappointing because we had the capacity to play well but tonight wasn’t the night”.

Arsenal’s Jordan Nobbs also offered no excuse telling BBC Two:

“They dominated in the first half and were the better team. We didn’t keep the ball very well at times but in the second half we showed we can play football and if we played like that in the first half we would have been the better team”.

Manchester City boss Gareth Taylor said:

“We played really well in the first half and I was really impressed with the performance and it could arguably have been a bigger lead going into half time”.

Speaking to BBC Two he went on:

“Arsenal had a really good go in the second half and it was fairly tight at the end but we came through”.

A deserved win for Manchester City that sees them head to Wembley to face Everton in the final. Arsenal gave a decent showing in the second half but overall the better team won.

Player of the Match

Sam Mewis gave a player of the match performance getting the winning goal but also pulling the strings in the middle of the park. She linked up well with Chole Kelly and looks to be one of the star players in the WSL this season.

Cardiff City v ReadinG Preview

Cardiff City will host Reading on Saturday in matchday three of the championship. The bluebirds head into the fixture on the back of a good 2-0 away win at Nottingham Forest. Reading have managed two wins from two beating against both Derby and Barnsley by two goals to nil.

Rivalry

The two sides met four times last season drawing both league meetings and two FA Cup games. Reading won the reply on penalties. So expect another tight contest. There was plenty of off the field between the two clubs as well with Reading accusing Cardiff supporters of racist/homophobic chanting at the Madejski and a Reading supporter being ejected at the return fixture for mocking the death of Emiliano Sala.

The Managers

Cardiff boss Neil Harris held a virtual press conference this week and said:

“After three points on Saturday and a dominant performance, of course everyone is on a high in the training ground,”

Neil continued:

“If you can win two or three games in a rowit shoots you up the division, the same as losing three or four. That’s where consistency becomes vital over a period of time. We didn’t have it in our first game, but in the second game we were very good.

“This week to the same against Reading, we’ll have to play very well. We’ll have to be solid defensively against a very good front four, and create goal scoring opportunities from a combination of fluent football, set plays and direct play”.

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic said ahead of the game:

“Cardiff are a good team though coming from a good result. We know their strengths. And, on the other side, we know what we can do welland this is what we can improve”.

Players to Watch

For Cardiff striker Kieffer Moore will be looking to add to his two goals at Forest last week. The big forward is key to Cardiff’s attack with his hold up play as important as his goals.

Marlon Pack played a vital part in Cardiff’s win protecting the back four and helping build up Cardiff Attacks. He told Cardiff City TV:

“Without there being any supporters in there its a bit different, but you still want to create an atmosphere and an intensity at your home stadium”.

For Reading Yakou Meite haunted Bluebird fans last term scoring three times. He has one already for this season scoring from the bench in the 2-0 win v Barnsley.

Portuguese international Lucas Joao for has a flying start to the season and has netted four goals in all competitions. A hat trick in the EFL cup against Colchester and the opening goal in the win at Derby.

How To Watch

This game is avaible to watch on ifollow or can be seen on Cardiff City TV.

Prediction; Cardiff City 1-0 Reading

This will be a close game Reading are in good form but the Bluebirds will be feeling good after a two nil win away to Forest. Cardiff to edge this won.

Womens FA Cup quarter Final Preview

2019/2020 FA Cup Resumes

As strange as its sounds to talk about FA Cup Quarter Finals in September, with all that’s going on in the world credit to the FA for finishing last season Women’s FA Cup.

FA Director of the women’s professional game Kelly Simmons said:

“A significant amount of work has been going on behind the scenes to ensure the Women’s FA Cup can be completed and I am delighted that we have received the necessary approval for its conclusion”.

Simmons continued:

“The Women’s FA Cup is a showpiece fixture in the football calendar and because of that there was a huge appetite for the remaining rounds to be played”.

The show piece final will take place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 31st of October. But before that we have the quarter and semi finals to be played.

The quarter finals will take place this weekend starting with the north London derby on Saturday (Kick off 17:15). The winners of this will face the winners of Leicester City v Manchester City who met on Sunday at 14:00. Also on Sunday Everton host Chelsea at 13:00 with the winners facing Brighton or Birmingham who will face off at 14:00.

All games will be played behind closed doors. Arsenal’s game with Tottenham will be shown on BBC2 from 5pm on Saturday. While Everton v Chelsea will be streamed on the FA Player.

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

Arsenal head into this derby fixture having gotten off to a flying start in the WSL. With 9-1 and 6-1 wins over West ham and Reading respectively. The gunners have been on fire in front of goal. Tottenham however have suffered defeat to Everton 1-0 and drew with West ham 1-1.

New Arsenal player Steph Catley spoke to the clubs website about the competition:

“Its a brand new experience for me. the reason you play football is to win trophies, so to come in at such a late stage and be really close to winning one is really exciting”

Arsenal boast a wealth of international talent within their squad. Dutch midfielder Jill Roord has had a great start with six goals in two games. While fellow Netherlands international Vivianne Miedema has scored four goals so far. The Gunners also boast the likes of England stars Beth Mead and Jordan Nobbs, Dutch attacker Danielle Van de Donk and Scotland international Kim Little. Joe Montemurro’s side, therefore, must be considered heavy favourites.

Tottenham will be no push over’s, however, after recently signing US legend and World Cup winner Alex Morgan. Alex spoke to the club website about coming to play in England:

“I’ve heard so many great things about the WSL and some of my team-mates from the national team have come over and signed with other clubs in the WSL”. “I wanted to challenge myself and play in a different league”.

Players To Watch

For Arsenal Jill Roord and Vivianne Miedema have been scoring for fun. Jordan Nobbs and Danielle Van de Donk will also play an important part for Arsenal. As for Tottenham Australia defender Alanna Kennedy will need to be at her best. Anna Filbey will be looking to continue her good form, after Wales’ narrow 1-0 defeat to Norway. But there could be a staring role for Alex Morgan who may make her first appearance.

Prediction: Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham

Everton V Chelsea

Everton host Chelsea in Sundays early game Kick off 13:00. The game will be streamed live on the FA Player.

Everton head into this game on the back of two wins in the WSL. A 1-0 victory over Tottenham and a 4-0 win over Bristol City. Lucy Graham scored twice in the win over Bristol while Isobel Christiansen got the winner against Tottenham.

Chelsea opened the WSL with at draw away to Manchester United (1-1) with a goal from Sam Kerr. In their second game they hammered Bristol City by nine goals. Kirby, Mjelde, Leupolz, Cuthbert, Bright, England, Charles, Harder and Kerr all getting on the scoresheet.

In the last five meeting between these side Chelsea have won four and there has been one draw. Everton’s last win was in 2013 when they won 3-2.

Players To Watch

For Everton Ingrid Wold the Norwegian international helped Norway to a 1-0 win over Wales on Tuesday will be key to stopping Chelsea’s So-Yun Ji, Fran kirby and Beth England. Scotland international Lucy Graham has two goals for the season and will be looking to add more.

For Chelsea they have world stars right across the squad. Norwegian trio Maren Mjelde, Maria Thorisdottir and Guro Reiten. Sophie Ingle, So-Yon Ji, Fran Kirby can all change games. While Sam Kerr is one of the best strikers in the world.

Prediction: Everton 0-4 Chelsea

Brighton V Birmingham City

These sides met each other on the opening day of the WSL season. Brighton won the game by two goals to nil, with stikes from Megan Connolly and Inessa Kaagman. The score flattered the Blues as Brighton hit fifteen attempts to their four.

Brighton’s second game saw them hold Man City to a goalless draw. They sit in sixth place after two games. After finishing ninth at the early end of last season Brighton will want to push on this season.

Birmingham’s poor start continued with a 5-2 defeat to Manchester United. They did lead in the match after conceding early. A Claudia Walker equaliser and an own goal from Abbie McManus giving them a brief lead. United leveled before the break, then hit three without reply in the second half.

Players to Watch

For Brighton Inessa Kaagman and Kayleigh Green will be important. Also 18 year old english defender Maya Le Tissier has looked a great talent in the first two rounds of the WSL. Birmingham will be looking for more goals from Claudia Walker.

Prediction: Brighton 2-0 Birmingham City

Leicester City v Manchester City

Leicester enter the quarter finals as the only Championship side remaining in the competition. They have begun their season with a 3-0 win over Blackburn and a 2-2 draw with Sheffield United. They sit second in the championship on goal difference.

FA Cup holders Manchester City have a win and draw in their opening WSL fixtures. City boss Gareth Taylor spoke to clubs website ahead of this game saying:

“The girls are under no illusions that we need to be better in the final third with our decision-making and final action where it matters”.

Taylor continued:

“Goals are important and of course, we don’t want to concede any. Its a positive in that respect- we’ve had two clean sheets”.

Aoife Mannion, Megan Campbell and Lauren Hemp are all confirmed to be out of contention though injuries. In positive news though Rose Lavelle may get her first start.

Players to Watch

For Leicester Natasha Flint has three goals in two games for the season. Millie Farrow has one goal in one and is another Leicester player to watch. Manchester City have an outstanding squad of international players, however, keep an eye on American pair Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis.

Prediction: Leicester City 0-3 Manchester City