When these sides last met, the London City Lionesses came out victorious, winning 3-1. However, both teams have seen changes since that fixture in 2019. The Lionesses have a new head coach and Leicester City have strengthened their squad and transitioned into full time professionals, making this an exciting fixture.
After a narrow 1-0 defeat away at Blackburn last time out, the Lionesses will be looking to bounce back after a break from domestic football due to International fixtures. Leicester City will be coming into this fixture full of confidence having won 4-1 in their last game against Crystal Palace.
With more preparation time for this fixture and considering what will make the difference between getting the three points or not, Head Coach Melissa Phillips said “I think for us it's about having belief in our identity and doing that through clarifying our values and roles as a team. So, we’ve done a lot of small group individual functional sessions that have really helped us gasp what we’re trying to do".
“I think it has helped the players feel confident going into the next match, but also just a bit of excitement. We've kept it fun, kept it competitive, raised the level and have made sure that everyone is engaged during this break.”
The Lionesses have been on the wrong side of results, though dominating possession in large parts of recent games and piling on the pressure, goals have not come. What are they going to do differently to deliver the three points?
Phillips sets out the plan saying, “It’s mentality and it’s details. It’s making sure that our response to any certain situation, anything that happens in the game is always forward thinking and ultimately the team are all pulling in the same direction and that’s having a really clear understanding of roles, values and goals of where we’re trying to go, and that’s been the focus.”
Midfielder Annie Rossiter joined Phillips at this week’s press conference. The Lionesses #11 was part of last year’s squad in the Lionesses inaugural season, so has faced Leicester in the past. What sort of a challenge does she think it will be?
“I think they're a very good team. They’ve strengthened and gone full time.”
“We've seen them play there. They're very good at keeping the ball and punishing teams. So, we’ve just got to be prepared for that. And I think if we go out there and play our game, we'll have a very good chance.”
Having made 6 appearances from the bench Rossiter would obviously like to be in the starting line-up but knows she must work hard and continue to develop her game.
“On a personal note I’d like to be in the team but at the same time it’s all about improving for me, I’m still 19, so every day I’m out on the pitch with the girls and it’s another chance for me to improve and show Mel what I can do.”
You can follow the build-up to Sunday’s game at 2pm along with live match updates via the London City Lionesses Twitter feed @LC_Lionesses
By Will Oxenham Babb