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London City Lionesses vs Blackburn Rovers: Match Preview

The Lionesses return to the confines of Princes Park for the first time in the league since September to take on a Blackburn Rovers side that is trending upwards.

After the Lionesses' successful trip to Sunderland, they remains second in the table with 13 points, having taken 13 of the available 15 points in the last five league games.

Last weekend marked Blackburn’s second triumph of the season, defeating Coventry United in a five-goal back-and-forth thriller at Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

The Rovers began their campaign with a win and then three consecutive losses in the league, but have started to turn the page, drawing Charlton on the road after going up two goals within 30 minutes, and outlasting Coventry at home.

Despite sitting 10th in the Championship table, Blackburn is tied for fourth in the league in most goals scored. The Rovers have netted at least one goal in five out of their six games in the Championship this season.

Their attack is led by the former Manchester United youth player, Saffron Jordan who is responsible for five goals in the league this season.

She has scored in four straight matches in the Championship, netting a goal in every game but three in all competitions.

Blackburn takes its goal-scoring prowess up against the Lionesses' stable defense.

The London City backline ranks second in the league in fewest goals allowed, and are on a run of four straight clean sheets after shutting out Sunderland on the road.

Sarah Ewens leads the Lionesses attack that has seven different goal scorers in the league this season.

On Sunday against the Black Cats, Ewens added another goal to her season total, bringing it to five. Overall, the Scottish striker has remarkably netted at least one goal in four consecutive contests.

London City has won four out of their five contests against Blackburn, including the two meetings last season with the one at Princes Park finishing 3-1 in favor of the home side.

Melissa Phillips and the Lionesses aim to continue to keep the pressure up on Bristol City at the top while Blackburn Rovers sit in a five-way tie on seven points, hoping to take advantage of dropped points by the clubs around them.

Shanade Hopcroft

Speaking on the previous performance on the road against Sunderland, she stated:

"It's always hard going away from home, let alone playing in such stormy conditions!

"It was important for us to match their physicality, essepcailly when playing on their home ground, but we are really happy that we added another three points to the season total in order to continue this streak in the league."

Hopcroft looked ahead to the team's return to Princes Park against Blackburn, stating:

"Overall, I am expecting a similar game when it comes to the physicality that it took against Sunderland.

"Our focus as a team is to fight and scrap for every point up for grabs, and what helps us in that fight is having the fans behind us."

Ahead of the club's first match at home since September, Hopcroft expressed the importance of having the fans and sister club Aylesbury United FC behind them, stating:

"I love it so much, it gets me going even more because they've come all this way to see me and the rest of the team, and they don't have to.

"It's nice to have that constant support, watching the little girls looking up to us is always nice to see."

Head Coach, Melissa Phillips

"Blackburn have scored on nearly every opponent they have played this season and we know the threats that Saffron Jordan will pose as she leads the league in goals alongside Sarah.

"We take a lot of pride in limiting transition moments to negate opposition opportunities in and around our box. This is something that will continue to be a focus for us alongside controlling the tempo of the game in possession.

"We are excited to be back at home after playing most of our opening matches on the road. Looking forward to building on the momentum we've created and we know that comes through us focusing on another solid team performance this weekend."

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