Crystal Palace .vs. London City Lionesses (Barclays Women’s Championship)
Hayes Lane Stadium on Sunday 15 January at 18:00
On Sunday [15 January], London City Lionesses will make the short trip from Princes Park to Haynes Lane to face Crystal Palace in the Barclays Women’s Championship.
Melissa Phillips and the Lionesses have already faced Crystal Palace this term, falling to a 1-0 defeat on the opening weekend of the season.
However, London City have found their stride since then. The Lionesses have posted six wins, three draws, and one loss in the league and travel to South London with a spring in their step after advancing in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.
“It’s Crystal Palace under the lights, which creates a faster dynamic in the match: it’s a derby game and they’re the only team that we have dropped all three points to this season,” Phillips explained in her weekly media availability.
“It’s going to be a competitive match and we look forward to it. But we know that we’ve been brilliant on the road and it’s a credit to how the players and staff prepare because no stone is left unturned in the week.”
Since their win over the Lionesses to start the season, Crystal Palace have slotted into the middle of the pack in the Women’s Championship. Dean Davenport’s squad hold a record of five wins and four losses on the season.
“Palace have a squad full of really good players,” Phillips said when asked to review the Eagles. “They’re dangerous, unpredictable, and lead the league in possession stats. When we played them last time, it was a very high-level match that was decided by fine margins. I’m sure it will be another high-quality game where we have to be clinical and really focussed on our performance.”
London City will have to keep an eye on 21-year-old forward Elise Hughes. The Wales international leads Crystal Palace with four league goals this season and has formed a dangerous relationship with Annabel Blanchard, who scored twice to eliminate Watford from the Vitality Women’s FA Cup.
But the Lionesses have plenty of their own threats, including top scorer Sarah Ewens (six).
Rianna Jarrett’s return to fitness is another boost for London City, with the Republic of Ireland international looking forward to this weekend’s duel with Crystal Palace.
“We haven’t played them since the first week of the season and I know that we have made lots of improvements since then,” she explained. “We’re excited to put our best foot forward against them, but we know it’s not going to be easy. They play a number of different formation and like to keep the ball. It’s a different challenge from what we have faced recently, but we’re excited for it.”
Tickets are available to be purchased from Crystal Palace: it would be brilliant to see you at Hayes Lane this weekend!