LCWFC Vs Bradford City – Preview
Leicester City Women will get their new Women’s Premier League campaign underway when they welcome Bradford City Women to the Riverside Pavilion on Sunday afternoon.
This will be the Foxes’ first home match on the opening day in four years and the club will be looking to make the perfect start in their final league match at the Riverside.
Fourteen goals were shared between the two sides when they met in the league last term with both recording a victory each.
Foxes look to make a bright start:
Jonathan Morgan’s side enjoyed a highly respectable first season back in the Northern Division as the Leicestershire outfit surprised many to finish third.
Leicester will be aiming to bridge the gap between themselves and champions Blackburn Rovers Ladies when the 2017/18 campaign kicks-off this week.
The Blues have already reinforced their squad by bringing in a plethora of quality players – such as Leigh Dugmore, Olivia Mitcham and goalkeeper Charlotte Clarke – with many impressing over the summer.
Signs during a busy pre-season schedule have been very promising. The Foxes recorded wins over Women’s Super League side Sheffield Ladies and MK Dons Ladies, who were beaten 4-1 at home.
Bradford will look to improve:
Bradford City Women are entering their fifth successive season at this level and have consistently performed in the league.
The Bantams finished in a disappointing eighth last season, though, their lowest position in the last five years.
Bradford beat Leicester City Women 4-1 last October before succumbing to a 5-4 defeat in the reverse fixture.
Charlotte Stuart’s side will be without last season’s top goalscorer, Hannah Campbell, after she moved to Huddersfield Town Ladies this summer.
Wins over Hull City Ladies, Barnsley Ladies, Sheffield United Ladies and Newcastle United Women during pre-season has been ideal preparation for the weekend.
City have failed to win their last four season openers in the Northern Division following their 2-0 loss to Derby County Ladies last August.
Ones to Watch:
Sophie Domingo – Domingo netted 14 goals in Leicester’s first season back in the Northern Division and even caught the attentions of England scouts towards the end of the campaign.
The youngster is able to play across the front line and, due to her lightning pace and finishing ability, will get goals wherever she plays.
Domingo returned to face MK Dons Ladies this week and will be one to keep
an eye on against Bradford.
Laura Elford – With Campbell leaving Bradford this summer, it will be up to Laura Elford to fill her boots this season. Elford scored 17 goals last term – three of which coming against Leicester – and will be a threat if she starts in two days time.
Some stunning end of season form has continued during pre-season after scoring six goals against Newcastle and Sheffield United respectively.
View from the managers:
Jonathan Morgan: “We’re definitely more prepared than last year, for this league. We came into this league not knowing what to expect, and obviously we lost 4-0 to Fylde on the first game, we’re definitely not looking to do that this year.
“As like Bradford, we’re both going out there for the win, looking for a positive start. but we’ve had a good pre-season and we’ve brought in some good players and we feel very prepared for Sunday.
“Everybody can take points of every other team in this league, I think the start of the season, to start fast, to start positive to build up momentum, like Blackburn did last year. That will go along way to winning this title for any team that gets lucky enough to have that fantastic start.
Charlotte Stuart: “I couldn’t of asked for a more positive pre-season, the new players we have brought in and our current players have worked really hard and have really started to gel, we can’t wait to start the season.
“Last season I took the [player-manager] role very close to the start of the season which left hardly anytime for preparation. So I am very happy right with where we are at.
“First games of the season are always exciting, Leicester are a strong physical team so I am sure it will be a battle.”
You can see Leicester City Women take on Bradford City Women at the Riverside Pavilion, LE12 7UU, on Sunday at 2:00pm. Tickets are £4 for adults and £2 for children. A matchday programme is included with the price of the ticket. Come and support your local women’s team!