General view of the Amex Stadium. Brighton and Hove Albion Women v Arsenal Women WSL football match, Amex Stadium, Brighton, UK - 28 Apr 2019 Photo: Kunjan Malde for The FA

PREVIEW: Brighton & Hove Albion v Birmingham City

Last season, Brighton & Hove Albion hosted Arsenal at The Amex Stadium setting a then record attendance of 5,265.

Hope Powell’s side will be hoping to attract more fans to the South Coast this weekend when they host Birmingham City.

With 77,768 fans turning up to watch England against Germany last week, the first Women’s Football Weekend is an excellent opportunity to attract more fans to the FA Women’s Super League. The Amex Stadium will not be the only big stadium to host games this weekend with Anfield, the Madejski Stadium and the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium welcoming FA Women’s Super League teams and their fans.

The Seagulls have lost their last three games and are still in search of their first league win of the season. Despite their struggles, Brighton & Hove Albion will have gained confidence from keeping a clean sheet in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup against last year’s FA Women’s Super League winners Arsenal. However, their struggles continue in-front of goal having only scored two league goals so far this season. Last time out against Everton, Albion created plenty of chances but failed to convert.

Birmingham City lost a number of important players during the summer including, Aoife Mannion, Hayley Ladd and Ellen White. The ninth-placed Birmingham City have struggled to find form at the start of the season having lost their opening three games. However, a 2-0 home victory against bottom side Liverpool before the international break, will give them confidence against a struggling Brighton side.

Player to watch – Lea Le Garrec

Le Garrec joined The Seagulls in the summer from French side Guingamp. The French midfielder, who won the UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship back in 2010, has become a key part of Powell’s
side. The former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder is composed on the ball and is not afraid to shoot from distance if given the opportunity. If Le Garrec can link up with likes of Ellie Brazil, Aileen Whelen and Ini Umotong then their fortunes in-front of goal should change.

Previous meetings

It was honours even last season with both sides winning their home game. Birmingham City won the first meeting of the season 1-0 with the now Manchester City defender Aoife Mannion scoring the only goal. Brighton & Hove Albion won the second meeting coming from behind to win 2-1. England forward Ellen White gave the Blues the lead but goals from Kayleigh Green and Ellie Brazil saw The Seagulls over the line.

Starting XIs in previous games

Brighton & Hove Albion (v Everton) – Walsh, Lundorf, Williams, Kerkdijk, Gibbons, Le Tissier, Bowman, Le Garrec, Brazil, Green, A. Whelen.

Birmingham City (v Liverpool) – Hampton, Mayling, Holloday, Harrop, Jordan, Arthur, Visalli, Staniforth, Whipp, Grant, Williams.

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