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Tough Test in Tyresö – Blues Ladies Preview

While the men’s side face off against Leeds on Saturday seeking to avoid the ignominy of relegation Blues Ladies play Tyresö FF on Sunday knowing that a win or score draw will see them through to the UEFA Women’s Champions League final in Lisbon on May 22.

Beating Tyresö FF will not be an easy task. The Swedish side has a 100% home record in this edition of the UWCL, having scored fourteen goals and conceded just two at Tyresövallen in three games including an 8-1 mauling of Austrian side Neulengbach in the quarter-finals. American striker Christen Press is equal top goalscorer in the competition with seven goals in 540 minutes of action.

However, the game will also be an emotional one for Tyresö FF as they know that once the campaign is over their squad will be broken up due to financial issues over the winter. Press, five-times World Player of the Year Marta and captain Caroline Seger will all be moving on in June and all are determined to leave on a high note.

Blues Ladies come into the  game having kept clean sheets in six of their seven games so far in the UWCL with the two goals from FK Zorkiy Krasnogorsk at St Andrew’s being the only goals they have conceded. However, that defence will be without Kerys Harrop who was booked in the first leg and has to sit out a one match suspension. Manager David Parker is quoted on UEFA.com as saying “It will be a blow individually to her, but [before the first leg] we played three games in six days and rotated the squad. We have got more than enough able deputies.” Chelsea Weston, Kirsty Linnett and Emily Westwood are all walking the disciplinary tightrope in the second leg.

The Blues ladies side is a good advert for youth and for local players with the defence having an average age of 20 against the Swedes and with ten players in the team from the Midlands. 16 year old Jess Carter didn’t look out of place at full back and eighteen-year-old Aoife Mannion came back from a slightly shaky start to stand tall against the might of Tyresö.

Should Blues Ladies make the final it will be a remarkable achievement in only their second ever continental campaign – and with all the furore around the men’s side of late it will be nice to see the Birmingham City name associated with success once again.

Blues Ladies - sponsored by Hollywood Monster

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