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Match Previews

Carla Ward's Blades targeting cup quarter-finals

10 December 2019

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Off the back of Sunday's 3-1 win against London Bees, Sheffield United Women face another important home game on Wednesday night at the Proact Stadium against Coventry United.

The match marks the end of the Continental Cup group stages and Carla Ward's Blades currently sit top of Group A with the top two teams qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Wins against FA WSL side Liverpool plus Blackburn Rovers and Durham has left United in a healthy position, with a positive result on Wednesday enough to see them into the quarter-finals for the first time.

Should the Blades better Durham's result in their final game away at Liverpool, it will clinch top spot in the group and ensure a home quarter-final against one of the other three second placed qualifiers from Groups B, C or D.

Should the Blades drop to second they will still qualify but would make a tough away game against the winners from Groups B, C or D, currently likely to be Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.

United beat Coventry 5-1 in the league earlier this season but Wednesday's visitors have enjoyed improved form lately and beat FA Women's Championship leaders Aston Villa on penalties in their last Continental Cup match.

Ward's side opened up the competition with a stunning victory away at former FA WSL champions Liverpool.

Katie Wilkinson's equaliser in the second half was well deserved but after falling behind, two superb late goals from Maddy Cusack and Jade Pennock sealed a stunning comeback and a vital three points to kick things off.

Ward made changes to the side for the trip to Aston Villa and United fell to a 3-1 defeat. Pennock's goal got the team back in it but even Veatriki Sarri's penalty miss deep into stoppage time would have been little difference in the end.

But the Blades bounced back with two wins out of two in November to put themselves in pole position to make it out of the group.

A 4-1 win at home to Blackburn got things off to a good start, two goals from Wilkinson in the first half putting the Blades in a commanding position before Sam Tierney scored her first goal for the club and Pennock added a fourth late on.

United went to Durham needing a win to give themselves a chance of progression and a big win to overturn their goal difference, and a big win is what they got.

Keri Matthews scored her first goal for the club before Aimee Palmer and Pennock made it 3-0, with Cusack's late volley the goal that moved the Blades above Durham heading into the final game of the group.

With the Coventry United match sandwiched between the win against Bees and a trip to Leicester City this weekend, Ward will once again utilise her squad but has belief in whichever players are selected on Wednesday night.

"It's another big game and it will probably show what our squad is about because again there will be some rotation and a chance for players to get minutes. I think any eleven we put out at the minute can compete, we've showed that with the way we won at Durham and it will be no different on Wednesday because we know we can use our whole squad."

Kick-off against Coventry United is 7:30pm on Wednesday 11th December at the Proact Stadium.
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