Laura Blindkilde Brown to start - Aston Villa Women predicted XI v Manchester City
Carla Ward is predicted to make just one change to her Aston Villa line-up to face Manchester City in the FA Women’s Cup quarter-final on Sunday (19 March).
The Villans enter the cup tie on the back of three consecutive victories in the Women’s Super League, which has seen them solidify themselves in fifth position and lie just six points off Arsenal in fourth.
After being knocked out of the Conti Cup by Arsenal at the quarter-final stage, Ward will be hoping her Villa side can progress to the last four of the competition and keep alive the dream of clinching some silverware this campaign.
Hannah Hampton is expected to keep her position in between the sticks after playing a pivotal role in the penalty shootout against West Ham in the last round of the cup and scoring the winning penalty herself.
In front of the Euro 2022 Lioness, the back four will remain unchanged following a strong rearguard in the closing stages of the 2-1 win against the Hammers last time out in the league.
Maz Pacheco will start at left-back and look to offer attacking support for Kirsty Hanson down the wing, while Sarah Mayling will hope to continue her impressive form since signing a new contract at Villa Park.
In the heart of Villa’s defence, 140-capped Scotland international Rachel Corsie will line up beside Dan Turner, who has taken to life brilliantly in central defence since moving from Everton in the summer.
Lucy Staniforth is yet to miss a match since making her January switch from Manchester United and will continue at the base of Ward’s midfield, with fellow signing Jordan Nobbs looking to continue her rich vein of form, including four goals in her last three WSL outings.
Kenza Dali is undroppable for Ward, considering her recent form, and the French international will once again pull the strings in attacking areas and provide the link between the midfield and Rachel Daly. The 31-year-old has now recorded ten assists in just 22 games and will pose a constant threat for Manchester City to deal with.
In attack, Ward is expected to make her one change, with Laura Blindkilde Brown getting a run-out on the right wing at the expense of Alisha Lehmann.
The England youth international has been largely used as a substitute since her spot in the midfield was taken by Nobbs’s arrival in January, but she is now ready for a starting spot after impressing in brief cameos recently.
After picking up her eighth assist of the season with a devilish low cross for Villa’s second goal last week, Hanson will continue on the left wing and be expected to provide goal-scoring sensation Daly with plenty of service.
The Lioness netted her 18th goal of the season from just 21 games with a wonderful 20-yard strike against the Hammers and could be the deciding factor in what should be an extremely competitive cup clash.