The Liverpool FC Women’s team will have their second game of the season on Saturday, September 4th away to the Watford FC Women’s team. The match will be played at Watford’s Vicarage Road (see, it is possible to have a match in the main stadium) at 2pm BST/9am EST. At this point, it does not look like the match will be broadcast live, but a replay will be available on the FA Player.
Both Liverpool and Watford will be coming into the game in search of their first points of the season after both squads suffered a defeat in the first game. Liverpool dropped a tough 1-0 decision at home to the London City Lionesses, while Watford lost 2-1 to Durham.
For Liverpool, the match is an opportunity to get their season on track. This team was expected to push for the sole promotion spot this season after finishing in third last year. Failing to earn a point in the opening match was obviously less than ideal.
“It was a disappointing result for us in our first game and we desperately wanted to make it a positive start with three points, but I said all along it was going to be a tough game,” said Liverpool manager Matt Beard.
“London City Lionesses are an established team and they played well in pre-season when we watched them and they made it difficult for us. We learned a lot but I did feel we deserved something out of the game, and looking back at it I felt we should have had a penalty.”
With last week’s match in the rear view, Beard and his squad have focused their attention forward on Watford’s wonderfully nicknamed “Golden Girls”.
“We’ve had a really good week on the training pitch and they have been doing what we’ve been asking them to do,” said Beard.
“We have challenged them and it’s not about one game, it’s about the games over the course of the season. And I’ve got every faith in this group of players that we will be up there challenging this season.”
There is no injury report for these matches, but perusing through training photos, it seems that Meikayla Moore is training and could be fit for her season premier. Niamh Fahey also looked to be involved after sitting out with a knock last week. The only known absence at this point is Megan Campbell, who underwent ankle surgery after getting injured against Celtic in a preseason friendly.
As for the opponents, Beard is familiar with the ground the teams will be playing on, as well as the team itself.
“It’s a great pitch, a fantastic facility and a great stadium, and it’s going to be a great occasion for Watford to open their Championship season there,” said Beard of playing at Vicarage Road.
“There’s a few players there I know from my time in London with Millwall and Chelsea, and I have been impressed with them. Watford are dangerous on the counter-attack and have some pace in the front areas, so we’ve got to be careful. They have some experience with players, like Helen Ward and Emma Beckett, and there are no easy games in this division, but we are looking to get our first three points on board. It’s going to be a tough afternoon again but we go there with confidence and feel in a better place already after the London City Lionesses game. We know what we have to do and as always it’s about what we do, and hopefully it will be enough to get the three points.”
Watford manager Clinton Lancaster has his side feeling confident after a close loss to the team who finished second in the table last season.
“There’s loads of excitement, everybody’s really pumped for this game,” said Lancaster. “We can’t wait to get going, especially playing at Vicarage Road.
“I was really impressed with how people played last weekend, so there’s a chance that the side may be consistent. Everybody has got to make sure they’re on their toes in training, make sure they’re working hard, because people are knocking at the door. We have got players that are desperate to get in, but those that played last week built a really good case for themselves to start again because they played well.”
Lancaster knows his team will be up against a Liverpool side wanting to make amends for last week.
“Liverpool are a very good and experienced side with some good players,” said Lancaster. It’ll be a very tough test for us, they’ll be looking to bounce back but so are we. Fingers crossed we get the result.”
Matt Beard and his squad know that every team will be gunning for the Reds and the other teams expected to duke it out for the title. Unlike previous years, where one or two teams ran away with it, Beard thinks the overall level of play is better in the league now, meaning it will be that much more open.
“We understand that if we are going to be challenging this season there is not much more room for error over the course of the season, but looking at the other results I think it’s going to be a lot more open this year than what it has been in the past.”