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Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion Women vs. Aston Villa Women - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Brighton & Hove Albion Women vs. Aston Villa Women - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Women's Super League clash between Brighton & Hove Albion Women and Aston Villa Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
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Brighton & Hove Albion Women and Aston Villa Women both remain unbeaten at the start of this Women's Super League season, but that could change when the two teams meet at The People's Pension Stadium on Sunday.

The home side have won two out of two fixtures so far and currently top the WSL table on goal difference, while Villa have four points after their first two games, which is a much improved start to the season compared to last year, when it took the side seven matches to claim more than 3 points.

Match preview

Hope Powell's team seem to be excelling on the pitch this season after moving into their very own training ground in the summer, and that was demonstrated in their last domestic outing against Birmingham City.

That was a five-star display from the Seagulls, after goals from Victoria Williams, Inessa Kaagman, Danielle Carter, Emma Koivisto and Kayleigh Green sealed a comfortable 5-0 win for the away side.

Not only was it pleasing for Powell that her side ran riot in front of goal, a second clean sheet in as many games for goalkeeper Megan Walsh meant that Brighton stayed above Arsenal on goal difference to top the table heading into the international break.

Five different goalscorers against Birmingham shows that the Seagulls do not have to rely on one player in the attacking third of the pitch, and Powell will be looking for her side to continue their fine form in front of goal on Sunday.

Another Birmingham-based opponent is what faces Brighton this weekend, and Aston Villa will also be pleased with their start to the 2021-22 campaign.

After claiming their first three points on the opening weekend against Leicester City, Carla Ward's side followed that up with a 1-1 draw away at West Ham United.

Adriana Leon gave the home side an early 8th-minute lead, and Villa had to wait until the 92nd minute for their equaliser, which came thanks to a headed effort from Remi Allen, her second goal in as many matches for her new club.

Brighton are likely to pose a different challenge for Villa, as Leicester and West Ham have not won a game so far this season, while the Seagulls have six points out of a possible six, suggesting that this is going to be Ward's side's biggest test yet.

Going back into last season as well, Villa have not won a WSL game away from home since December, and this away fixture will be their 10th attempt at claiming three points on the road since beating Bristol City nine months ago.

Both meetings between these two teams finished with a 2-0 scoreline last season, and the away team came out on top on both occasions, first Villa won and then Brighton got their revenge when they travelled to the West Midlands in March.

Brighton & Hove Albion Women Women's Super League form:
  • W
  • W

Aston Villa Women Women's Super League form:
  • W
  • D

Team News

Powell named the same back four in both of their games before the international break, and the Seagulls are expected to do so again this weekend, meaning starting places for Koivisto, Williams, Danique Kerkdijk and Maya Le Tissier.

The front three could also remain the same for Brighton, including Carter, Kaagman and Geum-Min Lee, but the midfield three behind them has been the most changed unit so far.

Only Aileen Whelan has started both WSL matches for Brighton this season, while Megan Connolly and Ellie Brazil were replaced by Emily Simpkins and Green last time out.

New midfielder Allen has scored two goals in as many matches for her new club Aston Villa, and the 30-year-old will be looking to make it three goals in three games this weekend with a place in the starting 11 certain.

Striker Emily Gielnik made her Villa debut last time out against West Ham, and she will want to open her WSL account sooner rather than later to build some confidence.

Brighton & Hove Albion Women possible starting lineup:
Walsh; Koivisto, Williams, Kerkdijk, Le Tissier; Whelan, Simpkins, Green; Kaagman, Lee, Carter

Aston Villa Women possible starting lineup:
Hampton; Pacheco, Asante, N'Dow, Mayling; Allen, Arthur; Boye-Hlorkah, Littlejohn, Lehmann; Gielnik

We say: Brighton & Hove Albion Women 2-0 Aston Villa Women

Brighton will be desperate to continue their winning run, and a home game presents a good opportunity to claim three points this weekend, with confidence high after a five-star performance and result before the international break.

Villa have not managed to create many big chances in their opening two games, and as Walsh has already kept two clean sheets this season, it suggests that the home side will be able to keep Villa out.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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