West Ham Ladies v Spurs Ladies – PREVIEW

Author: . Published: at 6:49pm

Ship Lane, Thurrock FC, 4 September, 2pm

This Sunday, the Ladies face Spurs Ladies in our first home game of the season as the FA Women’s Premier League Cup returns. The Hammers came out on top in our last meeting with our North London rivals as a Katie Bottom penalty secured victory in a memorable night at Upton Park in front of more than 1,000 fans – a club record attendance. Here’s what you can expect from Sunday.

TEAM NEWS: New West Ham boss James Marrs made just two changes from the team that were defeated 7-2 at Lewes to the one that were seen off 3-1 by Portsmouth last weekend, with Amy Cooper and Dayna Chong coming in for Sasha Kelly and Jasmine Auguste.

The former Brighton chief, who won promotion from the WPL with the Seagulls last season, only tinkers with his line-up when he feels it is absolutely necessary so may field an unchanged team for this London derby.

Marrs will also have Indian international goalkeeper Aditi Chauhan available after she returned to the club for the new season after having to return to India last term because of visa restrictions and will now fight it out with Deger Zekai for the number one jersey.

Meanwhile, Spurs boss Juan Amoros is surely unlikely to change a winning team after last weekend’s comprehensive win at Goldsdown Road and the Hammers will do well to keep out the likes of Nikita Winnett and Wendy Martin, who both impressed in the win over Swindon. Goalkeeper Toni-Anne Wayne is also in line to face her old club, after moving on in summer 2013.

FORM: Spurs have the edge over us so far in the league this season, with an impressive 4-1 win over Swindon, in contrast to successive defeats at Lewes and Portsmouth for the girls in claret and blue. They’ve only played the once though and have a tough trip to Crystal Palace coming up a week on Sunday.

Last season, the North Londoners just had the edge over the Irons, as they beat us 2-1 in our first meeting of the season, before knocking us out of the Capital Women’s Cup on penalties after a 1-1 draw, with our final meeting result in a famous victory for West Ham at the Boleyn Ground in March.

THE GAFFERS: James Marrs joined West Ham in July after a highly successful campaign last season with Brighton, culminating in promotion to the Super League and has already begun to make his own mark on the club with the wheels already in motion to apply for Tier 1 Regional Talent Centre status.

He has indicated in recent days however that there may well be a period of adjustment as the players become accustomed to his style of play and that the Irons’ first objective must be to secure survival in what is a tough league.

Juan Amoros, meanwhile, joined Spurs in November 2011 and holds a UEFA B and UEFA A coaching licence. The Spaniard guided the North London side to a respectable sixth-placed finish in the WPL last time out, as well as winning the FAWPL Cup and finishing runners-up to Charlton Ladies in the Capital Women’s Cup.

The Spurs boss will surely be expecting his revitalised side, who have made some impressive additions to the squad over the summer, to make a serious push for promotion to the Super League this season as well as successfully defending their trophy.

It’s sure to be an intriguing encounter, with both teams hungry for the win and the chance to get their respective seasons on the road – tickets are only a fiver for adults and kids go FREE, so do come down and lend the Ladies your support on Sunday to quench that West Ham thirst with no men’s game!

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