Albion head to St Andrew’s for the fourth time in the last 18 months on Sunday when they face Birmingham City for a place in the last four of the Vitality FA Cup.
Albion last reached the semi-finals in 2020 when they lost 3-0 to Arsenal and will be hoping to go one better against their Championship opponents.
Albion have already knocked out two West Midlands sides to reach the last eight, beating West Brom 7-0 and Coventry United 5-0. Since that game they have lost 3-1 to Chelsea and 2-1 against Manchester City in the WSL.
Birmingham, who were relegated from the WSL last season, have won five of their last eight in all competitions – including a 1-0 win at WSL Everton in the last round of the FA Cup. They are currently fourth in the Championship, seven points off second place with a game in hand.
Amy Merricks’ view
Albion’s interim head coach said, “I feel after the last two performances that we’ve got some momentum. Against Man City – one of the best sides in the country – we deserved a point last Sunday. There are things to work on, but we feel we’ve found some consistency and now we have to set the bar higher and express ourselves. When we played Birmingham in the Conti Cup we started slowly and we can’t afford to do that on Sunday. They are going well in the Championship and have got a lot of players with WSL experience, but we want to reach the semi-finals.”
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St Andrew’s was a happy hunting ground for Albion last season. We won 5-0 there in the WSL in September 2021 and a month later Megan Connolly’s goal sealed a 1-0 victory in the Conti Cup. We visited St Andrew’s again last October in the same competition and it was the Blues who came out on top, winning 3-2 despite goals from Geum-Min Lee and Danielle Carter. Birmingham also won the reverse league fixture at the end of last season, winning 3-1 when Vea Sarri, who was to join Albion a few weeks later, was among Birmingham’s scorers. Julia Zigiotti was on target for Albion.
Player to watch
Winger Jade Pennock scored her seventh goal of the season in last Sunday’s 2-2 draw at home to Charlton Athletic.
The 30-year-old scored 29 goals in 67 appearances in three seasons at Sheffield United before joining Darren Carter’s outfit in the summer. Pennock had a spell in America either side of spells with Leeds United and Doncaster Belles.
How to follow the game
Sunday’s match will be live on FA Player. There will be a match report and reaction on our website after the game.