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WOMEN'S PREMIERSHIP: GAME WEEK EIGHT PREVIEW

18 Nov 2020
football
© NI Football League Erin McLaughlin, Toni-Leigh Finnegan, Hollie Johnston, Naomi Donnan
The Danske Bank Women’s Premiership continues tonight as we preview the matches in game week eight of the 2020 campaign.
 
There have been eight weeks since the last full round of action was completed due to the widespread disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic, with just six fixtures completed in that timeframe.
 
With just ten match days in the entire campaign, every point counts and two of the teams involved in Wednesday’s action still hold title ambitions, while there is a highly-anticipated North Belfast derby.
 
Cliftonville Ladies v Crusaders Strikers
Both these North Belfast sides fell to narrow defeats against Linfield in the past seven days but will be hopeful of getting back to winning ways in this encounter.
 
The Strikers will still have eyes on a top three finish this campaign having won three of their last six games in the division while Cliftonville will take heart from losing two of their last three games by a single goal.
 
Indeed the Reds, fell to 6-4 and 3-2 home defeats against Sion Swifts and Linfield this season having had a player short for much of those encounters due to red cards, so they will be aware they can push the top sides in the division all the way.
 
Crusaders edged out the meeting between the sides last month thanks to goals from Morganne Beggs and Amy McGivern, with Clare Carson netting for the Reds against her former club.
 
The Crues have won the last two meetings 2-1 but Cliftonville had won three of the previous four meetings.
 
Sion Swifts Ladies v Linfield Ladies
This will be the first meeting between these sides this campaign - Sion, in third place, trail second-placed Linfield by two points, but have played a game less.
 
Both sides still hold outside ambitions of capturing this season’s league title in the closing weeks but they will both know there is no room for error here.
 
Linfield winning each of their away games in the past week has given them renewed hope and because of Glentoran not playing this week, they will lose top spot regardless of the outcome of this game - Sion require a win to go top while the Blues only need a point.
 
These two met five times last season - with Linfield winning twice, Sion once and two draws.
 
Sion’s Northern Ireland international duo Kirsty and Caitlin McGuinness will face their former club for the first time, while Ebony Lecky and sister Sienna will be in the Blues squad having left Sion earlier this year.