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#SBSSWPL 2018 Preview – 13/05/18

Scottish Building Society SWPL 1

Spartans v Forfar Farmington
Ainslie Park, Edinburgh – 1pm

Two teams in contrasting form meet with only one position between them. Sixth placed Spartans have lost their last two games. While their loss to Celtic was unsurprising, their 2-0 loss to Hamilton was one of the shocks of the weekend. Those results have left them with just one win from their opening eight games and are only two points from safety. That one win was away to Forfar though, so they’ll be hoping to replicate that result at home.

Forfar Farmington, in contrast, have won their last two games and are now closer to third than bottom. What has also been impressive is the fact they’ve scored six goals in those two games, compared to just once in their opening five games. They’re in fine form and it’s perhaps the perfect time to face a team who are down on their luck.

If Forfar win or draw, they could jump into fourth and above Rangers but they can’t fall below fifth. For Spartans, a win can’t take them above their opponents but depending on results, it could bring them five points clear of safety.

Celtic v Hamilton Academical
K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride – 2pm

Celtic bounced back from a disappointing defeat to Glasgow City with an emphatic midweek victory over Spartans. They scored five goals in 30 minutes to give them a comfortable victory in Edinburgh. It’s those kind of performances they’ll need to maintain, especially against the teams below them, should they have any chance of challenging for the title.

Hamilton didn’t play midweek but they may have wanted to given their strong outing against Spartans on Sunday. They scored their first goals of the season in a confident 2-0 win at New Douglas Park. They know this will be a tougher test though, having lost 2-0 to them at home back on April 15th.

If Celtic win, it’s unlikely they’ll go top if Hibernian and Glasgow City draw due to their inferior goal difference. However, they will go second if they win and either Glasgow City or Hibernian win in their match. They can’t drop below third. Hamilton could jump as high as sixth should Stirling and Spartans lose. A draw or a loss will leave them bottom.

Glasgow City v Hibernian
Petershill Park, Glasgow – 2.10pm

The two big SBSSWPL 1 rivals meet for the third time in a short period. In that time the two sides have drawn 2-2 in the league and Hibs prevailed 3-1 in the SWPL Cup. While a win for either side will give them a boost in their title hopes, they’ll still have one more game to come.

For Glasgow City, they comfortably saw off Celtic a week ago. Despite being one of their tougher opponents in the league, it was a fine 3-0 win to keep pace at the top of the table. While that defeat against Hibs will still be in their memory, City have always dominated league fixtures and will be confident of keeping that up at home.

Hibernian are riding high and remain unbeaten this season across all competitions, despite possible disruption with the change of Head Coach. With Grant Scott now in post on a permemant basis, he’s guided his side to a draw and three wins. This will be another tough test for his side, especially mentally, as they look to defeat City in the league for the first time in a number of years.

If there is a winner, that side will be top at the end of the day while the loser could drop to third. A draw will most likely leave both teams in the same position.

Stirling University v Rangers
Stirling University – 4.00pm

Stirling University come into this one having lost their last two matches. Their loss to Hibernian wasn’t surprising but they would have been hoping to take points at home to Forfar on Wednesday. While conditions didn’t help, a 2-0 loss has left them seventh and just two points from safety. They will also remember the last time the two sides met, a 4-0 loss away at New Tinto Park. If they are to pick up points, they’ll need to put in a fine performance.

Rangers also suffered defeat to Forfar Farmington most recently, a 4-2 loss at home last Sunday. It was a slight shock, especially considering Rangers were on a two game winnning streak and a win could have seen them jump into third. However, they’ll need to regroup again and get back to their previous form that saw them defeat Stirling 4-0 on Sunday 15th April.

If Stirling win, they can’t get higher than sixth but it could mean they’re five points from safety. A draw or a loss could leave them bottom depending on other results. For Rangers, a win can’t see them climb higher but a draw or a loss could see them slip to fifth.

Scottish Building Society SWPL 2

Aberdeen v Central Girls FA
Aberdeen Sports Village – 1pm

Aberdeen are on a bad run right now having lost their last four games. It’s meant they’ve only won two of their first eight games and they’re just one point from safety. While home hasn’t been a fortress, they’ve had stronger performances here and with Central bottom of the table, they’ll be hoping to create some breathing room.

For Central Girls, they remain a team who are coming close but struggling to pick up points. They’re still to be defeated by more than two goals and have lost four of their five matches by only one goal. The big advantage is they have a relatively healthy goal difference but they do need to start picking up points, especially against teams in the bottom half of the table.

A win for Aberdeen will guarantee they remain outside of the relegation zone but they can’t climb higher than their current position. A win for Central will guarantee they climb above Aberdeen and could go above EUHV if they draw or lose their game. Aberdeen could finish the day bottom if they lose and EUHV win and Central would stay bottom if they lose. A draw would see Aberdeen stay above Central but they could slip to seventh if EUHV win.

FC Kilmarnock v Glasgow Girls
St Josephs Academy, Kilmarnock – 2.30pm

FC Kilmarnock countinued their fine start to life in SBSSWPL 2 with a midweek win over Central Girls. While it has been a harder spell recently (two loses, one draw, and two wins from five games), they are second in the league and the closest team to Motherwell. They’ve also won all of their games at home, though they play away from Rugby Park (at St Jospehs Academy) this weekend.

Glasgow Girls are a side in fine form themselves, winning three of their last four games. It’s form that has seen them jump from bottom to fifth and they are now seven points clear of relegation and just four points behind FC Kilmarnock. They’ve always been title challengers in the last two seasons and it seems they are starting to return to ways of old.

If FC Kilmarnock win, they could cut the gap on Motherwell to two points. A win or a draw for them would guarantee second. A win for Glasgow Girls could see them jump up to third and just a point behind Kilmarnock. A draw would leave Kilmarnock second and they could drop down to fourth with a loss. Glasgow Girls could go level on points with St Johnstone and Hearts with a draw but can’t drop below their current position even if they lose.

Motherwell v Hearts
Braidhurst High School, Motherwell – 2.30pm

Motherwell look to continue their winning streak as they go for their eigth win in a row. Against third placed Hearts, it’ll be a tough ask but Motherwell look more than deserving of their title favourites tag having scored 37 goals already this season.

For Hearts, they’ve had mixed fortunues in recent games. They lost narrowly to FC Kilmarnock, 1-0, back on April 29th but they won narrowly a week later with a last minute goal against EUHV. They then suffered a 2-0 defeat to Glasgow Girls on Wednesday. It means they are now third in the league and just a point from fifth. They were potentially title challengers, so they’ll need to win this match or they’ll be 11 points adrift from Motherwell.

A win will keep Motherwell at least five points clear and at worst the gap will be cut down to two points with a loss. If Hearts win, they could jump into second depending on FC Kilmarnock’s result. A draw or a loss for Hearts could see them drop to fifth.

St Johnstone v Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale
McDiarmid Park, Perth – 4pm

St Johnstone took the first step to more consistency with a 2-0 win over Aberdeen on Wednesday. That result kept them fourth and they’re still just three points from second. They face another side in the bottom half of the table as they’ll look to pick up their fifth win of the season.

For Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale, they’re on a run that has left them seventh in the league. They’ve only picked up one point from their last four games and more worryingly coming into this one, they’ve still not scored away from home this season. If there was time to change that, this weekend would be it.

If St Johnstone win, they could potentially go second but they’d need a big goal swing. A draw or a loss could see them down one to fifth but they can’t drop lower. A win for EUHV could get them out of the relegation zone but they’re relying on Central Girls to win or draw against Aberdeen. If EUHV draw or lose, they’ll remain in the bottom two and could even finish the day in eighth.

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