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Women’s International Champions Cup: Third place up for grabs

Atlético Madrid and Manchester City look to finish in third place after losing their opening matches.

Atletico Madrid Femenino v Manchester City Women: UEFA Women’s Champions League Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Club Atlético de Madrid Femenino and Manchester City W.F.C. have one more chance to finish the Women’s International Champions Cup with a win under their belts. Atlético Madrid held off Olympique Lyonnais Féminin until stoppage time in their first match but Wendie Renard capitalised on a mistake by goalkeeper Lola Gallardo. Manchester City on the other hand, had Ellie Roebuck to thank for keeping the scoreline down as they lost 1-2 to the North Carolina Courage in their opening match.

Despite this being a friendly competition, the two teams will want to see progression in their preseason training with a more solid performance to end this year’s edition of the Women’s International Champions Cup.

Gallardo looks to redeem herself

Dolores Gallardo has been at Atlético Madrid since she was a youth player and has come up the ranks to be the club’s undisputed No. 1 goalkeeper. However, this season, Atléti brough in Dutch goalkeeping hero Sari van Veenendaal to compete for a starting role and Gallardo will have a tough fight on her hands to retain her starting position. Her error against Olympique Lyonnais will not have aided her cause and she will look to make amends and show manager José Luis Sánchez that she is still the best goalkeeper at the club.

Not only will she have to keep her concentration better against Manchester City but she will have to direct her defense well enough to keep the City strikers away from her goal. Her teammates did enough to quiet a potent OL frontline and Gallardo will need them to be at their best again when the team faces off against Manchester City tomorrow.

Roebuck looks to cement her place in England’s senior setup

Despite conceding two late goals against the Courage, Ellie Roebuck was sensational form to keep the hosts from adding more to their total. Roebuck was on the fringes of the English national team and was not called up to the roster that finished in fourth at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. With the 2021 UEFA European Women’s Championship less than two years away, Roebuck will want to force her way into not only a backup job but also quite possibly, the starting job for her country.

It remains to be seen whether Nick Cushing will start Roebuck again but if he does, the 19 year old goalkeeper will want to keep her name in England manager Phil Neville’s mind when he picks his next squad for UEFA Women’s Euro qualification. IF she puts in another performance like the one she did against North Carolina, she will undoubtedly have put herself in the conversation to be called up permanently for the senior national team.

Prediction

The last time the two teams met was during the UEFA Women’s Champions League Round of 32 last season. Atlético won the tie 3-1 on aggregate over the two legs which shows that they have the ability to win against Manchester City. Depending on how far ahead each team is in their fitness, Atlético should have enough about them to win against Manchester City. The addition of Toni Duggan to their ranks should give them a clinical edge to their possession-based game, something that Manchester City have shown that they cannot cope with all that well.

Atlético Madrid 2 - 1 Manchester City

Fixture

Saturday, August 19, 5pm EDT: Atlético Madrid vs Manchester City, Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.