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Grings could boost Duisburg against Everton

UEFA Women's Champions League top scorer Inka Grings may return for FCR 2001 Duisburg as they defend a 3-1 quarter-final lead at home to an Everton side who have not given up hope.

Duisburg warm up before their first leg at Everton
Duisburg warm up before their first leg at Everton ©Irene Mallon

FCR 2001 Duisburg hope to have UEFA Women's Champions League top scorer Inka Grings in their lineup as Everton come to town seeking to overturn a 3-1 quarter-final deficit on Wednesday.

Even without the ill Grings, Duisburg proved too strong for first-time quarter-finalists Everton in Widnes last week, although the game was goalless at the break. If Marco Ketelaer's side close out the tie they could have the chance to avenge last season's semi-final loss to German rivals 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam. For now, though, the coach just wants Grings to have the opportunity to add to her nine tournament goals.

"If she is given the green light, she will play," said Ketelaer, who has selection worries. Forward Alexandra Popp, who struck twice in the first leg, is suspended; midfielder Linda Bresonik may miss out again through illness, while defender Luisa Wensing is struggling to make it. They were boosted, however, on Sunday when Germany centre-back Annike Krahn played for the reserves having been out since August with torn cruciate knee ligaments.

"We will not sit back and rely on our first-leg advantage," the coach added. "We had problems with dead-ball situations as Everton had a height advantage. So we have to be especially careful with corners. Also, we had problems when we lost easy balls in midfield."

The Liverpool club, meanwhile, are "ready to go" according to manager Mo Marley after an early start on Tuesday to travel to Germany. Striker Natasha Dowie, who briefly reduced arrears to 2-1 in the first leg, is certainly not giving up.

"We've got nothing to lose and we need to get two or three goals now," Dowie told the BBC. "They took their chances well but I do think we really gave them their chances. I think we could have been more clinical but it would be worrying me if we weren't getting those chances."