Netball Superleague: Previewing Round 9's six fixtures

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It's another action-packed weekend in the Netball Superleague, with six games over a two-day period. Surrey Storm are again without a fixture – as are Strathclyde Sirens – but the other nine teams will all be battling it out on the court.

Here’s a breakdown of the six games that will be played across Sunday and Monday:

Manchester Thunder v Loughborough Lightning

For the third successive week, reigning champions Manchester Thunder will play at noon on Sunday when they take on second-place Loughborough Lightning.

Thunder, who are coming into the game off the back of two wins, face an in-form Lightning side who have won seven of their eight matches so far this season.

Loughborough goal-shooter Mary Cholhok is on fire with her shooting, scoring an incredible 295 goals as of writing - that’s 76 more than Leeds Rhinos’ Sienna Rushton.

Thunder’s captain Emma Dovey could miss the heightly-anticipated game – she sustained an ankle injury against Team Bath on March 12th.

Severn Stars v Celtic Dragons

The second game on Sunday sees 10th-place Severn Stars meet 11th-place Celtic Dragons at 2pm. Stars have only one win so far this campaign, while Dragons are still looking for their first victory.

Stars’ goal-shooter Georgia Rowe has scored 144 of their 274 goals in the league. The 25-year-old has the third highest shot succession of all attackers, only missing nine - this gives her a success rate of 94.12 percent.

Dragons are still without a win this season, losing all eight of their matches. This game could be their best opportunity to move off the foot of the table, if they beat Stars. The Welsh club has scored six more goals than their Worcester-based opponents, but have conceded 75 more than them.

Stars could still be without captain Liana Leota. The former New Zealand international was injured against Thunder on February 28.

London Pulse v Wasps

The following match sees London Pulse take on Wasps at 4pm. Pulse are the only other side to win one game this campaign, while their opponents on Sunday have five victories so far.

Wasps have two defenders in the top five list of most turnovers at present. England’s goal-defence Fran Williams, has 34, while Josie Huckle has 33.

However, Pulse defender Funmi Fadoju, sits top of the deflections table with 34. This has led to her team conceding less goals overall than five other sides in the league.

Saracens Mavericks v Team Bath

Saracens Mavericks face table toppers Team Bath in Sunday’s final game at 6pm. Mavericks will be looking to cause their opponent’s first loss of the season, while Bath could make it nine wins in nine games.

The Hertfordshire-outfit are currently fourth in the table on goal difference and have conceded the third-lowest goals in the league, 282. They have goalkeeper Razia Quashie to thank for this. The England international has the second-highest turnovers in the league, with 37.

However, they will be coming up against an attacking threat of Kimberly Borger and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis. The Australian and English attackers have scored a combined 347 goals so far this season, with Borger netting 204 of them.

Severn Stars v London Pulse

The first of two games on Monday evening will see Stars meet Pulse at 5:15pm. Pulse are at the opposite end of the table to where they were last season, while Stars remain second bottom.

The fixture between the pair was not played last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought the season to a close after round four.

When both sides met in the 2019 campaign, each outdid the other away from home, with Stars winning on March 16th, 60-51, and Pulse victorious on January 5th, 51-49.

Saracens Mavericks v Manchester Thunder

Mavericks play Thunder in the last match of round nine on Monday – centre-pass for this one is at 7:15pm.

If successful on Sunday, Mavericks will come into the game unbeaten in five matches.

Thunder attacker Berri Neil was absent from their match last weekend due to illness. This could be the 18-year-old’s return to action.

GiveMeSport predictions:

Sunday

Thunder v Lightning: Lightning win
Stars v Dragons: Dragons win
Pulse v Wasps: Wasps win
Mavericks v Bath: Bath win

Monday

Stars v Pulse: Pulse win
Mavericks v Thunder: Thunder win

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