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Manchester Thunder stayed perfect after victory over Surrey Storm (Image: Touchline Pics)

Photo by Stephen Gaunt of Touchlinepics.com for Manchester Thunder

Monday Night Netball features Strathclyde Sirens and Manchester Thunder in an intriguing looking match-up that you can see live on Sky Sports Mix and Main Event.

Thunder have been perfect this season winning all three games and racking up three scores of more that 70 to set the early pace alongside Saracens Mavericks.

However with Mavs beating Severn Stars on Sunday, Thunder know they need a win to stay level pegging with the Hertfordshire outfit.

In Sirens they face one of the VNSL’s emerging forces, looking to build on last season’s sixth-placed finish and the early signs have been good.

A lively crowd is expected in Glasgow and coverage from the Emirates Arena gets underway at 5pm with in-depth analysis and first centre pass at 5.30pm, here’s our lowdown on Monday’s showdown.

Head to Head

Sirens fans may wish to look away now, as Thunder have won all eight previous meetings between the teams since the Scottish franchise arrived in the competition in 2017.

In fact the two games in their debut season – losing by four and by 10 – were the closest Sirens have got to a rampant Thunder who have hit more than 60 goals on six occasions, while Sirens have only topped that tally once – all the way back in the first meeting in Glasgow.

Thunder also enjoy their trips north of the border, scoring 76, 64 and 62 goals in their three victories at the Emirates.

Sirens though will be quick to point out they are a different proposition these days and a repeat of the first ever meeting in March 2017 could be on the cards when Thunder edged a thriller 53-49 at Belle Vue.

The Story so Far

As ever Sirens matches have been hugely watchable, all three matches have offered plenty of excitement.

Leeds Rhinos beat Strathclyde Sirens away from home. Image Credit | Jamie Williamson

Image: Jamie Williamson

Defeat to Team Bath on day one at Season Opener gave Lesley McDonald cause for optimism and they followed up with victory over Wasps on day two.

Last time out it was a disappointing home defeat to Leeds Rhinos, but only after a stirring fourth quarter fightback came up just short.

In contrast, three wins from three and the best goal difference and goal average in the league is the ominous form from Thunder, who now have the added incentive of chasing Saracens Mavericks perfect start.

Mavs are top of the pile with 12 points and Thunder know a win will have the teams level ahead of their showdown at Hertfordshire Sports Village in Round 5 next Saturday.

Key Battle

It’s hard to look beyond the shooting circles for where the game may be won and lost – and by extension what the defences will be able to do.

Thunder’s Joyce Mvula is second in the scoring charts having made 89% of her shots on goal, while in Commonwealth Games year Eleanor Cardwell is shooting at 88% and has brought her fine form for the Vitality Roses to the VNSL.

Eleanor Cardwell has dazzled so far this season (Image: Ben Lumley)

The link-up between the pair is fearsome but in Towera Vinkumbo, Sirens have a goalkeeper who is more than a match for one of the league’s best attacking units.

At the other end, Sirens highly talented shooting pair of Bethan Goodwin and long-bomb queen Niamh McCall – both 21 – have belied their years with a strong start to the season. Percentages are slightly lower than Thunder’s all-star duo and whether Manchester’s experience in defence can limit their threat will be decisive.

Millie Sanders and Yomi Eza-Wilson have stepped up with Kerry Almond and Shadine van Der Merwe suffering early season injuries, but with the pair on the way back Thunder are only going to improve in the defensive end.

Whether they feature or not may be crucial in a fascinating battle.

Also on Monday night

Two other games take place as Round 4 draws to a busy conclusion, with London Pulse and Surrey Storm back at their home venues for the first time this season.

Storm host Loughborough Lightning from 7pm and Wasps are Pulse’s visitors from 7.30pm

Highlights of all three games will be available via the VNSL YouTube channel and coverage of Strathclyde Sirens v Manchester Thunder is available from 5pm on Sky Sports Mix & Main Event.

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