There’s an assortment of Women’s Super League fixtures to look forward to this weekend in the penultimate round of games before the Christmas break.
The pick of the bunch is at Kingsmeadow, where two title chasers go head to head as Chelsea host Manchester City. Elsewhere, Manchester United are in action against Everton while Liverpool take on West Ham as they look to kick start their season.
With every side in action over the course of Sunday afternoon, there’s a full programme of fixtures to feast our eyes upon – so here’s 90min to spin you through what you have coming up in detail….
Chelsea vs Manchester City
The WSL title race could take yet more twists and turns this weekend, as unbeaten Chelsea host second place Man City. Just two points separate the two sides in this fascinatingly poised battle at the league summit.
Chelsea have already beaten Arsenal on home turf this season, and in Beth England they have one of the WSL’s form players. The England striker has four goals and two assists in the league this season.
However, England will face the WSL’s meanest defence on Sunday, with City only conceding one goal all season. That was in an away defeat to Arsenal in October, which saw Nick Cushing’s side surrender their lead at the top of the table.
Check out 90min’s full preview of the game here.
Manchester United vs Everton
One of the most intriguing fixtures of the weekend sees the two surprise packages of the season go head to head at Leigh Sports Village, as fourth play fifth.
Newly promoted Manchester United have made an impressive start to life in the top flight, winning plaudits for their exciting style of football. They host fourth place Everton, who have already recorded more league wins this campaign than they managed during the entirety of last season.
United comfortably came out on top when these two met in the Continental Cup, running out 3-0 winners. However, Casey Stoney’s side suffered their first major upset of the season last weekend, as they lost 3-2 to a West Ham side who had been hit for five at Manchester City two weeks previously.
Sunday’s clash is a battle of the wide players, with United’s Leah Galton so impressive this season, while Everton’s Chloe Kelly is the WSL’s joint second top scorer with four goals.
Reading vs Arsenal
League leaders Arsenal travel to the late goal queens Reading in a game that has the potential to be a real high scoring affair.
Sixth place Reading have conceded double the amount of goals of any other side in the top half of the table, but are not shy in front of goal themselves. They scored a 95th minute equaliser against Brighton last time out, a week after scoring in the 82nd minute to seal a remarkable 3-2 fightback win over West Ham. With former Arsenal midfielder Fara Williams on corners and free kicks, the Royals are real threat from set pieces.
They face an Arsenal side fresh from their record breaking 11-1 crushing of Bristol City last weekend. Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema continues to defy footballing logic, scoring six and assisting four during the demolition. She could quite easily run riot again on Sunday.
Liverpool vs West Ham
Fresh from their superb victory over Manchester United, West Ham will be looking to build some momentum when they take on bottom side Liverpool.
Having thrown away a two goal advantage a week earlier against Reading, the Hammers scored in the 83rd and 90th minute to come from 2-1 down to win 3-2 and end their run of three consecutive league defeats.
However, despite their league standing, leaving Liverpool with three points will be no mean feat. They are a stubborn side, having only lost by more than one goal once in the league all season. Liverpool’s problem is putting the ball in the back of the net; the Reds are yet to score from open play in the WSL.
Tottenham vs Brighton
Ninth play seventh in what promises to be a close encounter in north London.
Spurs have adjusted well to life in the top tier following their promotion last season, putting in impressive displays during narrow defeats to both Chelsea and Arsenal. However, they go into Sunday’s fixture without a win in three.
Brighton recorded a credible draw with Reading last week, but will have been left frustrated by throwing away the three points at the death. Hope Powell’s side remain the only team to take points off Chelsea this season.
Bristol City vs Birmingham
A crucial clash at the wrong end of the WSL sees second from bottom Bristol City host third from bottom Birmingham.
Bristol will be looking to make a statement after their 11-1 mauling at the hands of Arsenal last weekend. Birmingham, meanwhile, have suffered a real fall from grace this season after losing multiple key players over the summer. Having finished fourth last season, they now find themselves in a relegation battle. However, the draw with Spurs on Wednesday was a step in the right direction.
With just a point separating the two sides, Sundays fixture has the makings of a compelling affair.