FA Women's Super League preview: London derby tops the bill

Yahoo Sport UK
Kim Little will be to the fore as Joe Montemurro's Arsenal face Chelsea on Sunday
Kim Little will be to the fore as Joe Montemurro's Arsenal face Chelsea on Sunday

The Barclays FA Women’s Super League brings crucial clashes at either end of the table with Arsenal and Chelsea locking horns at the summit.

Attention turns back to the league after crunch midweek quarter-finals in the Continental Tyres League Cup, so fixtures are coming thick and fast for top women’s sides.

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Here’s everything you need to know about this weekend’s action.

Arsenal v Chelsea

Sunday, 2pm, Meadow Bank, live on BT Sport

There won’t be a spare seat in the house at Meadow Bank as two unbeaten runs will be put on the line.

The hosts last suffered domestic defeat in the reverse fixture back in October, while the Blues have almost gone a calendar year without a league loss.

The two teams have both notched 12 goals in their last four WSL matches with Vivianne Miedema and Beth England topping the goalscoring charts with 14 and nine respectively.

Dutch maestro Miedema is on a goal drought by her standards, failing to find the net in her last two games, while England is the hot hand having struck in five straight outings.

Birmingham v Manchester City

Sunday, 12pm, SportNation.bet Stadium, Solihull Moors

If all goes to plan for Manchester City, they could be sitting at the top of the table at the end of play on Sunday as they sit three points behind the leaders.

City come into this one on the back of two comprehensive league victories to start the new year, with a 4-1 victory over Tottenham followed by a 3-1 dismantling of Everton.

Pauline Bremer can do no wrong at the moment with the German scoring seven goals in her last four WSL matches after helping herself to another brace against the Toffees last time out.

The odds are stacked against Birmingham, who are too close to the drop zone for comfort with four points separating them from basement side Liverpool.

They’ve won one of their last six league matches and have beaten City just once in their last 13 meetings.

Manchester United vs Tottenham

Sunday, 12pm, Leigh Sports Village

After last week’s hotly-anticipated clash with Liverpool fell foul of the weather, Manchester United will be chomping at the bit to return to league action this weekend.

The Red Devils advanced to the last four of the League Cup in midweek, and will be looking to put an end to their inconsistent league form in Leigh.

Casey Stoney will be hoping their patchy run doesn’t continue against Tottenham, who will be coming into this one in jubilant mood after a last-gasp victory over West Ham.

Without a win on their travels since October, Karen Hills will be hoping Spurs can cure their away day blues here.

After making an instant impression with a goal on her first start, Tottenham will hope Arsenal loanee Emma Mitchell fires as they go in search of back-to-back wins for the first time since September.

Everton v Reading

Sunday, 2pm, Southport Football Club

With the top three already out of sight, Reading are the best of the rest as it stands with last weekend’s 1-0 win over Birmingham sending them into fourth in the table.

It was Amalie Eikeland’s piece of magic that sealed the victory for the Royals at Adams Park last time out, as the Norwegian’s sublime lob proved to be the difference between the two sides.

The 24-year-old has two goals in her last three WSL matches, and if she can continue her recent good form, Reading could fire their way to glory in Southport.

The hosts will be looking to arrest an alarming run of three consecutive league defeats , with the Toffees going down 3-1 to Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United recently.

Bristol City v Liverpool

Sunday, 3pm, Stoke Gifford Stadium

This one is make or break at the bottom of the table.

With just one win between the two so far this season, getting the advantage in this game could be the difference between survival and relegation.

Despite last weekend’s 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Chelsea, the hosts will still be riding high after securing their first win of the season at the start of the new year.

Finding the net is still the issue for the Reds with just three goals all season, but their strong defensive showings will give them some hope of getting a result here and leapfrogging their opponents.

West Ham v Brighton

Sunday, 3pm, Rush Green Stadium

The weekend’s action draws to a close with a meeting of two mid-table sides with Brighton the visitors to Rush Green.

Both sides tasted defeat last time out, with the Hammers enduring the highs and lows of WSL football in the space of six minutes.

Kenza Dali’s 90th minute equaliser looked to have secured a draw at Tottenham, only for Rianna Dean to net the winner for Spurs with the last touch of the game.

They will be itching to get back to winning ways against Hope Powell’s Brighton side, and will be looking to repeat their 3-1 victory against the Seagulls in October.

Brighton go into the weekend with just one win in their last six but with just eight league goals all season, it's no secret where their problems lie.

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