Arsenal face Tottenham, Everton host Liverpool - FA WSL preview
It’s derby time in the Women’s Super League as Arsenal face Tottenham while Everton host Liverpool at Goodison Park for the first time.
Chelsea are in fine form ahead of visiting Manchester United after last week’s 8-0 thrashing of West Ham, while Reading will look to keep up their impressive record against Bristol City.
Everton v Liverpool
Sunday, 2pm, Goodison Park
It’s set to be another history-making weekend in the Women’s Super League as Goodison Park plays host to its first women’s Merseyside derby.
With the top-flight attendance record having been broken twice already this season, first at the Etihad and then the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the Toffees are aiming to write their name into the record books by beating Spurs’ 38,262 at the 40,000-seater Goodison.
Back in November, it was Everton who took the bragging rights in the first women’s Merseyside derby at Anfield thanks to Lucy Graham’s long-range strike, so this time Liverpool will be going for revenge.
But sitting second from bottom with just one win from 12, trumping Everton on home soil will be quite the task for Vicky Jepson’s Reds.
If they’re going to do so, they’ll have to make sure they keep Chloe Kelly quiet. The striker has netted seven goals at home this season – only Chelsea’s Bethany England (8) and Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema (9) have more.
Arsenal v Tottenham
Sunday, 2pm, Borehamwood
As weekends go, it certainly isn’t a bad one in the Women’s Super League as Arsenal welcome Tottenham to a sold-out Meadow Park for the second derby fixture of the weekend.
It was Arsenal who comfortably ran out 2-0 North London derby winners at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last time, captain Kim Little and Vivianne Miedema with the goals in front of the raucous record crowd.
But this time, a North London derby win means even more to the Gunners to close the three-point gap between them and league leaders Manchester City in a title race that certainly isn’t lacking any thrills or spills.
She may already have 14 league goals to her name this season, but Miedema is yet to score in the Women’s Super League since the turn of the New Year – something Joe Montemurro will want to change if they are to fend of their rivals and defend their league title.
Birmingham v Brighton & Hove Albion
Sunday, 2pm, Solihull Moors
At the other end of the table, Birmingham welcome Brighton to Solihull as both teams strive to avoid dropping into the relegation zone.
The Seagulls, who beat Everton 1-0 last time out, sit in ninth on 12 points but the Blues are hot on their heels in tenth aiming to salvage a disappointing season after finishing fourth last year.
The departure of Ellen White to Manchester City in the summer still seems to be hurting Marta Tejedor’s side, who have only scored five goals so far this season, but with Brighton having conceded 28 goals in just 14 games, they will be confident they can break the deadlock on Sunday.
Bristol City v Reading
Sunday, 2pm, Stoke Gifford Stadium
Reading will be hoping history is on their side when they make the trip to the West Country on Sunday, the Royals having won all of their last three games at Stoke Gifford in the Women’s Super League.
In fact, against no other side have the Royals won more Women’s Super League matches than against the Robins, prevailing on five occasions.
If they are to triumph once more Fara Williams is sure to be at the heart of the action, the Reading midfielder having both scored and assisted five times in the top-flight so far, having a direct hand in ten of Reading’s 19 league goals this season.
West Ham United v Manchester City
Sunday, 3pm, Rush Green Stadium
Times are tough for Hammers fans, and they don’t look to be getting much easier with the visit of league leaders Manchester City on Sunday.
Last time out at Chelsea, they suffered their largest ever WSL defeat – 8-0 at Chelsea and their record isn’t much better against City.
West Ham have lost each of their three Women’s Super League matches with City, including a 5-0 defeat in the reverse fixture earlier this season, but with Nick Cushing having departed and Alan Mahon taking charge on a temporary basis, it’s the dawn of a new era for City meaning anything could happen at Rush Green.
Manchester United v Chelsea
Sunday, 4:30pm, Leigh Sports Village
If the 2pm derbies aren’t enough, there’s another huge clash taking place in Manchester as the Red Devils host high-flyers Chelsea.
It was a close affair back in November, the reverse fixture ending 1-0 to the Blues thanks to a Maren Mjelde penalty, but after last week’s 8-0 demolition of West Ham, Emma Hayes’ side have proved the firepower they have in store.
Bethany England has scored 12 league goals this season that have been worth seven points to her team, while having the likes of Erin Cuthbert and Guro Reiten in the ranks is more than enough for Casey Stoney’s defence to think about.
But United, sitting impressively on a lofty fourth in their debut top-flight season, have their own stars to cause trouble, the standout being 18-year-old Lauren James who has netted five goals in her last five appearances.