Can Liverpool pick up first win? Tottenham take on West Ham - WSL preview
With a host of shocks both on and off the field in the past seven days, it’s been another fascinating week in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League.
With the transfer window in full swing a number of sides have already bolstered their squad ahead of another crucial round of fixtures.
Here’s everything you need to know about the weekend ahead.
Manchester City vs Everton
Saturday, 5.30pm, Academy Stadium
After the news coming out of Manchester this week that City manager Nick Cushing will leave his role at the start of February, the Sky Blues’ boss will be looking to end his time with the club on a high.
Cushing’s six years in charge will come to an end when he makes the move to men’s team New York City as assistant manager, ending a successful era which saw his side win six major trophies, including the 2016 WSL title and two FA Cups.
On the pitch, City will be looking to keep the heat on leaders Arsenal with a win at the Academy Stadium over Everton, a side they have beaten in each of their last six meetings.
Pauline Bremer is in hot form at the moment, scoring three times in her last two appearances, including a first half brace against Tottenham last time out.
Meanwhile, Everton will be boosted by the return of Izzy Christiansen, with the England international set to make her second debut for the Toffees after her move from Lyon.
Liverpool vs Manchester United
Sunday, 12pm, Prenton Park
Eleven games into the season, and Liverpool are still searching for that elusive first league victory, with Vicky Jepson’s side rooted to the bottom of the table.
Another slender 1-0 defeat at the hands of Brighton summed up the Reds’ season so far, with a reasonable solid defensive performance, but failing to find the net at the other end.
With just three goals in the league so far, a new striker will be top of the list during the transfer window, with Niamh Charles bagging two of those in the last three games.
Manchester United have no such problems ahead of this one, with 18-year-old Lauren James netting five times this season for Casey Stoney’s side who sit in fourth going into the weekend.
The Red Devils are yet to taste defeat against their rivals, with a 2-0 home victory back in September giving them the bragging rights.
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Arsenal
Sunday, 12.30pm, Broadfield Stadium
What an incredible run it has been for this Arsenal side, with goals flying in from all angles as the Gunners continue to notch win after win.
In fact, Joe Montemurro’s side haven’t tasted defeat in the league since a 2-1 reverse against Chelsea back in October, a run which sees them top the league.
A trip to Broadfield Stadium this weekend sees them looking for revenge over a Brighton side that have already come out victorious over the visitors this season, albeit in a penalty shoot-out in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup.
And despite being buoyed by 1-0 win over Liverpool last time out, the Seagulls have a wretched record against this weekend’s opponents domestically, conceding four goals in each of their last three meetings against the table-toppers.
Chelsea vs Bristol City
Sunday, 2pm, Kingsmeadow
2020 continues the way 2019 finished for Chelsea, as the Blues secured a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Reading last time out to maintain their unbeaten record in the league.
Emma Hayes welcomed Sam Kerr to the starting line-up for the first time against the Royals, and the Australian will be looking to get off the mark for her new side this weekend against Bristol City.
The Robins had the best possible start to the new year as they recorded their first league win of the season with a 1-0 away win at Manchester United, thanks to a wonderful solo goal by Ebony Salmon.
That win gives them some breathing space at the bottom of the table, but they face a much tougher task this weekend, with City not managing a victory over their hosts in the past 12 league meetings between the two sides.
Reading vs Birmingham City
Sunday, 2pm, Adams Park
The visitors are another side desperately short on goals this season, with the Blues only managing to find the back of the net five times in their nine games this campaign.
Both sides enter this one searching for some sort of league form, with the Royals managing just one victory in their last four matches, while Birmingham have just one success in their last five.
History suggests this one will be a close encounter, with five out of the last nine meetings between the two sides ending in a draw.
Marta Tejedor’s side hold the upper hand recently though, after completing the league double over Sunday’s opponents last season.
Tottenham Hotspur vs West Ham
Sunday, 2pm, The Hive
This one has the potential to be one of the tastiest games of the weekend as the two London rivals going head to head.
Both sides will be itching to get their first win of the new year, with the West Ham squad looking to have recovered from the flu virus which caused last week’s match with Everton to be called off.
Spurs will be hoping to give a first start to Emma Mitchell, after the Scot came off the bench last weekend following her loan move from neighbours Arsenal.
After a promising start to the season, the home side have dropped off in recent weeks, with just one win in their last six.
One clean sheet in eight is proof of where the problem lies, if they can manage to keep the Hammers’ front line quiet, they could get back to winning ways.