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Another crucial game coming up...

WSL preview: Chelsea take on Arsenal

2024/03/13 18:45
E3

This weekend sees another huge game to decide the potential destination of the 2023/24 WSL title.

With first-place Chelsea hosting third-placed Arsenal (and just three points between them) the result could have a huge impact on the final stands.

But as always, there's plenty more from the WSL to sink our teeth into so let's get on with our weekend preview.


Friday

Chelsea vs. Arsenal

It's the big one and a dress rehearsal of this month's Conti Cup final as champions Chelsea host challengers Arsenal.

Emma Hayes' team have enjoyed their recent cup exploits after knocking out Manchester City to reach the Conti Cup final and edging past Everton to move into the FA Cup final – all this before facing Ajax in the Champions League next week.

The Gunners meanwhile enjoyed last weekend after having already been eliminated from the FA Cup by City in February but did book their Conti Cup final thanks to Alessia Russo's goal against Tottenham Hotspur.

Speaking of Russo, she was key when Jonas Eidevall's team enjoyed a 4-1 win over Chelsea back in December, scoring two of the Blues' goals. Amanda Ilestedt also scored in that game but the Swedish defender will not be available for selection for the foreseeable future after announcing her pregnancy.

It's hard to underestimate how vital this game could be by the end of the season. Arsenal desperately need to win to close the gap while holders Chelsea need to stave off the Gunners' and City's challenges to retain their crown in Hayes' final year.


Saturday

@Getty /
Everton vs. Aston Villa

Following that blockbuster Friday we have a mid-table clash on Saturday as the Toffees host Aston Villa.

Everton gave Chelsea a tight game in Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final defeat but didn't quite have the ability to shock the holders. After having suffered a narrow defeat to Manchester City before that in the league, Brian Sorensen will be keen for his team to return to winning ways.

Villa meanwhile had the weekend off but conceded eight goals in their last two games (4-0 against Arsenal in the Conti Cup semi-final and a 4-1 loss to Liverpool in the league). With Arsenal coming up against next in the league, Carla Ward will be hoping to get points on the board in this one.

However, these two have already faced off twice this season in the WSL and FA Cup with the Toffees victorious in both games.


Sunday

Manchester United vs. Bristol City

The Red Devils' league campaign has been poor considering the heights of last year but a 4-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over Brighton helped alleviate the mood that had made Mark Skinner's future look less than certain.

For Bristol City, relegation is all but assured barring a miracle considering they still have to play Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, and Everton after this one. In some ways, every game for the Robins now is a free hit and any point is a big bonus.

Hinata Miyazawa, getting close to her return from injury, and Nikita Parris scored in a 2-0 win for United when these two faced off last time.


@Getty /
Liverpool vs. West Ham United

The Reds' FA Cup run came to an end last Saturday after a 2-0 defeat at home to Leicester City.

Now it's up to Liverpool to solidify what an impressive 2023/24 season they've had by accumulating as many points as possible from now until the end of the season – one that could see them finish fourth ahead of Manchester United.

Matt Beard's team will host a well-rested West Ham team though, with the Hammers having not played a game since drawing with the aforementioned Man Utd at the start of the month.

Riko Ueki struck in stoppage time in the previous meeting between the two to earn a point for West Ham in a 1-1 draw – a close game is expected again.


Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Manchester City

The Seagulls have scored seven and conceded seven in their last two games – a 7-3 win away to Bristol City in the league and then a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United in the cup most recently.

Brighton have been nothing if not inconsistent this season, proven by the fact that they did manage to beat City in Manchester earlier this season with Lee Geum-min coming off the bench to score the winner against her former club.

Gareth Taylor's team have been knocked out of both cup competitions this month (most recently by Spurs in the FA Cup) which does mean that the team can now put their complete focus on winning their remaining seven fixtures.


@Getty /
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Leicester City

An overview of Spurs' recent form shows four defeats, two draws, and just one win in their recent seven games in all competitions. Robert Vilahamn's team have had a tough run of fixtures but one of those two draws was last weekend's dramatic 1-1 draw with Manchester City in the FA Cup.

Beth England struck late to take the game into extra-time where Tottenham went on to progress to the semi-finals after a penalty shoot-out victory.

Their reward for that is a semi-final at home to Leicester City... which is exactly what's happening this weekend in the WSL.

As we've already mentioned, the Foxes made their way into the semi-finals after a 2-0 win over Liverpool with Jutta Rantala scoring a brace.

But that was a game they had to play without manager Willie Kirk who was not involved due to an 'internal investigation' by the club. As things stand right now, Jennifer Foster and Stephen Kirby are likely to be in charge again for this one.

Comments

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motivo:
2024-03-13 20h29m by edavidson
As a football fan, I am feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness for this huge game between Chelsea and Arsenal. Both teams have been in great form and it's going to be a tough battle for the title. I can't wait to see how things play out on the pitch.
DN
2024-03-13 20h05m by dnelsons
As a fan of Arsenal, I am nervous and excited for this weekend's game against Chelsea. It's not only a crucial match in the race for the 2023/24 WSL title, but it's also a chance for us to redeem ourselves after losing to Chelsea in the Conti Cup final. However, Chelsea's recent cup successes make them a formidable opponent, and I know it won't be an easy match. But as always, I have faith in my team and I
2024-03-13 19h28m by eyoungs8
Come on Chelsea!

As a fan of Arsenal, I have to admit that Chelsea have been on fire lately. Their cup wins have been impressive and they have shown great form in the league. But Arsenal won't back down without a fight. We have a strong team and we're ready to give it our all. Let's go Gunners!
classic matches
U Friday, 15 March 2024 - 19:00
Stamford Bridge
3-1
Lauren James 15'
Sjoeke Nüsken 21' 32'
Catarina Macário 86' (o.g.)

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