The WSL 1 calendar resumes this weekend with the biggest fixture of the campaign so far. The top two and current heavyweights of the league go head to head at Kingsmeadow in what promises to be an enthralling fixture. Whoever ends up the victor between Chelsea Ladies and Manchester City Women will feel they are well placed to go on and win the league at the end of the season and will surely strike a huge psychological blow to the loser.
Both teams go into the game being the last two unbeaten teams in the league; City have a slightly better record than The Blues having won all five of their league fixtures so far whereas the only blemish on Chelsea’s record was the 2-2 draw versus Reading Women in their last league fixture that meant they relinquished their position at the top of the table.
Much like their male counterparts, Manchester City have been playing some incredible and enterprising football and look almost unbeatable at the moment. Their best performance so far this season coming in their second league game at home to Arsenal who they beat 5-2 with five different goal scorers. City have also competed in two Continental Cup matches over the last week. They were victorious in both, beating Birmingham City Ladies 3-0 and following that up with a hard fought 3-2 away win at Doncaster Rovers Belles.
Chelsea also had their own couple of Continental Cup matches to contend with this week and came out of them with two comfortable wins. Firstly, they demolished Yeovil Town 8-0 with goals coming from Crystal Dunn, Fran Kirby and Erin Cuthbert among others. The next game was a London derby against Tottenham Hotspurs Ladies which Chelsea won 4-1 and celebrated Claire Rafferty’s 10 year anniversary at the club in style. Hannah Blundell, Drew Spence and a double from Fran Kirby settled the game on Wednesday night.
The match pits the last official WSL winners Manchester City against the current Spring Series champions Chelsea and their head to head record has been very even over the last few years and this season’s showdowns will not stray too far from that pattern. The last time they played each other was in the Spring Series earlier this year; City Women won 1-0 to inflict Chelsea’s only loss in that campaign. The year before that, Chelsea denied City an FA Cup final place after defeating them 2-1 after extra time in an end to end semi-final.
Chelsea will have to keep an eye on the League’s top scorer Izzy Christiansen, she has five goals in five games from midfield and will be City’s biggest threat going forward.
Both sides are in fantastic form, scoring plenty of goals and progressing well domestically and in Europe. Let’s hope the game matches the excitement of the build up!
Chelsea Player to Watch: Fran Kirby
Man City Player to Watch: Isobel Christiansen