WSL preview: United look to push early top-four bid
Manchester United v Brighton
Sunday, 12pm, Leigh Sports Village
Unlucky, Brighton. There has probably never been a worse time for anyone to play Women’s Super League newcomers Manchester United with the Red Devils coming into the game straight off the back of their 11-1 midweek cup victory over Leicester.
Ella Toone scored five as a merciless United swept aside their opponents, with Kirsty Smith and Hayley Ladd also grabbing their first goals for the club.
They’ll be looking to maintain the high when they welcome the Seagulls on Sunday, who will be keen to win successive WSL games for the first time after downing Birmingham 3-0 last weekend.
Arsenal v Liverpool
Sunday, 2pm, Meadow Park
If Liverpool hadn’t had a tougher start to the WSL season already, now they face one of the trickiest challenges yet – a trip to reigning champions Arsenal.
As expected, Joe Montemurro’s side are enjoying themselves this season. They cruised into the Women’s Champions League quarter-finals with a 13-2 aggregate victory over Slavia Praha, before beating Tottenham in front of 38,000 last weekend and running out 7-0 winners over Bristol City in the midweek cup tie.
The same can’t be said for Liverpool, who sit bottom without a win from their opening six league games despite beating Championship outfit Blackburn Rovers 6-0 in the Conti Cup on Thursday.
Birmingham City v Chelsea
Sunday, 2;45pm, SportNation.bet stadium, Solihull Moors, live on BT Sport
Contrary to general assumptions, the last time these two sides met it was Birmingham who came out with the three points, running out 3-2 winners at Kingsmeadow back in January to end their nine-game winless run against the Blues.
However, since that meeting, Chelsea, who currently top the division are unbeaten in 12 WSL games, scoring 36 goals and conceding just eight.
They come into the fixture off the back of defeating Tottenham 5-1 in the Conti Cup, while Birmingham will be looking to bounce back from last week’s 3-0 loss to Brighton.
Everton v Tottenham
Sunday, 12:30pm, Southport Football Club
From playing their first ever top-flight fixture at Stamford Bridge to welcoming 38,000 fans to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to break a WSL attendance record, this season has already been full of new challenges for Spurs.
And on Sunday they go again when they face Everton for the first-ever time in any competition.
The Toffees have got their 2019/20 season off to a blinding start, winning four of six to sit just behind Arsenal in fourth place.
They’ll be full of confidence after beating Liverpool 1-0 in the Merseyside derby at Anfield, while Spurs will be determined to bounce back from their 2-0 North London derby defeat.
Bristol City v Manchester City
Sunday, 12:30pm, Stoke Gifford Stadium, live on BBC Sport website and BBC red button
Manchester City will be looking to build on last weekend’s 5-0 victory over West Ham when they make the trip to Bristol City as Nick Cushing’s side turn their focus to domestic success after bowing out of the Champions League at the hands of Atletico Madrid.
They may have been defeated on their last away trip to Arsenal, but City have only lost successive games on two previous occasions in the WSL.
The fixture marks the end of a tough week for Bristol City who lost 7-0 to Arsenal on Thursday evening, but striker Ebony Salmon will be searching for her fourth goal or assist in as many appearances to help turn their fortunes around.
West Ham v Reading
Sunday, 3pm, Rush Green Stadium
It’s a battle of the mid-table rivals as eighth-placed West Ham welcome Reading in seventh to Rush Green.
The two sides met fighting for a spot in the FA Cup final last season, with West Ham winning on penalties to progress to Wembley.
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