The most vital WSL sport of the season to this point takes place this weekend when league leaders Manchester United journey to second place and reigning champions Chelsea.
Only one level separates the pair coming into the match – Chelsea have a sport in hand – and may both crew take most factors it’s going to give them the inititiative within the title race.
Chelsea put a disappointing Conti Cup remaining defeat to Arsenal final weekend behind them on Wednesday evening with a cushty win over Brighton. Manager Emma Hayes had pointed the finger at complacency for the Gunners loss and made seven adjustments to face the Seagulls.
Having overcome a barely sticky patch in late January and early February, United are bringing higher type after scoring 10 objectives throughout their final two video games in all competitions – albeit towards opposition in Durham and Leicester they have been anticipated to convincingly beat anyway.
Chelsea received 3-1 at Leigh Sports Village when these groups final met in November. It was a tense first hour, with neither facet actually going for it, till the Blues scored a quickfire double by way of Sam Kerr and ex-United star Lauren James. Alessia Russo pulled one again, however Erin Cuthbert sealed it late on.
When is kick off? Sunday 12 March, 12:30 (GMT)
Where is the match being performed? Kingsmeadow
TV channel/stay stream? BBC Two/iPlayer (UK), FA Player (International)
What time does TV protection begin within the UK? 12:15 (GMT)
Referee? Cheryl Foster
Emma Hayes is likley to ring within the adjustments once more following Wednesday evening’s win, not least as a result of Sunday’s sport is simply the third of seven outings in 4 competitions for the Blues this month.
Lauren James, Sophie Ingle and Eve Perisset are all vying to return, whereas Magdalena Eriksson might make her first WSL look in practically two months.
Fran Kirby and Pernille Harder have been nonetheless lacking towards Brighton.
January signing Jayde Riviere, who’s the ultimate phases of her restoration from a long-term damage, is the one confirmed absentee for United right here. The Canadian full-back stays about two weeks away.
Lisa Naalsund shall be hoping to make her debut after remaining an unused substitute towards Leicester, whereas Marc Skinner made 5 adjustments throughout that win over the Foxes with one eye on holding gamers recent and concerned forward of this sport.
Manchester United have by no means crushed Chelsea – the one facet they’ve by no means tasted victory towards after getting one over on each Arsenal and Manchester City a number of occasions. They have threatened to, holding the Blues to a attract 2020 and main twice in a gathering on the ultimate day of final season, earlier than finally succumbing to a Sam Kerr-inspired comeback.
Chelsea have been there and accomplished it time and time once more in recent times. They know easy methods to win in any circumstance, even when not enjoying at their finest. That is a talent that United have needed to attempt to study after dropping too many factors final season, however to their credit score it appears to be taking place.
Since dropping towards Chelsea at Leigh, United have crushed Arsenal on the Emirates Stadium and have been disenchanted to solely draw towards Manchester City on the Etihad. Their mentality has shifted for most of these video games and, whereas they nonetheless might not win, it’s more likely to be an excellent contest.
Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd
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