West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur meet in the FA Women’s Super League for the very first time at the London Stadium this afternoon.
Over 20,000 fans are expected to attend the match, a West Ham United attendance record, while the occasion sees them make a debut appearance at the London Stadium, the home of the men’s side.
With many fans set to sample their first tastes of FA Women’s Super League football in East London, we explain a little bit more about both West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur.
West Ham United
Managed by Matt Beard, The Hammers have written their own chapter in the women’s game during the last 15 months.
West Ham United were awarded an FA Women’s Super League top tier licence in summer 2018 and the club quickly went on to establish themselves at their new level. A virtually brand new squad was built and despite having to contend with several injuries throughout last season, they still managed a respectable seventh place finish in the FA Women’s Super League table.
The club’s finest hour came at Adams Park in April when they defeated Reading 4-3 on penalty kicks in the SSE Women’s FA Cup semi-finals to reach Wembley for the first time. The Hammers lost 3-0 to Manchester City in the final under the arch but put down some strong foundations for the future during that cup run.
Beard’s side have started the new season with a 1-0 victory over Birmingham City while they have been defeated by Arsenal and Chelsea either side of that win. It should be noted that they have not disgraced themselves in either of those defeats against what can be classed as the very best opposition in the women’s game in this country.
A club which will be trying to replicate West Ham United’s achievements are Tottenham Hotspur.
Karen Hills’ side were promoted to the FA Women’s Super League in May after finishing as runners-up in the FA Women’s Championship last season, no easy feat given the level of competition in that division in 2018/2019.
Spurs were only competing in the second tier for two years, their rise to the top level has been a rapid one to say the least.
When you jump two levels in such a short period of time, changes are naturally going to need to be made and manager Hills has brought in plenty of new faces over the summer, nine at the last head count.
Spurs lost 1-0 at Chelsea on opening day before beating Liverpool by the same scoreline at The Hive in their second league fixture. They crashed to a 4-0 home loss to Reading in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup last weekend.
Did you know?
The two sides met in a pre-season friendly at Rush Green in August, Spurs won the match 2-1.
One to watch
West Ham United’s Swiss international forward Alisha Lehmann is just 20 years of age but is deadly in the opposition box. She has a big role to play this season, especially following fellow striker Jane Ross’ exit in the summer.
Admission for this afternoon’s fixture is available right up until kick-off (2.30pm) so please get down to the London Stadium and show your support!