It’s matchday three in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup with 11 games set to be played over an action-packed weekend.
There are four all FA Women’s Super League ties which include Manchester United travelling to Everton, Manchester City hosting Birmingham City, Arsenal facing Brighton & Hove Albion and Reading taking on West Ham United.
The weekend’s action kicks-off on Saturday afternoon when Lewes host FA Women’s Super League league leaders Chelsea.
Here’s a preview of the key games….
Lewes v Chelsea
The opening game of the weekend on paper looks like it should be a comfortable win for Chelsea, especially when you look at the contrasting form of the two sides. Chelsea are unbeaten in the league with four wins out of five and a draw against Brighton & Hove Albion back in September. Lewes sit seventh in the FA Women’s Championship with only two wins in their opening seven games.
Despite a disappointing 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace in the first round of fixtures, Lewes showed they can go toe-to-toe with higher opposition. They were leading 2-1 at Reading in the second round of FA Women’s Continental League Cup group fixtures, before two Fara Williams goals gave the top flight side the win.
Everton v Manchester United
Newly-promoted Manchester United face a much-improved Everton side in what could be one of the games of the weekend. United pulled of an outstanding victory in week one against rivals Manchester City. Everton lost at Birmingham City in their first group match at the SportNation.Bet Stadium.
The Blue Girls come into the game off the back of an impressive start to their league campaign. Everton who finished 10th in the league last year have won three of their opening five games, which equals their win tally from last season. This improvement is partly down to the form of forward Chloe Kelly who is the league’s leading scorer with four goals.
Aston Villa v Liverpool
This fixture sees two sides that have had polar opposite starts to the season.
FA Women’s Championship side Aston Villa, are unbeaten in the league with five wins out of six and one draw whereas Liverpool have lost four out of their opening five games with their only point coming in a 1-1 home draw against Bristol City.
Villa have scored 19 goals in their opening six league games. They also boast the leading scorer in the second tier with the deadly Melissa Johnson having scored 10 goals, including three hat-tricks.
On the other hand, Melissa Lawley’s goal in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Bristol City is their only goal of the season so far.
Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal
Arsenal travel to the south coast off the back of an impressive week. Joe Montemurro’s side started the week with an important 1-0 win over Manchester City in the league, before an 8-0 UEFA Women’s Champions League victory against Slavia Prague at Meadow Park in midweek.
Brighton & Hove Albion have struggled at the start of the season with only two points in their opening five games. However, Hope Powell’s side found success in this competition last season. The Seagulls made it to the quarter-finals before defeat against a Manchester United side who were flying.
In other notable fixtures, second place side in the FA Women’s Championship, London City Lionesses, face FA Women’s Super League outfit Bristol City. Blackburn Rovers will be looking to build some form against fellow second tier side Sheffield United and Charlton Athletic will be looking for their first win of the season at London Bees.
Group A: Aston Villa v Liverpool, Sheffield United v Blackburn Rovers, Durham v Coventry United.
Group B: Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal, Bristol City v London City Lionesses, London Bees v Charlton Athletic
Group C: Manchester City v Birmingham City, Everton v Manchester United
Group D: Reading v West Ham United, Lewes v Chelsea, Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur
By Jamie Farrin (@jamiefarrin)