The Barclays FA Women’s Super League moves into the second weekend of action with another set of exhilarating fixtures on the horizon.
With the transfer window having closed this week, several clubs have opted to make some late additions to their squads and fans will be keen to see some of those new arrivals in action.
Here is my preview of the coming weekend’s action in the top flight:-
West Ham United v Arsenal
Saturday kicks-off gameweek two with a London derby as West Ham United host Arsenal at The Chigwell Construction Stadium in Dagenham. The Hammers managed to record a 1-1 draw against Spurs last weekend and are coming into their second fixture with new loanee Rachel Daly being the key talking point. Daly provides The Hammers with some much-needed experience and will be looking for her first start this weekend.
Arsenal played very well against Reading last weekend beating them 6-1, a scoreline which included a Vivianne Miedema brace and a hat-trick for her Netherlands compatriot Jill Roord. The Gunners will hope to have the same sort of performance against West Ham United on Saturday. This game will be an interesting derby but I’m still predicting an Arsenal win because of their attacking threat.
Chelsea v Bristol City
The current league champions were not up to scratch against Manchester United at the weekend and they will want to take all three points against Bristol City. Fran Kirby is one attacking player who will be looking to get off the mark against a Bristol City side that conceded four goals against Everton last time out.
Bristol City on the other hand will be looking for a better performance but I predict that they will come up short against this Chelsea side. It will be interesting to see if record signing Pernille Harder is given her first start for Chelsea in this match and the difference she will make to this Chelsea team. I predict a Chelsea win.
Everton v Tottenham Hotspur
Everton are coming into this game off the back of a strong performance against Bristol City. The Blues Girls won 4-0 last weekend with Lucy Graham netting a brace in that match as Everton dictated much of the play. They will be looking for a similar performance against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
The visitors will be looking to build on their first season in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League this year and notching their first win of the season against The Blue Girls would get them up and running. I predict a draw for this one but it’ll be close.
Birmingham City v Manchester United
Manchester United have been at the centre of fascinating transfer news with the double signing of United States international stars Tobin Heath and Christen Press having been announced this week. While we will have to wait a few weeks to see these two in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, United still have a very strong team without them. They started their season well with a 1-1 draw against Chelsea, their first league point against a ‘top three’ club.
Birmingham City on the other hand lost 2-0 at Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend, only managing one shot on target in that match. They must improve but they will do well to avoid a defeat against a strong United side. I predict a United win.
Manchester City v Brighton & Hove Albion
Just like their Manchester neighbours, City were busy with their transfer announcements this week. UEFA Women’s Champions League winner and Lioness Lucy Bronze has returned to City after a three-year stint away, while her Lyon teammate Alex Greenwood has moved back to Manchester, but this time to the blue side. These two improve an already impressive City side but are thought to be unlikely to start against Brighton & Hove Albion.
The visitors side face a monumental task in stopping a City team that were impressive in their first game, even with the absence of key midfielder Jill Scott from their starting line-up. I predict a Manchester City win.
Reading v Aston Villa
Finally, Reading will host newly-promoted Aston Villa at The Madejski Stadium. The Royals will be looking to bounce back from that heavy defeat against Arsenal on opening weekend. With a strong team boasting new signings Emma Mitchell, Jess Fishlock and Danielle Carter, they will be an attacking threat for Villa to deal with. Fishlock in particular looked a handful against Arsenal and will be looking to perform well again in her second Barclays FA Women’s Super League game in eight years.
Villa will have a lot to contend with but have made some good signings this window. Players like Anita Asante offer FA Women’s Super League experience, while Scotland’s Chloe Arthur is an exciting player who can make things happen. It will be a close match up but I think Reading will just about edge it.
You can watch all of these matches for free on the FA player. Enjoy the weekend of football!