Aston Villa Women Play Bristol City Women in the First Super League Match of the Weekend
Aston Villa Women v Bristol City Women – April 24, Kick-off 12.30pm
The first match of the weekend sees Aston Villa women host Bristol City women at the Banks’s Stadium in a game that could have huge implications in the battle for survival.
Marcus Bignot’s side head into the contest on a seven-match winless run, but did arrest a six-game losing streak with a goalless draw away at West Ham United last time out.
Villa have 11 points from 18 Women’s Super League games to date, one place above Matt Beard’s side who prop up the table with the same number of points, having played a game more.
This does not have the makings of a classic and a draw would do little to ease either clubs’ survival prospects.
Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur – April 25, Kick-off 12.30pm
Casey Stoney’s team have lost five of their last nine league games and sit fourth in the table with 38 points from 19 games – level on points with third-place Arsenal, but have crucially played one more match than the Gunners.
But despite their recent slump in form, Spurs are also struggling to register points on the board after failing to win each of their last eight games.
Rehanne Skinner’s team are effectively safe from relegation with a six-point safety net between themselves and Bristol City but will be eager to arrest this concerning slump in form.
Manchester United have to turn their form around quickly if they are to have any chance of sneaking back up into the top three, and a comfortable win seems likely here.
Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion – April 25, Kick-off 2pm
Two of the most in-form teams meet at Meadow Park when Arsenal look to continue their charge towards Champions League qualification with the visit of Brighton.
The Gunners are now the clear favourites to secure third place in the league and are on a relentless pursuit to claim third place, after winning each of their last five games without conceding a goal.
But, Hope Powell’s team have made fine progress of their own in recent weeks, having won five of their last six Women’s Super League games to leave the Seagulls sitting pretty in sixth.
However, this represents arguably their stiffest test yet since overcoming Chelsea with a stunning 2-1 win on February 7.
It is hard to see anything other than a convincing Arsenal victory here, which will move them a big step closer to securing third place.
Birmingham City v Reading – April 25, Kick-off 2pm
To say all is not well at Birmingham City at present would be somewhat of an understatement.
Off-the-pitch matters have dominated the headlines at the West Midlands club, with The FA investigating potential breaches in their Women’s Super League licence after complaints were made by a number of players detailing several grievances with facilities, travel and budget restrictions.
It has not been much better on the pitch either, with the Blues winless in each of their last ten Women’s Super League games – a run that leaves them tenth with 13 points from 18 games.
Reading are ending their season with a bit of a whimper after a five-match winless run which followed a surprise 2-0 win away at Manchester United on February 7.
The Royals currently sit seventh with 20 points from 19 games and are seemingly in a two-way tussle with Brighton to claim sixth spot.
Birmingham will put up a decent fight here after being buoyed by their FA Cup win over Coventry United last time out, but Reading are the division’s draw specialists (8) and another stalemate seems likely here.
West Ham United v Everton – April 25, Kick-off 3pm
The Hammers battled to a goalless draw with survival rivals Aston Villa last time out and are currently ninth – two points clear of Bristol City at the bottom with a game in hand.
The Toffees are heading into this match on a high following a run of three consecutive wins in all competitions and followed an emphatic 5-0 win over Brighton with 3-1 and 2-1 victories over Villa and Durham in league and cup competitions respectively.
Willie Kirk’s side look almost certain to end an impressive season in fifth place, leaving the Merseysiders with plenty to build on heading into the next campaign.
This has the makings of an entertaining contest, with West Ham showing signs of resurgence at the right time in their bid to avoid the drop.