The Women’s Super League reaches its conclusion on May 9, with the title race and battle for survival both going to the wire.
All 12 teams take to the pitch at 2.30pm, as the key issues at both ends of the table are decided.
Chelsea know that a win would guarantee a consecutive Women’s Super League crown and keep them on track to achieve the quadruple, but any slip-up would open the door for Manchester City to leapfrog them into top spot.
Women’s Super League Concludes This Weekend
Chelsea v Reading One of Two Key Clashes in the Women’s Super League
Chelsea occupy pole position in the title race and need one more win to guarantee a fourth Women’s Super League title.
That would move them to the top of the all-time rankings, as the Blues currently sit level with Arsenal on three Women’s Super League titles each.
A 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on May 5 ensured Emma Hayes’ side kept fate in their own hands. However, they will be conscious that any slip-up will open the door for Manchester City to sneak top spot.
Meanwhile, Reading are sitting comfortably in mid-table and a shock win for the Royals would be enough to claim sixth spot.
It is hard to see anything other than a comfortable Chelsea victory here. Emma Hayes’ side are flying and an unprecedented quadruple is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.
The Other Game in the Women’s Super League Title Race
Manchester City are the only team that can stop Chelsea from winning the title and must beat West Ham United at the Chigwell Construction Stadium to capitalise on any possible mishap from the Blues.
Second place is a familiar position for City, and a Blues win over Reading will see them finish as runners-up for a fifth consecutive season – including the 2017 Women’s Super League Spring Series.
Gareth Taylor’s team have already set a league record, as their current haul of 52 points is already the most achieved by a second-place team.
In contrast, it has been a difficult campaign for West Ham, but they head into their final game of the season having all but mathematically secured survival by virtue of a vastly superior goal difference to Bristol City.
City will get the job done against a West Ham side that has been harder to beat in recent weeks, but it won’t be enough to claim top spot.
Brighton & Hove Albion v Bristol City
Bristol City head to the People’s Pension Stadium on Sunday knowing that only a win will keep their hopes of survival alive.
Matt Beard’s team will then hope that Arsenal overcome Aston Villa in order to leapfrog the West Midlands team into 11th place.
The Vixens have recorded just two wins all season, but one of those came in this season’s reverse fixture between the clubs – a 3-0 win for Beard’s team back in January.
However, City are yet to register a win on the road this campaign, and the last time they won an away match in the Women’s Super League came back in February 2020.
Brighton were in a fight for survival following that aforementioned defeat to City, but a subsequent run of four consecutive wins extinguished any lingering relegation fears.
Hope Powell’s side have already secured their highest-ever Women’s Super League finish and could secure sixth with a win here coupled alongside a Reading defeat to Chelsea.
Just like the recent FA Cup tie between the teams, expect Brighton to edge out a cagey contest. This would mean relegation for Bristol City and Women’s Championship football next season.
Arsenal v Aston Villa
Aston Villa are the only team that Bristol City can catch in their battle to beat the drop but know that a point away at Arsenal will almost certainly be enough to avoid relegation.
Villa are winless in each of their last nine Women’s Super League games, but have drawn their last four and extending that run should be enough to preserve a place in the top-flight for next season.
For Arsenal, third place and Champions League qualification is all but mathematically guaranteed in what is Joe Montemurro’s final match in charge.
The Gunners are in electric form having won each of their last nine Women’s Super League games, scoring 23 times and conceding just once.
Arsenal will end the season on a high and give Joe Montemurro an ideal send off following three seasons in charge. Despite defeat for Villa, Bristol City’s defeat at Brighton will see them stay up.
Manchester United v Everton
It has been a case of so near yet so far for Manchester United, who have just missed out on a top-three finish and a debut campaign in next season’s Champions League.
Casey Stoney’s team are set to finish fourth for the second season in a row, and a run of five defeats in their last 10 games ended hopes of a European adventure.
It has been an impressive season for Everton, who will finish fifth and achieve their joint highest-ever Women’s Super League finish.
But history is against the Toffees’ finishing the season on a high after losing all three of their previous Women’s Super League meetings with Manchester United.
United will take the points here to end a frustrating season on a high note for Casey Stoney’s team.
Birmingham City v Tottenham Hotspur
Birmingham must be glad to see the back of the 2020/21 season. Dogged by off-the-pitch issues and a poor run of form on it, the Blues will be relieved that their Women’s Super League status is all-but-mathematically secured for another season.
It has not been that much better on the field for Tottenham either, who are winless in their last 10 games.
That slump in form came after three straight victories following Rehanne Skinner’s appointment as head coach in January.
Two out-of-form teams with little to play for on the final day does not have the makings of a classic, so a draw seems to be a safe bet here.
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