WSL Preview: Everton look to topple league leaders Chelsea

Ellen White celebrates scoring her first Manchester City goal (Action Images via Reuters/Molly Darlington)

There are captivating plotlines everywhere you look in the Barclay’s FA Women’s Super League this weekend as the Christmas break looms on the horizon.

The action gets underway tonight when Brighton welcome Reading before two of the most in-form teams in the top flight meet lunchtime on Sunday in the form of Chelsea and Everton.

It looks less than promising at the other end of the table for winless Bristol City and Liverpool, though, who face daunting trips to Arsenal and Manchester City, respectively.

And as we prepare for another blockbuster round of Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixtures, here’s everything you need to know.

Brighton and Hove Albion v Reading 

Friday, KO 7.45pm, Broadfield Stadium

Coming off the back of a win last weekend, Reading will travel to Brighton safe in the knowledge that they have the edge over their hosts after completing the WSL double last season.

The hosts were on the wrong end of a comprehensive 4-0 beating at Manchester United last time out and Hope Powell will be looking for a response from her side at Broadfield Stadium.

Should she get one and Brighton emerge victorious it would be the first time they have recorded back-to-back wins in the WSL, having beaten Birmingham 3-0 in their last such match.

Everton v Chelsea

Sunday, KO 12.30pm, Haig Avenue

League leaders Chelsea will face another test of their title credentials on Sunday when they travel to in-form Everton, with Willie Kirk’s hosts winning their last three league games on the spin.

Everton only lost one of their first six WSL meetings against Chelsea but they have since suffered defeat in five of their last six matches with the Blues in the league.

The visitors also have a formidable record on the road. Emma Hayes’ side are unbeaten in 25 away games and have netted 39 goals in their last 11 league games on their travels. Ominous.

Arsenal v Bristol City

Sunday, KO 12.30pm, Meadow Park

An Arsenal side buoyed by the fact England hotshot Beth Mead has just signed a new contract will welcome Bristol City on Sunday lunchtime knowing their visitors are low on confidence.

The Robins suffered their joint-heaviest home WSL defeat last weekend against Manchester City and are still winless in the league, losing seven and drawing three of their last ten top flight matches.

Arsenal have only lost one of their previous 15 WSL meetings with City and will be eyeing their fourth league win in a row as they look to keep in touch with Chelsea at the summit.

Manchester City v Liverpool

Sunday, KO 2pm, Academy Stadium

Without a win to their name in the league so far this season, the last thing Liverpool need right now is a trip to the Academy Stadium to face Manchester City and chief tormenter Ellen White.

The England international has scored five and provided three assists in her last six WSL matches against Liverpool – and has netted more goals versus the Reds than any other opponent.

Nick Cushing’s side are also looking to win their seventh successive home match in the WSL, a run that has included scoring ten goals without reply in their last two league games.

West Ham United v Manchester United

Sunday, 3pm, The Rush Green Stadium

Casey Stoney’s Manchester United will break new ground on Sunday when they face West Ham United for the first time in the Women’s Super League at Rush Green Stadium.

The Red Devils will take encouragement from their 2-0 win over the Hammers in the Continental League Cup last season, however, with Jess Sigsworth’s brace deciding the encounter.

West Ham are on a run of three straight losses and capitulated last time out, allowing Reading to come from two down to win 3-2 despite having ten players on the field for the second half.

Birmingham City v Tottenham Hotspur

Wednesday, KO 7.30pm, Sportnation.bet Stadium

Fans of Birmingham City and Tottenham Hotspur will have to wait until Wednesday night to see their teams in action as the two sides meet for the first-time at the Sportnation.bet Stadium.

The hosts go into the game off the back of their biggest ever defeat in the competition after shipping six goals against Chelsea and sit precariously above Liverpool at the bottom of the table.

But Tottenham have suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time in the WSL following their 3-1 defeat at Everton last weekend and are also in need of a pick-me-up in the league.

To follow the action, buy tickets and sign-up for The FA Player’s live Barclays FA Women’s Super League coverage visit womenscompetitions.thefa.com