The Women’s Super League is back at full throttle this weekend with the division’s penultimate full round of fixtures, and we could see new champions crowned when Arsenal travel to Brighton.
Of course, as the season draws to a close, we have numerous other clashes to look forward to, with ten sides in action on Sunday.
Here’s what’s on the agenda for matchweek 19.
Brighton vs Arsenal
Brighton have little left to play for in their maiden WSL season, but the same certainly cannot be said for Joe Montemuro’s Arsenal. Four points clear of Manchester City in second place, they can put the season to bed with a victory on the south coast.
Having not lifted a domestic title since 2012, they have been particularly keen to claim some silverware for months now. They have recorded six wins on the bounce since a wobble that saw them fall to both City and Chelsea over the festive period, but those two defeats remain the only dropped points so far this season.
Instrumental to that incredible run has been the form of Vivianne Miedema. The 22-year-old sensation has hit 21 goals already this season, and having netted what proved to be the winner against Everton last time out, a similar showing here would go a long way towards a famous victory.
Birmingham City vs Liverpool
Birmingham have been mainstays of the WSL since its formation in 2011, and sitting in a respectable fourth place at present, they’ll be keen to finish the season as strongly as they can and leapfrog Chelsea into third.
For the Reds, it’s a different story. They’ve had such a poor season, and though they won convincingly against Bristol City in their last outing, two wins in the 12 matches that preceded it really sum up where they’re at at present.
That said, they have the opportunity to make a statement against one of the league’s big-hitters here.
Everton vs Reading
Although they held their own against Arsenal last weekend, readjusting to life in the top flight has not been easy going for Everton. While their first season back up saw them pick up just 14 points, they only seem to be going backwards, and have collected just nine so far this season.
Their eyes will undoubtedly be on the Merseyside derby on the final game of the season, but before that, they have Reading to contend with. Their visitors have been one of the chasing back at the top of the division throughout the season, but know they cannot catch fourth-placed Birmingham, and will turn their attention to those behind them in the standings.
Incidentally, Fara Williams’ nine goals see her as the joint top scorer of non-Arsenal or City players this season, so she will be keen to build on what has been a very good personal season and get into double figures.
Manchester City vs Yeovil Town
If ever there was a tale of two sides with differing fortunes, this is it. City, having joined the top flight in 2014, have been there or thereabouts in the title picture since lifting the trophy for the first time in 2016. They finished runners up to Chelsea last season, and have a fleeting chance of besting Arsenal this time around, although the four point gap and their opposition’s formidable form means that remains unlikely.
Still, they will be keen to keep racking up the wins to keep the pressure on their title rivals, and with no disrespect to Yeovil, they won’t get many better chances to do so than this one.
Town have managed to win just twice this season – incidentally both against Everton – and sit bottom on a points tally of -3 after going into administration in March. On occasion, they have shown they can be a decent side, but have their work cut out for them against the likes of Nikita Parris and Georgia Stanway, who have 29 WSL goals between them this campaign.
Bristol City vs West Ham United
Rounding out Sunday’s matches is West Ham’s trip to Bristol City, which has arguably the least on the line of all the ties.
The two sides sit firmly wedged in mid-table, with City five points ahead of the Hammers, having played a game more. They’ve lost their last two outings, so securing a win against one of the sides around them in the table to restore some pride towards the end of the season will be their priority.
They come up against a West Ham side who have enjoyed a solid, if not hugely successful, first foray into the WSL. They have an FA Cup final to look forward to against Manchester City in a week’s time, however, so will likely use this tie as a warm-up for the big one.