WSL preview & predictions: Gameweek 6

Sam Kerr netted a pair of stunning goals the last time Chelsea and Manchester United met in the WSL
Sam Kerr netted a pair of stunning goals the last time Chelsea and Manchester United met in the WSL / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

The final round of WSL matches before November's international break take place on Sunday.

There are six games, two new managers and one particularly mouthwatering clash between a pair of WSL heavyweights to look forward to across the Sunday.

Here's everything to look out for on gameweek 6 of the WSL.


Can anyone stop Bunny Shaw?

Khadija Shaw
Shaw has been devastating for City this season / Lewis Storey/GettyImages

Bunny Shaw has burst out of the blocks this season and currently tops the WSL scoring charts with six goals in five outings.

The forward has netted 15 goals in just 14 WSL starts, and despite playing 90 minutes just once in the top flight, only Sam Kerr and Vivianne Miedema have more goals than Shaw since she signed for City last summer. Can Reading stop her on Sunday?

“She [Shaw] has had a fantastic start to the season." said Kelly Chambers. “Her having a consistent role within the team now, I think Man City are starting to see the benefit of that. They have probably got one of the scariest frontlines in the league, I truly believe that, with Chloe Kelly, Lauren Hemp and Bunny Shaw through the middle."

Reading vs Man City

  • When is kick off? Sunday 6 November 14:00 (GMT)
  • Where is the match being played? Madjeski Stadium
  • TV channel/live stream? FA Player (UK & international)
  • Referee? Abigail Byrne

90min predicts: Reading 0-2 Man City


Can Liverpool find a second goalscorer?

Katie Stengel
Stengel has scored all of Liverpool's WSL goals this term / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Liverpool scored their first goal from open play during last Sunday's narrow defeat to Manchester City thanks to Katie Stengel, with the forward currently the only player to find the net for the Reds in the WSL this term.

Losing last season's top scorer Leanne Kiernan to an ankle injury was a big blow for the Reds, while Shanice van de Sanden is being eased back in following a spell on the sidelines.

"I've not really been worried about that (goal scoring)," said Matt Beard. "If we hadn't been creating chances then that's a worry, but we have been creating chances then that potentially could be an issue.

"Having Shanice back is a big threat, especially as the games become a little bit more open - with her pace. I'm confident we'll start converting the chances."

Liverpool vs Aston Villa

  • When is kick off? Sunday 6 November, 14:00 (GMT)
  • Where is the match being played? Prenton Park
  • TV channel/live stream? FA Player (UK & international)
  • Referee? Robert Masey-Ellis

90min predicts: Liverpool 1-2 Aston Villa


How do you prepare to face a side who won 8-0 last time out?

Ashleigh Neville
Neville netted a brace for Tottenham during their 8-0 win over Brighton / Bryn Lennon/GettyImages

Tottenham are typically renowned for their defensive resilience and ability to frustrate sides. Last Sunday they beat Brighton 8-0.

Spurs face Everton on Sunday, with the two sides looking like they could be set to battle it out for fifth place this term.

"The Brighton game was well done but if you look at the game it wasn't an 8-0 game, but that's how it goes sometimes in football," said Brian Sorensen. "They have some things they're really good at, they have some things in what they do that we can hurt and we can utilise. That's up to us to try and show that."

Tottenham vs Everton

  • When is kick off? Sunday 6 November, 14:00 (GMT)
  • Where is the match being played? Brisbane Road
  • TV channel/live stream? FA Player (UK & international)
  • Referee? Kirsty Dowle

90min predicts: Tottenham 3-1 Everton


Willie Kirk takes charge of Leicester for the first time

Willie Kirk
Kirk is the new Leicester boss / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Leicester will have a new boss in the dugout when they face Arsenal on Sunday, after Willie Kirk was appointed as Lydia Bedford's replacement on Thursday after the Foxes failed to pick up a point from their opening six WSL outings.

Kirk - who has extensive experience in the WSL with Bristol City and Everton - has moved from his role as director of women's football at Leicester to take the managerial post.

"I had another idea [of what to expect from Leicester] yesterday when we prepared and we could have the history of them playing under Lydia Bedford, and now they've changed the coach and now we have a game that is very much in the unknown," said Jonas Eidevall.

"If I was giving any young coaches any advice is to say when your boss is also a head coach, that usually never leaves you for a lot of margins in this game so that's something I would always be watching out for, being a head coach myself."

Leicester vs Arsenal

  • When is kick off? Sunday 6 November, 14:00 (GMT)
  • Where is the match being played? King Power Stadium
  • TV channel/live stream? BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button (UK) FA Player (International)
  • Referee? Amy Fearn

90min predicts: Leicester 0-3 Arsenal


Brighton play first WSL match without Hope Powell

Hope Powell, Amy Merricks
Merricks will take charge of Brighton following Powell's resignation / Bryn Lennon/GettyImages

Hope Powell has been an ever present at Brighton during the Seagulls' time in the WSL. The former England boss took the Brighton hot seat in the summer of 2017, and the club gained a WSL license the following season.

As a result, Brighton have never played a WSL match without Powell in charge.

However, she resigned on Tuesday off the back of her side's 8-0 drubbing at the hands of Tottenham. Assistant boss Amy Merricks will take charge of Brighton against West Ham on Sunday - the first ever WSL match the Seagulls will play without Powell in charge.

"Hope has left an incredible legacy at this club. She's an amazing role model and has broken numerous barriers," said Merricks. "The amount of work she's done here, taking the club from where it was to where it is now, is credit to her."

West Ham vs Brighton

  • When is kick off? Sunday 6 November, 15:00 (GMT)
  • Where is the match being played? Chigwell Construction Stadium
  • TV channel/live stream? FA Player (UK & international)
  • Referee? Robert Masey-Ellis

90min predicts: West Ham 2-0 Brighton


Acid test for both Man Utd & Chelsea

Alessia Russo, Jess Carter
Two WSL heavyweights go head to head on Sunday / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Marc Skinner has called it ‘disrespectful’ for this to be considered Manchester United’s first real test of the season. But Chelsea are certainly way out ahead in terms of quality compared to any of the club’s the league leaders have faced so far.

United have won five WSL games on the bounce, scoring 14 times and conceding none. They are clearly in much better shape than they were last season, already taking maximum points in away games against West Ham and Everton that were previously only draws. But they will have to find another level if they are to beat Chelsea for the first time ever in any competition.

But Chelsea also face a huge test in this game. The reigning champions have had to deal with setbacks this season, losing their opening fixture against newly promoted Liverpool and conceding against West Ham, Everton and Aston Villa as well. A win over Manchester City came before the sky blues had found their feet, so the ‘Pride of London’ equally have to be on the ball here.

Man Utd vs Chelsea

  • When is kick off? Sunday 6 November, 18:45 (GMT)
  • Where is the match being played? Leigh Sports Village
  • TV channel/live stream? Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League (UK) FA Player (International)
  • What time does coverage start? 18:30 (GMT)
  • Referee? Cheryl Foster

90min predicts: Man Utd 2-2 Chelsea

facebooktwitterreddit