WSL talking points - Old Trafford stage for Man Utd

WSL speaking factors – Outdated Trafford stage for Man Utd

Alessia Russo has scored three targets in eight WSL matches this season

Manchester United open this weekend’s Girls’s Tremendous League motion by internet hosting Aston Villa at Outdated Trafford on Saturday lunchtime.

Arsenal welcome again England captain Leah Williamson as they alter to life with out injured star Beth Mead, whereas it is high to backside as champions Chelsea journey to lowly Leicester.

Listed here are a number of the key issues to look out for within the newest spherical of video games.

Will Man Utd go high on the Theater of Desires?

The Crimson Devils plan to placed on a present in entrance of an enormous crowd on Saturday, with greater than 35,000 tickets bought for the sport towards Villa at Outdated Trafford, beating their earlier attendance file of 20,241 final season.

Homegrown captain Katie Zelem hopes their spectacular type this marketing campaign, which included a improbable 3-2 win towards Arsenal on the Emirates in his final sport, will improve attendance.

“There isn’t a larger commercial for ladies’s soccer than taking part in in an enormous area with an important environment,” she stated.

“It isn’t my job to persuade anybody to return, [but] I feel our earlier outcomes and our type is what individuals ought to wish to come and watch.”

Supervisor Marc Skinner additionally is aware of what’s at stake. Successful by two targets or extra will see his third-placed facet high the desk for a number of hours earlier than leaders Chelsea take to the pitch on the King Energy Stadium.

“It is about us taking good care of momentum, it isn’t one thing that we get, we have now to create it. Irrespective of how way back the Arsenal sport was, we have now to carry that high quality into this sport as properly.”

A lioness in, a lioness out

As runners-up Arsenal face their first WSL sport with out injured striker Beth Mead, they’ve been boosted by the return of England captain Leah Williamson after two months out with a foot harm.

Supervisor Jonas Eidevall confirmed that Williamson, who has not performed because the finish of September, would return to the matchday squad to face Everton alongside centre-back Rafaelle Souza.

However Eidevall should discover a option to substitute Mead, who has been key to their title problem this season, with three targets and 4 assists in eight video games.

Arsenal supporters hold up a sign for Beth Mead
Arsenal shall be with out England striker Beth Mead for an ‘prolonged interval’ after struggling a ruptured ACL on November 22

Happily, each Stina Blackstenius and Frida Maanum are in superb type themselves, with eight league targets between them.

Eidevall was additionally in a position to recall the WSL’s all-time file scorer Vivianne Miedema in her final outing, which got here within the Girls’s Champions League, and the Dutch worldwide responded by scoring the equalizer towards Juventus to finish her purpose drought.

The Gunners need to get again on observe at house to Everton after Manchester United ended their file 14-match run within the league.

Toffees supervisor Brian Sorensen shouldn’t be studying an excessive amount of into the outcome. “They’re heavy favourites,” he added. “They’ve completed rather well this season. Their loss towards Manchester United – it might have gone both manner.

“Arsenal are a very good workforce, we have now to play at our easiest to compete.”

Sadly for the Toffees, historical past is towards them. Arsenal have gained all eight house video games towards them by a mixed rating of 22-4, one of the best file between two sides within the WSL.

Can Leicester cease the champions’ run?

After eight straight defeats, it will not get any simpler for pointless Leicester this weekend after they host Chelsea.

With Emma Hayes now again on the job for the Blues, the duty has solely received harder for Willie Kirk in his third sport answerable for the Foxes.

A 9-0 defeat within the corresponding fixture final season will carry again dangerous reminiscences, however Kirk says Leicester are bettering regardless of their poor type.

“The primary factors are getting nearer and nearer. We are going to get them quickly,” he stated. “We construct daily.

“We’ve got a long-term plan. It is stepping into the proper path, however we’d like one thing concrete to ensure the gamers get what they deserve.”

With Leicester now 4 factors adrift on the backside, Kirk admits they should begin selecting up factors shortly.

“The stress comes daily,” he added. “We set excessive requirements, it does not mirror that we have now zero factors or 24 factors from the eight video games. It has been 4 weeks since I got here in. There’s nonetheless a whole lot of growth however we’d like outcomes.”

Man Metropolis look to keep up superb type

Manchester Metropolis are in glorious type for the time being. With Brighton up subsequent, they are going to be in search of their eighth straight win in all competitions.

Since dropping 2-0 at Chelsea on the finish of September, fourth-placed Metropolis have gained seven video games in a row, scoring 23 targets and conceding simply two.

On paper, they need to have an important likelihood of extending that run, having gained six of their final seven video games towards the managerless Seagulls.

However Brighton got here into the match in good type since Hope Powell was changed by caretaker Amy Merricks, with two wins and a attract three video games and 10 targets scored.

That is three targets in as many video games for Norwegian striker Elisabeth Terland, and Merricks believes there may be extra to return from the 21-year-old.

“She’s discovered her type too late,” she stated. “Earlier than that she had alternatives that she was annoyed to not take. If you begin scoring targets, it helps the arrogance.

“There isn’t any denying that we have now a whole lot of gamers who contribute after they create alternatives. When gamers contribute, we create and rating targets. We’ve got to maintain doing that.”

Can Liverpool get again on observe?

A graphic: Only two of 44 WSL matches this season have been drawn - both involving Liverpool and ending 3-3.

Beating Chelsea on the opening weekend appears to have been one thing of a false daybreak for Liverpool, as they have not gained since and are third backside.

Again-to-back 3-3 attracts with Studying and Brighton have proven the Reds may be aggressive, and that may give them hope of a very good outcome at house to West Ham on Sunday.

Supervisor Matt Beard is aware of the important thing to their hopes shall be American Katie Stengel, who has scored 5 targets this season – 56% of Liverpool’s targets.

“She’s among the finest finishers I’ve ever labored with in ladies’s soccer,” he stated. “When she was with me on the Boston Breakers, I noticed firsthand how she will be able to end, all several types of finishes, not simply tap-ins.

“We have been aggressive within the video games. We have created however we have simply not taken the possibilities, however I feel in the previous couple of weeks we have began to do this. That may give everybody confidence.”

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