All posts by Adam Stephens

Women Super League – 24/7 Football weekly round-up and predictions

Women’s Football Weekend: 16-17thNovember

WSL attendance figures soared as the first ever Women’s football weekend proved a huge success and as the Tottenham co-head coach, Karen Hill expressed,

 “ It shouldn’t be a moment – it should be something that hopefully becomes the norm.”

More than 70,000 attended the six matches on show last weekend that included a Super League record 38,262 fans at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium watching Arsenal’s 2-0 win against North London rivals Tottenham.   This surpassed the previous record that was set on the opening day of the campaign at the Manchester Derby by a further 5,265.

In terms of the League itself after six games played only a point separates the top three of Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.

The league leaders, Chelsea secured a 1-0 win against newly promoted Manchester United in front of a sell out 4,790 crowd at the Cherry Record Stadium, thanks to a penalty from Norway defender, Maren Majelde in the 68thminute.

Casey Stoney’s United side were unfortunate not to get anything from the match as their striker, Ella Toone was denied by the woodwork eight minutes from the end.

England’s Georgia Stanway featured heavily in Manchester City’s 5-0 win over West Ham United, the midfielder scored twice but was then sent off in the second half on what was her 100thappearance for the club.

Vicky Jepson’s Liverpool are still searching for their first win of the campaign after slipping to a 1-0 defeat to Merseyside rivals Everton, in the first ever Super League match to be held at Anfield.

A mistake from Liverpool keeper Anke Preuss, who fumbled Lucy Graham’s strike into the goal before half time ultimately proved the difference between the two teams.

Brighton & Hove Albion however were able to secure their first win of the season at the Amex Stadium as they beat Birmingham City 3-0 thanks to two goals from striker, Kayleigh Green.  Bristol City meanwhile twice came back from two goals against Reading at the Madjeski Stadium to draw 3-3.

Preview and Predictions for Week Seven – Sunday November 24th

Manchester United vs Brighton & Hove Albion (12:30pm)

Following Brighton’s first win of the campaign last weekend; the seagulls travel to face Casey Stoney’s Manchester United at the Leigh Sports Village.  Hope Powell’s team have now won their last two games in all competitions, having also won 5-0 against the London Bees in the Continental Tyres Cup on Wednesday and look to have turned a corner after a difficult start to the season.  United however will be determined to bounce back from last weekend’s set back against Chelsea.

Prediction: 2-0 Manchester United

Despite Brighton’s recent upturn in form I think Manchester United played well last week and were unlucky to not get anything. I can see them returning to winning ways in the league.

Everton vs Tottenham Hotspur (12:30pm)

Spurs come into this game having lost back-to-back games against their London rivals, Arsenal and Chelsea in all competitions. Everton meanwhile won a closely fought Merseyside Derby and are one of this season’s surprise packages having won four of their six games in the league so far and are currently sitting fourth.

Prediction: 2-1 Everton

I reckon that the Toffees will maintain their impressive start to the season, Tottenham are currently going through a tricky period and I believe that will continue at Everton’s Haig Avenue.

Bristol City vs Manchester City (12:30pm) – Live on the BBC Red Button and Online

Bristol City is one of two sides in the Super League who have yet to record a victory this season.  Their were however signs that things are started to turn around for them as they showed plenty of character to claim a point at Reading last time out.  Nick Cushing’s City side have been very impressive so far this campaign, despite being knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid last month they have only lost once in the league so far this season.

Prediction: 3-0 Manchester City

Despite an improved display by the West Midlands side in their last match I cannot see them getting anything against one of the leading sides.

Arsenal vs Liverpool (2pm)

The Gunners head into this game in fine form having won five out of their last six matches in all competitions.  Their opponents, Liverpool however are in desperate need of a win having lost three matches and are still to win in the league this season. Vicky Jepson’s side however did play well against their Merseyside rivals last time out that demonstrates a first win might not be too far away.

Prediction: 4-0 Arsenal

Joe Montemurro’s team are on an impressive run and think that will continue against the league’s bottom side.

Birmingham City vs Chelsea (2:45pm) – Live on BT Sport 1

The Midlands side have proved to be a tough nut for the league leaders to crack in recent times. Emma Hayes’ team lost their last league meeting 3-2 back in January of this year at the Cherry Red Record Stadium and they could only draw the corresponding fixture 0-0 last season. Birmingham has however struggled to replicate their form of the last campaign having only managed one win in the league this season against the bottom side, Liverpool.

Prediction: 3-1 Chelsea

I don’t think that Birmingham are playing well enough at the moment to cause the West London side the same problems that they did last season.

West Ham United vs Reading (3pm)

Both of these sides have enjoyed mixed starts to the season so far, the Royals are currently one point and one place ahead of this Sunday’s opponents in seventh.  The Hammers however have won two of the three league meetings between the teams, but the corresponding fixture last season finished 0-0.

Prediction: 1-1 Draw

Both sides are currently struggling for consistency and both managers will think this is a game that they cannot afford to lose.

Women’s Football Weekend

Following a record-breaking attendance of 77,768 for the England international match against Germany last weekend, The FA is set to launch the first ever Women’s Football Weekend this Sunday 17thNovember.

All 12 teams will be in action in the Women’s Super League with three of the six ties being played at Premier League grounds and another at a well- known and highly respected Championship stadium.

The weekend begins at 12:30pm with a repeat of last season’s FA Cup final as Manchester City will be looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season against a strong Arsenal team last time out. They host West Ham at their Academy Stadium.

Brighton’s Amex Stadium will see the Seagulls welcome fellow strugglers Birmingham City, while Reading entertain Bristol City at the Madejski, both at 2pm.

The other 2pm kick-off sees league leaders Chelsea against newly promoted Manchester United at the Blues Cherry Red Record Stadium, in what promises to be an entertaining match between two of the divisions in-form sides.

The final two matches feature two of the most enthralling Derbies in English football. The Merseyside Derby will take place in front of the Kop at Anfield between Liverpool and Everton. The North London Derby meanwhile is set to take place at The Tottenham Hotspur stadium as Tottenham Hotspur host Arsenal.

Tickets at Anfield are set to cost just £5 for adults while tickets to Tottenham vs Arsenal priced slightly more at £6.50, both matches start from 3pm.

FA Cup Final Rematch

Both Manchester City and West Ham United will be looking to get back to winning ways. West Ham suffered a 3-1 defeat against table topping Chelsea, while Manchester City lost for the first time in the Super League away at defending champions Arsenal, 1-0.

Nick Cushing’s Manchester City side completed the domestic cup double against Matt Beard’s West Ham team the last time these two sides met back in May of this year, winning 3-0.

City also completed the league double over the Hammers last season that included a  7-1 victory at the Academy Stadium.

The Hammers will need to watch out for striker Pauline Bremer.  The German international so far has eight goals in nine games this season for City.

Match Prediction: Manchester City 4-1 West Ham United

Cannot see anything other than a comfortable Manchester City home win in this one.

Amex and Madejski Stadiums host Women Super League football

Hope Powell’s Brighton side host Birmingham City.  The Seagulls are still waiting for their first win in the Super League this season having lost 2-0 away at Everton last time out. Birmingham however gained their first win of the season, a 2-0 home win against Liverpool.

The South Coast club will very much be looking a repeat of last season’s 2-1 score line.

Prediction: Brighton 1-1 Birmingham City

The matches last season between the sides were close and I can see both teams cancelling each other out this time around.

Reading has had somewhat of a mixed start to this season so far.

The Royals have managed six points from their opening five matches; they are coming off a 2-0 loss against newly promoted Manchester United.  Bristol City meanwhile is one of three sides still without a win in the Super League, they were only narrowly beaten 2-1 against Tottenham in their last game.

Reading won both league matches against the West Midlands club last season; this included a comprehensive 3-0 home win.

Prediction: Reading 2-0 Bristol City

Predict that it will be relatively comfortable win for The Royals.

Battle of two in-form teams

The League leaders Chelsea host Casey Stoney’s Manchester United at the Cherry Red Record Stadium. Both of these sides have won their last four matches in all competitions.

Emma Hayes’ Chelsea team remain the only unbeaten Super League side, while the only two defeats that Manchester United have received were against last season’s top two sides, Arsenal and local rivals Manchester City.

This Sunday’s match will mark the first ever meeting between the two teams.

 The Red Devils will need to keep talented England international Beth England quiet. The Blues striker has two goals and one assist so far this campaign and she recently scored in England’s 3-2 win against the Czech Republic.

Prediction: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester United

Predicting that the league leaders will maintain their unbeaten record.

Merseyside Derby in front of The Kop

Liverpool will be hoping that hosting the first ever Women Super League fixture at Anfield will inspire the team to their first win of the season against fierce rivals Everton.

The Reds won this fixture 3-1 in the last campaign and will be looking for more of the same this time around.

In complete contrast to their Merseyside rivals, Everton have enjoyed a strong start and are currently fifth in the table with three wins from their five matches so far.

Liverpool will have to stop England striker Chloe Kelly.  She is currently the division’s leading scorer with four goals.

Prediction: Liverpool 1-2 Everton

I predict that Chloe Kelly will prove the difference between the two teams in this one.

First ever WSL North London Derby at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Newly promoted Tottenham Hotspur will take on Joe Montemurro’s Arsenal in their first ever Women Super League match.

Both sides won their last matches and will be looking to build on those results. Arsenal in particular will be looking to keep pace with title rivals Chelsea.

Tottenham will have to look out for prolific Dutch striker Danielle van de Donk. She is currently the Gunners top goal scorer in the Super League with three goals.

Prediction: Tottenham 1-3 Arsenal

Can see Arsenal coming out on top in this one. The Gunners attackers are in good form with the likes of Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema as well as the previously mentioned van de Donk.

Fixture list: Sunday 17th November

Manchester City vs West Ham United (Kick-off 12:30pm)

 Reading vs Bristol City (2pm)

 Chelsea vs Manchester United (2pm)

 Brighton & Hove Albion vs Birmingham City (2pm)

 Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal (3pm) –  Live on BT Sport

 Liverpool vs Everton (3pm)

Friendly International: England vs Germany

Match Preview – Kick-Off 5:30pm Wembley

England’s women are aiming to put their recent poor form behind them by securing a first win on home soil against the two-time World Champions, Germany.

Saturday’s friendly at Wembley Stadium could see a record attendance for a women’s match in the UK with the 90,000 stadium expecting to be a sell out.

The FA will also use this fixture as an opportunity to honour former England women footballers at England’s home of football, where they never got a chance to play on. These players are expected to include former England Captain and current Manchester United Manager, Casey Stoney.

Previous Meetings

The Germans have largely dominated the rivalry between these two sides.  There have been 25 meetings in total and the Lionesses have lost 20 of them.

In the past four years however there has certainly been cause for optimism as England defeated Germany for the first time in a World Cup Third place playoff match 1-0 in Canada.

Phil Neville’s team have also achieved two draws in the past four years against Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side including a 2-2 draw in the SheBelieves Cup back in March 2018.

Form of both teams

Post the World Cup England’s form has dipped.  Since their Third-place playoff defeat to Sweden Phil Neville’s side drew with Belgium 3-3, having at one point been 2-0 ahead mid way through the first half.  England subsequently lost back-to-back matches 2-1 to both Norway and Brazil.    They did however return to winning ways against Portugal last time out, on October 8th, thanks to a goal from Arsenal’s Beth Mead.

The German’s form by contrast has been formidable, since their World Cup Quarter-final loss to Sweden.   They have scored 31 goals already in their four European Qualifying games including a 10-0 win against Montenegro at the end of August.

Team News and Players to watch

England welcome back star forward Ellen White – who shared the golden boot with Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, scoring six goals.  They will however be without Chelsea’s playmaker Fran Kirby and centre back Millie Bright through injury.  Other key players such as Jill Scott, Toni Duggan and Georgia Stanway will also be unavailable due to various injury problems.

The Lionesses will have to keep an eye on Freiburg’s Klara Buhl. The young forward has scored 6 goals in four matches in Germany’s Euro campaign, including a hat trick against Ukraine back in October.

Lyon’s Dzsenifer Marozsan is also regarded as an important player for this German side.  Marozsan has scored 32 goals in 96 appearances for the national team and has consistently proved to be one of the best playmakers in the women’s game over the past few years.

Key Stats

  • The first match between the two sides was played in 1984
  • England achieved their first draw with Germany in January 2007 – a goalless draw played in China.
  • Germany won the last match at Wembley 3-0 against England back in November 2014 in front of a then record crowd of 45,619.
  • Germany has won eight European Championships – six of those titles were achieved between 1995-2013 before World Cup runners-up, The Netherlands broke that dominance by winning the title in 2017.

Prediction

England 1-3 Germany

Can see a similar result to that of 2014 – the Lionesses still have a few important players missing and Germany’s form particularly in the past few months has been exceptional.

 

 

Women’s Super League Round Up: Week Five

Chelsea became the new leaders of the Women Super League following the completion of the fifth round of fixtures.

Emma Hayes’ side claimed a hard fought 3-1 win at West Ham United’s Rush Green Stadium.

Arsenal meanwhile bounced back from their defeat against Chelsea last time out, by overcoming title rivals Manchester City at Meadow Park 1-0, ensuring that City lost their perfect winning start to the campaign.

A bad week for Nick Cushing’s side was compounded in the Champions League, where Spanish side Atletico Madrid eliminated City 3-2 on aggregate.

Elsewhere, Casey Stoney’s Manchester United made it three wins in a row by claiming a 2-0 victory over Reading.

Merseyside club, Everton returned to winning ways against Hope Powell’s Brighton and newly promoted Tottenham Hotspur emerged victorious in the West Country against Bristol City.

The final games of the day saw Liverpool’s early season struggles continue as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Birmingham City.

Sunday 27thOctober results

Everton 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

 Manchester United 2-0 Reading

 Birmingham City 2-0 Liverpool

 Arsenal 1-0 Manchester City

 Bristol City 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

 West Ham United 1-3 Chelsea

 Ji So-Yun fires the Blues top

Chelsea had to come from 1-0 down to defeat their London rivals, West Ham United.

Canadian striker, Adriana Leon gave the Hammers a shock lead with her first touch after coming on as a 58thminute substitute.

Welsh Captain, Sophie Ingle however equalised for the West London club ten minutes later with her second goal of the season.

Two minutes later, Ji-So Yun completed the turn around, firing in a stunning 20-yard strike past American goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan, before Drew Spence secured the victory in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

First league defeat for Manchester City

Vivanne Miedema scored her first ever goal against Manchester City with a clinical right-footed finish just before half time. This goal consigned Nick Cushing’s team to a first league defeat of the season.

The Gunners were worthy winners and could have added more to the one goal that they scored as Scottish international, Lisa Evans struck the cross-bar in the second half, while midfielder Jordan Nobbs and Beth Mead also wasted good chances.

The Red Devils make it three in a row

A Kirsty Hanson volley and a composed one-on-one finish from substitute Jessica Sigsworth, five minutes from the end secured victory for Manchester United over Reading.

Casey Stoney’s newly promoted team continue to impress in their first Super League campaign as they now gained nine points out of a possible 15 as well as a 2-0 victory over fierce rivals, Manchester City in the Continental Cup.

Pressure mounts on two time Super League winners

Birmingham City earned their first league win of the campaign at Damson Park against former two time winners of the Super League, Liverpool.

The Blues secured a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from defender Kerys Harrop, who headed in England midfielder Lucy Staniforth’s free kick. Stainiforth then completed the scoring with curling left footed finish seven minutes from the end.

This latest defeat for Vicky Jepson’s side sent them bottom of the table and they are still without a win in the WSL, with only one point from their opening five matches.

Toffees return to winning ways and Spurs triumph in the West Country

The final two matches saw Everton end a two match losing run as they beat Brighton 2-0 thanks to a fourth goal in five matches from striker Chloe Kelly and a header from on loan Manchester City defender, Esme Morgan.

Finally Tottenham Hotspur secured their third league victory of the season with a 2-1 win over Bristol City.

Abi Hasson had initially put the hosts, Bristol City ahead in the ninth minute following a goalmouth scramble. The West Country Club however are still looking for their first win of the season, thanks to two goals from Tottenham’s new striker, Kit Graham

What next?

The Women Super League takes a break for the next few weeks with the next round of fixtures not due to take place until Sunday 17thNovember. 

There are however tantalising England international fixtures.  The Three Lionesses first take on former World Champions, Germany in a sold out match at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 9thNovember. This is followed by a trip to face the Czech Republic on Tuesday 12thNovember.

England Women’s International fixtures

Saturday 9thNovember

England vs Germany Kick-off (5:30pm)

Tuesday 12thNovember

Czech Republic vs England (7:15pm)

(Photo – Chelsea FC)

Women’s Super League Round Up: Week Four

Emma Hayes’ Chelsea inflicted reigning champions Arsenal’s first defeat of the season in front of a 4,149 crowd at The Cherry Red Record Stadium. This resulted in the Blues moving above the Gunners to second in the table, following their 2-1 win.

 The league leaders, Manchester City, meanwhile continued their impressive start to the campaign with a 3-0 win over Birmingham City.

Elsewhere, Manchester United secured their first away win in the Women Super League with a comfortable 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur’s Hive Stadium, while Reading triumphed over Everton in a 3-2 thriller.

 The weekend’s final two contests saw West Ham win 3-1 against Hope Powell’s Brighton side on the South Coast and Liverpool gained their first point of the campaign as they drew 1-1 with fellow strugglers Bristol City.

The Blues secure crucial win in the London Derby

It was Chelsea who emerged triumphant in an absorbing contest with title rivals Arsenal.

The Gunners got the better of the early exchanges and took the lead in the ninth minute through Danielle van de Donk.  The Dutch midfielder scored her third goal of the season, following a quality through ball from star striker Vivianne Miedema.

The Blues however gradually improved and equalised shortly after half time through in form striker and last season’s top scorer, Beth England, who tapped in fellow England international, Fran Kirby’s cut back.

Both sides had chances to win the match but it was substitute defender Maria Thorisdottir, who curled in the late winner, five minutes from time to ensure that the home side emerged with the victory.

City continue to set the early pace in WSL

Manchester City meanwhile continued their 100 per cent winning start to the season following a convincing 3-0 victory over midlands side Birmingham City. The pace setters are still to concede a goal in their four league matches in this campaign.

England midfielder Keira Walsh put the home team in front through a deflected strike in the 27thminute.

Belgium’s Tessa Wullaert then turned in Janine Beckie’s cross just after half time to double the hosts’ advantage and the scoring was rounded off by substitute South Korean forward Lee Geum-min.

United made two wins on the spin

Casey Stoney’s Manchester United side secured their second victory of the Women Super League season against fellow newly promoted side Spurs.

United opened the scoring through Kirsty Hanson’s deflected strike in the 13thminute, before Leah Galton’s cross was turned in by Tottenham defender Ashleigh Neville, to double the Manchester side’s advantage shortly after half-time.

Manchester United’s striker, Lauren James was then sent off for a second yellow in the last minute of normal time, however United still managed to add a third goal through substitute Jane Ross to secure the points.

The Royals emerged victorious in a five-goal blockbuster

Reading’s Fara Williams played a key role in the Royals’ 3-2 victory over Everton.

The experienced England midfielder assisted all three of the Royals’ goals from set pieces; Jade Moore scored two of them while Lisa-Marie Utland headed in the winner from a corner midway through the second half.

The Hammers win on the South Coast while Liverpool and Bristol City play out draw

West Ham United bounced back from their disappointing loss to London rivals Tottenham with a convincing 3-1 win over Brighton.

The goals were scored by summer signing Martha Thomas, a penalty from their French midfielder Kenza Dali and youngster Alisha Lehmann scored the third. Megan Connolly provided the late consolation for the hosts.

Liverpool meanwhile scored their first league of the season as they came from behind to draw against Bristol City; Ebony Salmon had given the West-Country club the lead before Mel Lawley slotted home a penalty 18 minutes from the end.

What next?

The featured contest for game week round five sees another battle between two title contenders as Arsenal host Manchester City at Meadow Park, a game that can be viewed on BT Sport from 2:30pm. 

Chelsea meanwhile will hope to take advantage when they travel to face London rivals West Ham United. 

Manchester United will be aiming to make it three wins in a row when they host Reading, elsewhere Everton will look to return to winning ways when they host struggling Brighton.

The remaining two matches see midlands side Birmingham City play at home to bottom club Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur travel to face Bristol City.

Dates of next WSL Fixtures

Sunday 27thOctober

Everton vs Brighton & Hove Albion Kick off (12:30pm)

Manchester United vs Reading (12:30pm)

Birmingham City vs Liverpool (2pm)

Arsenal vs Manchester City (2:30pm)

Bristol City vs Tottenham Hotspur (3pm)

West Ham United vs Chelsea (3pm)

(Photo Credit – 90min)