FA Women’s Super League – Preview…

The winner of the Women’s Super League will be decided on the final day of the season. It has been the closest race in the competition’s modern history, with Chelsea and Manchester City tied on 52 points and Chelsea with a plus-two superior goal tally.

With all games kicking off at 3pm, it is set to be a nail-biting afternoon as the two teams in blue face their final opponents who will have their own say in the title race as they look to cause an upset… 

Saturday 18th May 2024

Arsenal v Brighton & Hove Albion – Meadow Park (3pm) 

Where to watch – The FA Player

With their Champions League spot secured and an impressive last-minute win against Manchester City last weekend, Arsenal will want to end their season on a high after an inconsistent season.

Emotions will also be high at Meadow Park as it was announced during the week that striker Vivianne Miedema will leave the club after 7 years. 

The Dutch international joined in 2017 from Bayern Munich, making 172 appearances for The Gunners and scoring 125 goals. She made 13 appearances this season after returning from a long-term ACL injury.

As part of an open letter on her Instagram, Miedema said: “Being part of this group of players over the years has always inspired me to be the best I can be…..For now, it’s time to move on. My time at Arsenal will be forever with me and I’m grateful for all the special memories. It’s been my pleasure.”

Goalkeepers Sabrina D’Angelo and Kaylan Marckese will also depart at the end of their contracts, with rumours that Arsenal are targeting Daphne van Domselaar at Aston Villa as a replacement.

There was some good news for fans who missed out on tickets for games at Meadow Park throughout the season, as the club announced that the team will play at least 11 games at the Emirates Stadium as they take further steps in making it their main home. This season they hosted 6 WSL matches, with an average crowd of over 52,000, including two sellouts and three WSL attendance records.

Brighton has had a challenging season, which saw coach Melissa Phillips sacked in January after a string of disappointing results. Interim head coach Mikey Harris has been able to steady the ship, keeping them safe from relegation ninth in the table. 

With the team looking more cohesive under Harris, the team can concentrate on finishing the season with a good performance, despite the challenging opponent.

The Seagulls star striker, Norwegian international Elisabeth Terland was voted their player of the season and is relishing their last tough match of the season away to Arsenal.

Speaking to www.brightonandhovealbion.com, she said: “Playing games every single week that are competitive and fighting to be the best player and win game after game is something you want to do. Every game is a challenge and you just have to take it.”

The teams last met back in November last year, with Arsenal taking the three points with a 3-0 win. Goals came from Stina Blackstenius, Caitlin Foord and Frida Maanum.

Manchester United v Chelsea – Old Trafford (3pm) 

Where to watch – Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Ultra HDR

With a stomping win over Bristol City before the FA Cup weekend and a cagey win over Tottenham Hotspur mid-week, Chelsea are in the strongest position they can be to retain the WSL title. 

Level on points with Manchester City but with a superior goal difference, The Blues will need to be laser-focused to keep their head against a United side who kept them out of the FA Cup running and went on to win it last weekend.

It may not have been as successful a season as last year, but with their first-ever FA Cup win and their final game at Old Trafford being important in the title race decision, United’s manager Marc Skinner is looking forward to the occasion.

Speaking to www.manutd.com, he said: “It’s going to be hopefully a showpiece for us, to come off the back of an FA Cup win and show everybody the experiences that we’ve had and use it as a growth moment again. Having success at the weekend and then coming into a big game like this, hopefully, it gives us that impetus and it’s a platform we want to build from.”

It will be Chelsea manager Emma Hayes’ last game as manager of The Blues and is excited by the race for the title being decided on the final day.

Speaking to www.chelseafc.com after the match against Tottenham on Wednesday, she said: “I love that we take it to the last game. No matter the outcome, I’m super proud of this team’s ability to keep finding ways in the adversity we’ve faced this year. I’m so proud.”

In their meeting in the WSL back in January, Chelsea secured 3 points with a 3- 1 win with a hat-trick from Lauren James.

Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (3pm)

Where to watch – The FA Player

Tottenham Hotspur may not have impressed in their first-ever FA Cup final this month, losing 4-0 to Manchester United, but after battling relegation most of last season, their sixth-placed league finish will still be a solid end to an impressive campaign.

As well as making the FA Cup final for the first time, The Lilywhites also secured their first-ever win over their North London rivals Arsenal back in December, as well as making Chelsea fight hard for their win on Wednesday night, conceding only one goal.

Spurs manager Robert Vilahamn reflected on this year’s performances and looked ahead to ending the season positive at the club’s main stadium and what next season will bring.

Speaking to www.tottenhamhotspur.com, he said: “I love being at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and I want to play in front of our fans, make sure we finish this season in a good way with them, hopefully, with a win and playing really good football so they can enjoy it and, I think, the players deserve to have the last game there as they have had a great season.”

West Ham’s season has not been a comfortable one, with relegation risk hanging over them at seemingly every turn. Finishing up their season on the biggest stage, against a Spurs side that has developed a strong playing philosophy under their new manager will be another big test for The Hammers.

Japanese striker Riko Ueki joined West Ham this season and has impressed fans with her goal-scoring prowess – they voted her the Women’s Young Hammer of the Year. She will hope to have her shooting boots ready for the clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday.

Speaking to www.whufc.com, she said: “We’re all really excited to play Tottenham on the final day of the season. We want to finish the season happy, and we can do that by getting three points.”

When the teams last met in January, in a close-fought battle which saw Tottenham eventual winners in a 4-3 goal fest, with Jessica Naz scoring the winning goal for The Lilywhites.

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