The FA Women’s Super League and Championship – Previews – Fixtures – Saturday/ Sunday, October 3/4

Sunday, October 4

The FA Women’s Super League 

Birmingham City Women v Chelsea Women (2:30pm)

Emma Hayes will demand a response from her Chelsea charges after they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Everton last weekend.

The FAWSL champions head to Birmingham, having dropped points at Manchester United but recovered majestically by dispatching Bristol City by nine unanswered goals. Nevertheless, Hayes was clear with her demands going forward following that Goodison setback.

“We didn’t do enough in front of goal. I think teams are defending really low and they are making it difficult for us to have any space,” she told 

“That’s my point of when we get into good areas we have got to finish and them equalising gave them a lift.

“I just expect my team to react and get ready to go for next weekend. We don’t have a game midweek, I want to see a response on the training ground and they have shown me time and time again that they can respond and that’s what I will challenge them to do.”

Chelsea now faces a Blues side looking to spring a surprise having lost their opening two league fixtures.

West Ham United Women v Reading Women (3pm)

West Ham United return to action against Reading following a three-week hiatus and keen to eradicate memories of that nightmare 9-1 defeat at the hands of London rivals, Arsenal, at Victoria Road.

This week, the Hammers face Reading – another side looking to break into the top half of the table. Midfielder, Kenza Dali, explained how basketball phenomenon, Michael Jordan, had inspired her  

Kenza referred to a quote by the six-time NBA title winner, saying: “If you quit once, it becomes a habit. Never quit!”

“I think this quote can be applied to football, to sport and to life in general,” the experienced French international told  

“In any career, you’re going to have highs and lows. Sometimes it’s really good and sometimes it will be really bad.  

“But you can never give up because if you give up once, and something negative happens again, it’s easier to give up the second time, and then the third. 

“Giving up can’t be an option. Take it off the table. It’s not the way to think about things. Everyone has bad moments. Nothing is easy. But you can come back from big difficulties. 

“You can get through hard times, and I think that’s one of the most beautiful things in life; when you can look back on a tough time and realise you have got to this point – the now – not because of anyone else, but because of yourself.”

Manchester City Women v Tottenham Hotspur Women (12:30pm)

It will all be about recovery for Tottenham Hotspur when they resume their FAWSL campaign at Manchester City.

The Lilywhites were beaten 4-0 by North London rivals, Arsenal, in the FA Cup last time out. However, Australian international, Alanna Kennedy, remained upbeat, confirming to “We’ll just continue to grow.

“We grew into the game – a little bit more confidence came as the game went on.

“Coming up against three good players in Arsenal’s midfield, they like to pop the ball around and keep it moving, but we have the same quality in our midfield as well. 

Both Pep and I, once we get in the game, we’re good on the ball, Kit (Graham) is a crafty player and so the combination between the three of us – spending more time together is great. 

“Obviously, we haven’t spent a lot of time playing together yet but I think we’ll just continue to grow from here.”

Arsenal Women v Bristol City Women (2pm)

Arsenal boss, Joe Montemurro, will demand more of the same when in-form Arsenal take on struggling Bristol City on Sunday. 

Having hit nine against West Ham United and four more against Tottenham in the FA Cup last weekend, the Gunners will fancy their chances of improving their goal difference further against a Robins side that has shipped thirteen goals in their opening two FAWSL matches.

Speaking to after the 4-0 cup success over Spurs, Montemurro said: “It was always going to be a very difficult game because we were always going to be in a situation where we need to grow into the game – our players have been away.

“We controlled the rhythm though and I was very pleased in the second half when we stepped it up a gear.

“Playing Caitlin [Foord] a bit more forwards allows Viv [Vivianne Miedema] to float a little bit more and it felt like they could overload in that right area.

“Spurs pressed with numbers but we knew if we had players floating between the centre-backs and full-backs we could expose them in the phases of transition.

“I’m really happy for Lisa [Evans]. She’s obviously got some great qualities and I’m really excited for her with regards to finding a good rhythm.”

Elsewhere in the FA Women’s Super League…

Saturday, October 3

Aston Villa Women v Everton Women (12:30pm)

Sunday, October 4

Manchester United Women v Brighton & Hove Albion Women (Noon)

FA Women’s Championship

Sunday, October 4

(Kick-off 2pm)

Charlton Athletic Women v Sheffield United Women 

Coventry United Ladies v Liverpool Women

Leicester City Women v Durham Women

London Bees v Crystal Palace Women

London City Lionesses v Lewes Women

Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]