Women's Football Weekend Preview: the Manchester Derby, Arsenal vs Chelsea & More

Women's Football Weekend takes place across Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 November, enabling fans to get their domestic football fix during the international break.

Last season saw games played in stadiums as attendance records were sent tumbling - but our friend the pandemic has put pay to hopes of repeating such a feat this time around.

Instead, each game has its very own slot to allow everyone to tuck into six back to back fixtures across the weekend.

1. Manchester United vs Manchester City

United are yet to beat City in the WSL | Morgan Harlow/Getty Images

Saturday 14 November, 12:30

The weekend kicks off in style with the Manchester derby - and Saturday's clash between United and City could be the most exciting yet.

Manchester United have always gone into games against City as the slight underdog. They have consistently been tightly fought contests, with neither side yet to beat the other by more than a one goal winning margin.

But this time around, United are top of the pile and go into the game off the back of their first ever victory over a 'big three' opponent, while City are still undergoing a transition period as their new arrivals continue to bed in. The result could be a huge benchmark for where both sides are at.

2. Aston Villa vs Birmingham

Arthur swapped Birmingham for Villa during the transfer window | Morgan Harlow/Getty Images

Saturday 14 November, 14:30

The WSL's first ever second city derby follows the Manchester derby on Saturday. What appeared to be shaping up to be a basement battle during the opening stages of the season is now not quite the case after the pair turned their fortunes around over the last month.

Carla Ward has already worked miracles at Birmingham, guiding her new side to wins over Reading and Bristol and a narrow defeat against Chelsea to secure her October's manager of the month award. Newly promoted Aston Villa got their first points on the board with a vital win over Brighton last time out.

The rivalry was stirred even more over the summer, as Villa raided the Blues for four (that's insane) players during the window - Chloe Arthur, Freya Gregory, Abbey Jones and Olivia Rabjohn.

3. Everton vs Reading

Can Everton get back to winning ways? | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Saturday 14 November, 16:30

This season's surprise package Everton have been dealt their first series of setbacks over the past four weeks. The Toffees dropped their first points of the season against Brighton, put in a shift but fell just short in the FA Cup final and suffered their first league defeat of the season against Chelsea.

Everton were unfortunate to lose by four goals to the Blues, and how they respond to the visit of the wildly unpredictable Reading could be a real indicator for where they will finish up this season.

Reading a hugely experienced side but have blown hot and cold this season. The Royals can be hard to beat - as demonstrated by their hard fought 1-1 draw with Man City - but they can also be carved open at ease - as demonstrated by their 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Arsenal - or wasteful in front of goal - see their 1-0 loss to Birmingham, where they failed to score despite having 22 shots.

4. Bristol City vs Tottenham

You know who could make her second Tottenham appearance against Bristol | Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Saturday 14 September, 18:30

Saturday's action concludes with a real basement battle, as the last remaining winless sides in the WSL go head to head.

Bristol are rooted to the bottom of the table after failing to pick up a point thus far this season - but were left reeling after last weekend's game with Man City was not called off after five players were forced to self-isolate. The club are awaiting Covid test results to determine whether the five will be available for Saturday's clash.

Tottenham have had a tough start to the season, facing four of the current top five, and have picked up a pair of points against Reading and West Ham. Saturday's match will be a real opportunity for Spurs to record their first win of the season.

5. West Ham vs Brighton

West Ham have hit a bit of form in their last two outings | Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Sunday 15 November, 12:30

Sunday's opening game should be a tantalisingly close affair as eighth place Brighton face ninth place West Ham.

Brighton had been impressively hard to beat this season, taking points off both Manchester City and West Ham. However, they suffered a 2-0 loss to winless Villa last time out, and could slip to second bottom with defeat on Sunday.

West Ham are maddeningly inconsistent, capable of putting in an excellent performance or completely capitulating. Back to back wins over Reading in the Continental Cup and Birmingham in the league suggests they are starting to find a bit of form.

6. Arsenal vs Chelsea

Arsenal vs Chelsea sees the battle of Australians Caitlin Foord and Sam Kerr | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Sunday 15 November, 14:30

Women's Football Weekend culminates with a London derby between two of the WSL's powerhouses.

Arsenal have been unstoppable against three quarters of the league, but have won only one of their last four against fellow 'big three' sides. They were largely outplayed as they lost to Manchester United last time out.

Chelsea have already won the first 'big three' clash of the season thanks to a 3-1 victory over Manchester City, and were comfortable winners over Arsenal in the Continental Cup - but have been held by Manchester United and lost to Everton in the FA Cup. With Beth England, Pernille Harder, Sam Kerr, Erin Cuthbert, Vivianne Miedema and Kim Little on display, Sunday's clash promises to be one the most exciting attacking matchups in the league.

Source : 90min