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In The Spotlight: Your guide to a dramatic WSL title race
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Dan Fitch
Alessia Russo will hope to fire Manchester United to victory against title rivals Chelsea on Sunday
Alessia Russo will hope to fire Manchester United to victory against title rivals Chelsea on Sunday

The battle for the Women’s Super League title could hardly be more fiercely contested with four teams still in the race. 

There are eight rounds of the competition still to play and only six points separates fourth-placed Arsenal from leaders Manchester United, with Manchester City and Chelsea sandwiched in between the pair.

While it is United that are out in front, they have never won the title before and are fighting against opponents that have far more experience. 

Ahead of Matchday 15, we take a look at the contenders to win this season’s WSL. 

United progress

United's women's team was only formed in 2018, so they have come a long way in a short space of time. 

Winning the Championship in their first season to secure a spot in the top tier, all three of their subsequent WSL campaigns to date have resulted in a fourth-place finish.

Marc Skinner is now in charge of a star-studded squad that contains England internationals Mary Earps, Ella Toone, Nikita Parris and Alessia Russo. 

United have only been beaten twice in their 14 league games this season and are on a 13-match unbeaten streak across all competitions. 

One of those losses came against second-placed Chelsea, however, who they face on Sunday. 

Having lost to the Blues on home turf, this reverse fixture will be a huge test of their ability to last the pace. 

Chelsea pedigree

Emma Hayes' Chelsea have won each of the last three Women's Super League titles
Emma Hayes' Chelsea have won each of the last three Women's Super League titles

Chelsea are the current WSL title holders and look well-placed to retain their crown. 

Emma Hayes’ team are second in the table, only a point behind leaders United. Crucially, they have a game in hand — though that could become irrelevant if they lose on Sunday. 

Hayes' side defeated Brighton 3-1 at home on Wednesday, extending their unbeaten run in the league to 12 matches having not lost since an opening-day defeat at Liverpool.

Still the bookies’ strong favourites, it is the Blues that have the greatest pedigree in this title race. They won the league on the final day of last season, so they have experience of handling the pressure. 

Dangerous City

In third place are Manchester City, who have played the same number of games as their local rivals United and trail them by three points. 

Like the two teams above them, City are in fine form. They have only lost twice in the WSL this season, with both defeats coming in the opening two games. 

Since then, Gareth Taylor’s side have established a 12-match unbeaten run, which they will look to extend when they travel to Brighton on Sunday. 

A key weapon in the club’s bid to win their first title since 2016 is their powerful forward Khadija Shaw. 

Jamaica international Shaw, 26, is the top scorer in the WSL with 13 goals, netting a hat-trick in last weekend’s win over Tottenham. 

Arsenal's silverware hunt

Arsenal recently beat Chelsea to win the Continental Cup
Arsenal recently beat Chelsea to win the Continental Cup

Of the four clubs involved in the title race, it is fourth-placed Arsenal who have received the boost of having already secured some silverware. 

The Gunners beat Chelsea 3-1 in the Continental Cup final at Selhurst Park at the start of the month. That was a particularly significant victory over a title rival they rarely have much joy against.

Arsenal’s two league losses have come in games against Manchester United and Manchester City, while they drew their home match against Chelsea. Those are the only points that have been dropped all season. 

Jonas Eidevall’s side trail United by six points and have a game in hand to potentially halve that gap. They also play all three of the teams above them before the end of the campaign. 

Title verdict

Chelsea are the worthy favourites considering their position and the fact that they have a manager and squad of players with prior experience of winning the WSL. 

The West Londoners have won each of the last three titles and the only thing counting against them is possible fatigue from fixture congestion, with the side still competing in the Champions League and FA Cup. 

Of the four teams, the Blues are the only ones that are still involved in two cup competitions. Manchester United and Manchester City remain in the FA Cup, while Arsenal are in the Champions League. 

Cup progress is definitely a factor that can impact this title race. Head-to-head matches between the protagonists will also play a huge part in deciding the champions. 

Whatever happens, the strength of the WSL is being demonstrated in this fascinating battle and that can only further help the growth of women’s football in England.



Arsenal WomenManchester United WomenManchester City WomenChelsea FC WomenWomen’s Super LeagueArsenalManchester UnitedManchester CityChelsea
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