Women’s Super League: Five talking points as Man United look for first win against Chelsea

Manchester United boss Marc Skinner says 8,000 tickets have been sold for their game with Chelsea at Leigh Sports Village.
Place: King Power Stadium Date: November 6, Sunday Start: 14:00 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport

This weekend’s matches are the last before the Women’s Super League takes a break for international matches.

Can Manchester United finally win against Chelsea? How disruptive are international disruptions? How will Arsenal cope without their star striker?

Here are five things to look out for.

Can Man Utd finally beat Chelsea?

Manchester United host reigning champions at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday at 18:45 GMT, with both sides top of the league and United yet to concede a goal this season.

United have never beaten Chelsea in five attempts, drawing one and losing four.

But with five clean sheets this season, Marc Skinner’s side look like a different outfit. He won 6-1 at home at the beginning of last season.

“Hopefully we’ve shown we’ve improved. It was a devastating result and it was relentless on a day we know Chelsea can be,” Skinner said.

“We are a different team, but I want to show that – I want my team to show its maturity and strength in this game. We know how difficult the task is, they have fantastic players and historically they are one of the best teams in the WSL, but we are confident, not complacent.” .

Although it’s still early days, Skinner’s side is already being considered as a potential title contender and he said he’s enjoying the attention.

“We want to talk about it, but we have to earn that right,” he said. “We have a lot more to do but at the moment it’s nice to be considered there. We want to win things.”

Chelsea chief executive Paul Green replaces boss Emma Hayes continuing to recover from a hysterectomyhe said his team treats the match like any other game.

“We’ve been impressed with the way they’ve started, but we’re equally happy with where we’re at and how we’ve bounced back from the opening day defeat,” Green said. “We are in strong form and we score a lot of goals.”

Chelsea have won 14 of their last 15 WSL games, while United have won their last nine home games in the league, conceding just once and scoring 32 goals in this period.

Directors come and go

Brighton announced on Monday that they were parting ways with Hope Powell, who had been at the club for five years.

Assistant manager Amy Merricks will take charge against West Ham on Sunday, but with no word on who could replace Powell, the interim boss is not looking ahead and has given no indication of whether he would remain at the club. the role

“My focus over the next three days is to put the team in a good place for a good, professional performance against West Ham. Let’s focus on this game and move on from there,” he said.

Meanwhile, Leicester too He split with director Lydia Bedford after starting the season without a win.

They have lost their opening six games and face an Arsenal side on a 13-game winning streak on Sunday.

Former Everton boss Willie Kirk will take over training on Saturday and be at the King Power’s game, but Gunners boss Jonas Eidevall said he was “surprised” to have left Bedford and insisted his side would be up for it. “unknown” because they are on a WSL record 14th win streak.

No Miedema, but Arsenal still on the way

Earlier this week Arsenal announced the signing of star striker Vivianne Miedema he accepted the leave “to rest and recharge”.

Miedema has struggled for consistency since the start of the WSL season, scoring just two goals in five games and being named on the bench for the last two games.

The fact that Miedema – the WSL’s all-time top scorer – has achieved an impressive string of results without a full shot makes it all the more remarkable.

The Gunners have won 13 league games in a row with 14 goals scored and just one conceded, including two of their two wins in the Champions League. 5-1 victory Over defending Champions League champions Lyon.

The Gunners showed depth with England striker Beth Mead and Sweden striker Stina Blackstenius scoring three goals each and Norwegian midfielder Frida Maanum also scoring two.

9 - Since making his WSL debut in January, Stina Blackstenius has scored nine goals - 69% of his 13 shots - only three players have more league goals in that time.

But Gunners boss Eidevall said his side are still taking him “a game in a game” with his side separated from United and Chelsea on goal difference alone.

“If you want to win something in football, whether it’s a trophy or breaking a record, it all starts with performances and that’s what we have to focus on,” he said.

A break from international breaks?

This international break is the third since the teams returned to pre-season, one in early September and another in early October.

The international schedule in the women’s game is sporadic, with the next one coming in February, but Tottenham boss Rehanne Skinner says this season has been “really challenging”.

“The three-week gaps between each of these camps is very difficult when you’re trying to get going. There needs to be a wider discussion about player welfare,” he said.

“We want to gain some momentum and it’s definitely created a break in our flow this year. That’s not to say that others haven’t been through the same thing, but we want to end this block in a positive place,” he added.

Manchester City manager Taylor said there is “never a good time” to have an international break.

“We have to face it,” he said. “It’s communication with nations to make sure they’re aware of individual players. Managing all the little details and logistics, that’s important to work on.”

UEFA announced on Thursday Creation of the Women’s League of Nations from 2023in other words, the international schedule may be tighter than ever from next season.

Noise around Neville

England fans may have been disappointed to see Tottenham defender Ashleigh Neville not include Sarina Wiegman. England team For the upcoming friendly matches in Spain.

The 29-year-old has impressed this season, scoring three goals in five games, including two goals and two assists for Spurs. 8-0 win over Brighton last weekend

Tottenham boss Skinner said: “You can see what he brings to the team week in and week out, a phenomenal person. A loyal person, dedicated to his team and players. He’s focused on doing what he needs to do and it evolves from there. .

“The support is proven as a person and as a player and at some point people have to pay attention to that.

“He’s consistent, he’s incredibly effective. He knows where he is and what he has to offer. I can only see him getting better. It’s inevitable that it happened, he’s able to excel now and long may it continue.”