Chelsea take on Tottenham in a bid to remain ahead in title race


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Chelsea lead Arsenal by a point with four rounds of the season remaining   (Getty Images)

Chelsea lead Arsenal by a point with four rounds of the season remaining (Getty Images)

Chelsea take on Tottenham Hotspur as the Women’s Super League returns for its closing stages with the title race as tight and thrilling as ever.

The Blues are a point ahead of second place Arsenal and so they cannot afford to drop any points in their remaining matches. Their first test will be against Spurs who they are yet to play in the league this season due to game postponements.

Tottenham have been a strong side this season. They have caused upsets and are in a race themselves with Manchester United and Manchester City to finish third and qualify for the Women’s Champions League.

Rehanne Skinner’s side will also be looking to respond to back-to-back defeats in the WSL and so will present a challenge for Chelsea, who will have to see out the rest of the season without one of their key players.

That news that Fran Kirby has been ruled out indefinitely due to fatigue has put a dent in the Chelsea squad and the Blues will miss her connection on the pitch with Sam Kerr.

The 28-year-old had a year out of football due to pericarditis, a heart disease, and she is on the sidelines once again, but Emma Hayes’ side proved last Sunday their squad depth can produce results against the best when they defeated Arsenal in the Women’s FA Cup semi-final.

Chelsea’s Ji So-yun, centre, celebrates scoring the game’s second goal at Meadow Park (Steven Paston/PA) (PA Wire)

Chelsea’s Ji So-yun, centre, celebrates scoring the game’s second goal at Meadow Park (Steven Paston/PA) (PA Wire)

It will be difficult for Chelsea side to keep a perfect run and if they can’t, Arsenal may be there to pounce and take the title.

The Gunners will travel to Everton looking to keep their title hopes alive. Just as Chelsea can’t lose a match, neither can Arsenal and if the Blues continue bagging victories, a loss for the Gunners will give the defending champions breathing space.

The last time Arsenal played Everton in the league Jonas Eidevall’s side won 4-0 and it spelled the end of Willie Kirk’s time at the Toffees. Since then Everton have hired and fired another manager in Jean Luc Vasseur and the instability at the club should see Arsenal come away with a win.

Manchester United take on Aston Villa in a bid to hold onto their top three spot. They just missed out on the Champions League last season after a resurgence from Arsenal and so they will be out to ensure history does not repeat itself with Manchester City finding form.

Villa will have a tricky task with several players in doubt. Jill Scott, Hannah Hampton and Alisha Lehmann may not feature and loanee Anna Patten is out for the rest of the season.

Comparatively, United have a host of stars returning. Diane Caldwell, Lucy Staniforth and Kirsty Smith are all available for selection in what is looking like a tough afternoon for Villa.

Elsewhere, Birmingham City travel to Brighton to try to save their season. It is not impossible for City to remain in the WSL but they need to win all of their matches and for Leicester City to lose all of theirs. It’s a difficult position for the club who have only managed to win one match this campaign.

The final two fixtures will see Manchester City play Leicester City and Reading take on West Ham.

By Harriet