The FA WSL title race is hotting up with four games to play and five for Manchester City, who have a game in hand against Liverpool.
Here is the schedule for the four title candidates. Games in bold are the games played between the top four teams.
1. Chelsea Ladies 20 points (goals difference +9)
23/08 – Arsenal (A)
06/09 – Notts County (H)
26/09 – Liverpool (A)
04/10 – Sunderland (H)
Chelsea Ladies are looking to do the double but have four difficult games. The final game at home to Sunderland might end up being a title decider. Last season, their title challenge collapsed on final day with people blaming their goalkeeper and lack of guts.
The truth is their goalkeeper was injured early in the game by a City player, the referee did not punish the infringement and they played most of the game with a young goalkeeper with no experience. Had City got a player sent-off for serious foul play as a proper referee would have done, the outcome of that game could have been very different.
Last season, refereeing decided the outcome of the title with a technical error being made and not rectified in the Birmingham v Liverpool match. It’s a great shame that the FA has not done anything for the 2015 season. Hopefully no error will be made again in the decisive games.
2. Sunderland Ladies 19 points (goal difference +7)
23/08 – Birmingham (A)
06/09 – Man City (A)
26/09 – Arsenal (H)
04/10 – Chelsea (A)
They have done extremely well as a promoted team but will play three out of the top four teams and have only one home game out of four. They will need to be extremely strong to win the title but have a big chance to qualify for the Champions League.
3. Arsenal Ladies 18 points (goal difference + 5)
23/08 – Chelsea (H)
05/09 – Liverpool (A)
26/09 – Sunderland (A)
04/10 – Birmingham (H)
Arsenal have two homes and two away games with a must win first match against Chelsea. They then have two tough away games against the current Champions, Liverpool, and then second place, Sunderland. The last home game against Birmingham might be easier on paper but around 10 to 12 points will surely be needed to win the League.
4. Manchester City Women 17 points (goal difference +5)
23/08 – Notts County (A)
06/09 – Sunderland (H)
10/09 – Liverpool (H)
27/09 – Bristol (H)
04/10 – Notts County (A)
With their current form and their game in hand, Manchester City are looking good for a title push. They have seriously improved as the season progressed and will only play one team from the top four. They also have three home games out of five.
My prediction on the title winner:
Chelsea – 30%
Man City – 30%
Sunderland – 20%
Arsenal – 15%