After last week’s 2-2 draw between Manchester City and Chelsea, the race is on for the Gunners to try to snatch a Champions League place from one of the top two teams.
The table says:
- Chelsea 27 pts +25
- City 26 pts +22
- Arsenal 20 pts +10
The remaining games between the three teams will be played at Borehamwood FC:
- 1 April – Arsenal v Chelsea (live on TV)
- 13 May – Arsenal v Man City
Arsenal have a game in hand over the top two teams and therefore need to win that game to close the gap to three points on City and four on Chelsea. Any slip-ups will not be allowed unless City and Chelsea also drop points against smaller teams.
With the other two teams involved in the Women’s Champions League quarter-finals, fatigue might come into the equation as well as national teams call-ups.
It is also important to note that the goal difference is a big disadvantage for the Gunners and unless they find their shooting boots and win games by a large margin, they will need to finish with a point more than one of the top two teams.
The other important point in the Champions League place race is not all the remaining games dates are currently published on the FA website.
As incredible as it is, the FA has not slotted all of the remaining league games in the calendar. So far 16% of the scheduled games have been moved around either for television or other miscellaneous problems (weather or pitch availability related). And some of them are still somewhere in the nether.
As usual with the FA WSL scheduling, the title and champions league places are survival of the fittest. Basically when the FA piles up the games towards the end of the season after the realisation that there are not enough weekends free for the league games and teams are forced to play midweek and weekend games, week after week.
When you remember that the FA decided to move from the summer season to the winter to improve the fixture list scheduling, it clearly shows that they are not very competent at doing this job and maybe should leave it to a computer as it is done in the Premier League.
A top two finish is still possible as long as the Gunners do not drop points in all their winnable games and also beat one of the two teams ahead of them in the table. Still, it is a better situation than when Pedro Losa was asked to leave his job following an horrendous start of the season.