Matildas Abroad Review: Top of the table clash in the FA WSL

A jam-packed week awaits our Matildas Abroad, with a top of the table clash in the FA WSL kicking off a blistering week of action in France and England.

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Our Aussies are in the thick of the action as Chelsea and Arsenal fight for the top spot in the WSL, while Lyon is looking to extend their unbeaten streak to 14 with PSG hot on their tail. 

The first game of the FA WSL round sees Chelsea host Arsenal for a top-of-the-table clash, with the Blues sitting just two points behind the Gunners.

The teams met last December in the FA Cup final, where Sam Kerr scored twice to lift the trophy in a 3-0 win and claimed bragging rights over her fellow Australians. However, prior to that, Arsenal won their opening game of the WSL season 3-2, with Chelsea facing defeat for the first time away from home since May 2017.


A win for Emma Hayes' side will send Chelsea to the top of the table, giving them the advantage with a game in hand over the Gunners. 

In recent weeks Jonas Eidevall's Gunners' form has staggered, facing defeat to Birmingham City at the start of the year and then drawing with Manchester City and United. 

Steph Catley started in Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Manchester United last week, while Caitlin Foord had chances off the bench. Both will surely be in Eidevall's plans to keep Chelsea at bay. Lydia Williams has yet to make an appearance for Arsenal since December, with Eidevall opting for Manuela Zinsberger.

In a treat for Aussie football fans, this game kicks off bright and early on Saturday morning at 6:45 am AEDT

Moving over to Manchester, City and United face-off in an interesting encounter. Since the sides tantalising 2-2 draw earlier in the season, United has moved to third on the table while City has slowly seen their regular starters return from injury and managed to hold onto sixth place.


Hayley Raso and Alanna Kennedy both remained on the bench in City's 1-0 loss to Chelsea last weekend, with Gareth Taylor mindful of how much constant injury tarnished City's start to the season. 

Manchester City announced earlier this week the clash would be a sell-out, with over 7,000 tickets sold. 

This game kicks on Sunday night at 11:30 pm AEDT.

Up in Liverpool, Aston Villa will be hoping to bounce back after their 2-1 loss at West Ham when they take on Everton. 

Villa's hosts, Everton, have had a season they'd sooner rather forget, picking up only three wins and standing down two coaches in the season so far. 

Despite Everton's lacklustre start to the season they have firepower upfront that could trouble Villa, Emily Gielnik's side sits just two points in front of 10th placed, Everton. 

This game kicks off on Monday morning at 12:00 am AEDT. 

Over in Birmingham, Spurs will be looking to repeat their 4-0 win last weekend when they take on last placed Birmingham City.

Kyah Simon was on the scoresheet twice in Spurs' win, picking up her first brace for her new side. 

 

Head coach Rehanne Skinner was delighted with her side's effort in their 4-0 win, hoping a run of wins will help close the gap between fourth-placed Spurs and the ladder leaders Arsenal. 

The last game of the WSL round sees Leicester City welcome West Ham United.

Mackenzie Arnold was strong for the Hammers in their 2-1 win over Villa, denying a number of chances to secure the win. 

Tameka Yallop missed West Ham's win, still recovering from COVID-19. West Ham has a chance to move up the ladder with a much-needed win before the FIFA international window. 

This game kicks off on Monday morning at 1:00 am AEDT. 

Moving over to France, Ellie Carpenter's Lyon hosts 10th placed ASJ Soyaux-Charente. 

Both sides come into the encounter with 1-0 wins in their last game, however, Lyon's win was soured by Eugénie Le Sommer receiving her second yellow card and thus is suspended for this match. 

 

Lyon has new signing Lindsey Horan to turn to in her absence, with the American making her debut in the 1-0 win.

Carpenter picked up the assist and player of the match in the win. 

This game kicks off on Saturday morning at 7:00 am AEDT.