The Women’s Super League title race is shaping up nicely, with just four points covering the top three heading into the second half of the season.
Arsenal currently lead the way by three points from Manchester City, with Chelsea a further point adrift in third place.
The Gunners are marginal favourites to retain the title, but there could be plenty of twists and turns between now and the end of the season. Read on as we assess the latest state-of-play.
Arsenal remain in pole position
Arsenal have won 10 out of 11 matches in the WSL this season, with their only defeat coming against Chelsea back in October.
The Gunners took an early lead in that game, but Chelsea eventually battled back in the second half to secure a 2-1 victory.
Joe Montemurro’s side will be out for revenge in the reverse fixture on January 19, especially with the Blues having a game in hand on both their title rivals.
Arsenal are also set to face City at the Academy Stadium during early February and if they can safely negotiate both fixtures, they would be well placed to retain their title.
Big challenge ahead for City
City have been defeated at both Arsenal and Chelsea this season, giving them a tough task during the second half of the campaign.
Victories over their title rivals in the return games would change the complexion of the title race, although whether they can achieve that feat is another matter.
Nick Cushing’s decision to quit his role as manager to join New York City in Major League Soccer seems oddly timed and could potentially derail City’s season.
Current assistant manager Alan Mahon will take charge when Cushing departs, but it will be interesting to see what impact the change has on City’s squad during the rest of the campaign.
Chelsea the biggest threat to Arsenal
With City potentially in a state of flux, Chelsea are the team most likely to challenge Arsenal for the title this term.
Sam Kerr’s arrival at the club is a major coup and her presence could be the difference between success and failure in the title race.
The 26-year-old is the all-time leading goalscorer in both the American and Australian leagues and she has the ability to rip defences apart in the WSL.
The Blues still have to visit both Arsenal and City, but with Kerr in their line-up they are perfectly capable of winning both matches.
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