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Chelsea LFC vs. Manchester City WFC, WSL 1: Preview, team news, how to watch

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The two top teams in the WSL 1 go head-to-head in the first match-up between the perennial title contenders.

WSL 1: Manchester City Women v Chelsea Ladies FC
Millie Bright fends off Manchester City’s Jane Ross during the WSL 1 match at Academy Stadium on September 25, 2016
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images,

The two best teams in the WSL 1 (and the last three champions) go head-to-head for the first time this season in an early title race six-pointer. Manchester City, a perfect 5 wins from 5, lead Chelsea by two points in the standings and have beaten the Blues in four straight league meetings. But Chelsea did triumph in the semifinals of the 2016 FA Women’s Cup and won the Spring Series in 2017 as well as the 2015 WSL title (City won in 2016).

It’s Super Sunday not only in the Premier League, but in the Womens’ Super League as well!

Date / Time: Sunday, December 10, 18:30 GMT; 1:30pm EST; 12am IST (next day)

Venue: Kingsmeadow, Kingston-upon-Thames, England

Forecast: Frigid and rainy; yes, it’s going to be one of those nights

On TV/Streaming online: This marquee match-up will be broadcast live on BT Sport, and will be streamed through their website for subscribers as well.

Chelsea team news: It remains to be seen whether Eni Aluko will be back in action this weekend after her frightening collision with on-field advertising boards last Saturday. The squad is still missing Jade Bailey and Deanna Cooper, but all others have a clean bill of health, and thanks to significant squad rotation in the midweek, many of the players have gotten a good rest in.

This is the biggest non-Champions League match Chelsea have had this season. Against an imperious City side who have yet to drop any points, the Blues will have to be at their best from top to bottom, and that includes the tactics of Emma Hayes. I expect to see her go to the hot hand in Kirby over the top, and continue with Bright, who looked back to her best against Tottenham on Wednesday.

Predicted Line-up: Lindahl | Bright - Flaherty - Eriksson | Thorisdottir - Mjelde - Chapman - Dunn | Bachmann - Kirby - Carney

Manchester City team news: City Women have been even more dominant than their men’s side, having now won 15 match in a row in all competitions, a streak stretching back late May and the 2017 Spring Series. In fact, City have lost just four comeptitive matches since July 2015.

They are down two solid contributors, with Pauline Bremer incurring a leg fracture about a month ago and still recovering, and defender Megan Campbell rupturing her ACL in their most recent Champions League match-up. Like Chelsea, City are into the quarterfinals of the competition.

Millie Bright picked out City forward Claire Emslie as the key player that the Blues would need to focus on negating. For me, the danger woman will be wide attacker Nikita Parris, one of the big reasons that Chelsea upgraded their wing-back options in the summer. Regardless, as with most times these two sides meet, it should be an exciting match.

“I’m really looking forward to the game. It’s obviously a big one with them being just two points ahead and it’s always a great contest between us. After all it’s the two best teams in the WSL going head to head.”

-Millie Bright, source: Metro

Previously: The teams last met back in May at the Academy Stadium during the Spring Series (a unique trophy of which Chelsea are now the singular holders), wherein City were the eventual victors, 1-0.