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It’s the showdown that will determine where the Women’s Super League title ends up this season.
Manchester City, trailing Chelsea by two points, play host to the league-leading Blues on Wednesday evening. With only two fixtures remaining following the clash, this could be last chance saloon for City if they are to haul back in Emma Hayes’ side.
And the action from the Etihad Campus is available exclusively live on BT Sport with coverage on BT Sport 1 HD from 5.30pm for a 6pm kick-off.
Chelsea are within touching distance of a second straight WSL title but face the biggest hurdle remaining when they visit an on-fire Man City side.
Gareth Taylor’s City have won 12 straight WSL matches to close the gap on Chelsea in a run which has seen them score 40 goals and concede on only three occasions.
With Ellen White, Caroline Weir and Chloe Kelly in a rich vein of form, City have been taking on all comers in the WSL. The Sky Blues have dropped nine points all campaign and lost just once, to Wednesday’s opponents Chelsea.
Remaining WSL Fixtures
MAN CITY: Chelsea (H), Birmingham City (H), West Ham (A)
CHELSEA: Man City (A), Tottenham (A), Reading (H)
Yet Hayes’ Blues, who won last season’s title on a points-per-game basis, have been even closer to perfection. With February’s shock defeat to Brighton the only blip, Chelsea have reeled off 11 wins in 12 matches in the WSL.
And they are fighting on all four fronts. Chelsea wrapped up the WSL Cup with a 6-0 win over Bristol City in the final, are through to the fifth round of the FA Women’s Cup and have a two-legged Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich to contend with following the City WSL clash.
It means Hayes’ squad will be pushed to the limit as they pursue the biggest prizes in women’s football. Should they take their eye off the WSL, where City have a slightly softer run-in, then they could allow the Manchester side to steal top spot.
City were knocked out the WSL Cup by Chelsea back in January but a greater indicator for how Wednesday’s clash could play out could be the reverse WSL fixture back in October at Kingsmeadow.
The home side took the lead in controversial fashion when White was wrongly adjudged to have handled inside her area when her Chelsea team-mate Demi Stokes had in fact blocked the shot with her torso.
Referee Rebecca Welch pointed to the spot regardless and Maren Mjelde fired in the resulting penalty before Sam Kerr doubled Chelsea’s lead 12 minutes later.
Kelly’s penalty reduced the deficit but a late strike from Kirby sealed the three points for Chelsea who inflicted a first defeat of the season on City.
“I’ve heard it’s a shocker,” Taylor said of the decision post-match. “We just need to focus on ourselves and not make excuses. The frustration is there. This won’t define our season.”
Wednesday offers a chance for revenge and it looks set to be a corker with some of the biggest talents in women’s football on show at the Etihad Campus.
City boast the talents of White, Kelly, Weir and Lucy Bronze while big-spending Chelsea can call upon Kerr, Kirby, Erin Cuthbert and Ji So-Yun as they bid to strike a huge blow in the WSL title race.
It’s the biggest game of the WSL season and BT Sport have every moment of the action exclusively live in what should be a Wednesday night treat.