The Women’s Super League 2020/21 season reaches its finale on Sunday, with Chelsea on the verge of being crowned champions.
Chelsea head into Sunday’s concluding round of fixtures two points clear of second-placed Manchester City and with a goal difference superior by three. While they host sixth-placed Reading, City are at ninth-placed West Ham.
The Kingsmeadow contest is set to see ex-Chelsea midfielder Fara Williams, England’s most-capped player, make her final appearance before retirement.
Chelsea boss Emma Hayes says there is no danger of complacency from her side: “It’s not a shoo-in. They’re a good team. Every single player’s going to run around that pitch for Fara, and we’ve had some tough games against them over the years. So we know we have to be at our best.
“I don’t have a complacent dressing room, thank goodness, because when you do, you underestimate opponents. I know every single player in this building will be talking about the threats they pose to us.”
She added: “West Ham will make it difficult, but City have demonstrated they won’t let up so we have to win.”
Chelsea are aiming to retain the title, having been named 2019-20 champions on a points-per-game basis. When the season was halted by the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, they were a point behind leaders City with a game in hand.
Clinching the title would be the second trophy in a potential quadruple for Chelsea, who won the League Cup in February and face Barcelona in next weekend’s Champions League final.
City boss Gareth Taylor, who is in his first WSL season and saw his team lift the 2019-20 FA Cup in November, said: “We’ll look at the season as a whole at the end of 90 minutes on Sunday and it’ll be with pride, whether we’re champions or runners-up.
“I think the fact we’ve taken this title race to the final game is a pat on the back for us. We want to win and be successful and the perspective will come afterwards.
“Things will either go for us elsewhere or they won’t. We need to just take care of our end.”
Arsenal are all-but certain to take the final Champions League spot, sitting three points ahead of fourth-placed Manchester United with a goal difference better by 26.
The Gunners, whose boss Joe Montemurro is leaving the club at the end of the season, host relegation-threatened Aston Villa while United are at home against fifth-placed Everton.
In the relegation battle, bottom side Bristol City are two points behind Villa and Birmingham and three behind West Ham, with a goal difference greatly inferior to those of each of that trio.
Birmingham, who host Tottenham, were deducted a point on Friday for fielding Ruesha Littlejohn when she was due to serve a suspension.
WSL final day fixtures (all kick-off times 2:30pm BST)
Arsenal vs Aston Villa
Birmingham vs Tottenham
Brighton vs Bristol City
West Ham vs Man City
Man Utd vs Everton
Chelsea vs Reading