WSL 1 Week 6 Preview: Man City look to kick on in Spring Series after FA Cup triumph
WSL 1 Week 6 Preview: Man City look to kick start Spring Series after FA Cup triumph

WSL 1 Week 6 Preview: Man City look to kick on in Spring Series after FA Cup triumph

Reading sit out this week of fixtures as Man City play their first league game since winning the FA Cup at Wembley.

Matt Dawson

Eight of the nine teams are in action during week 6 of the WSL 1 Spring Series, with Manchester City and Chelsea looking to make up the ground on Liverpool.

FA Cup winners Man City take on Yeovil on Sunday, whilst Chelsea travel to Sunderland. Before that however, Arsenal play Birmingham and Bristol City face Liverpool.

Arsenal hoping to kick on

The Gunners start to the season has been a mixed one, with manager Pedro Martinez Losa choosing to give a host of the team's younger players a chance with injuries having an impact on the side, particularly in defence. Just one win and three draws tells the story of Arsenal's Spring Series so far, and FA Cup runners-up Birmingham, a team that Arsenal lost to during that cup run, will present another potentially tough game.

The North London side played out a very entertaining 2-2 draw against Chelsea in the week, as Jordan Nobbs rescued a late point deep in injury time after Drew Spence looked to have won it. That match was played on a hugely wet pitch, and the Hive could witness similar conditions on Saturday with more poor weather due.

Birmingham will therefore be brought back down to the reality of playing at a smaller ground after their Wembley appearance last weekend. They were beaten convincingly by City in the final but will be eager to show their worth against another of the top sides in the WSL. They come into this game off the back of a 2-0 win over Bristol in mid-week, as Ellen White grabbed both goals.

Liverpool look to stay unbeaten

It was clear the potential Liverpool had going into this Spring Series, and so far they have definitely shown that, going unbeaten in their first five games with four wins and one draw. During that run they've also scored plenty of goals; 18 in total. Therefore against newly promoted Bristol, there is a large chance that tally will be increased. 

Caroline Weir will be back to face her former club, and the last time the two teams met in WSL 1 back in 2015, she scored twice for Bristol as they beat Liverpool 4-2. The result this time could be very different though with Liverpool top of the league, albeit with two games in hand.

Bristol's chances will be made tougher by the fact they have slipped to defeats in each of their previous three games. In that time, they have also failed to score. Their only win of the season so far came against Yeovil in a 3-2 win earlier in May.

City return after Wembley triumph

Manchester City now hold all three titles, the WSL 1 crown, the Continental Cup and now the FA Cup. They are without doubt the best team in the country. This weekend they play Yeovil, a side who haven't won a game in the Spring Series yet, meaning City are likely to show no signs of slowing down after their unbeaten start. They dominated the cup final, and were also hugely convincing in their previous WSL game.

Toni Duggan scored a hat-trick as they beat Bristol in their previous league match, and therefore Yeovil are likely to have their work cut out after a start to the season where they've conceded 19 times in their first five games.

Lucy Quinn and Sarah Wiltshire are capable of proving dangerous in attack for Yeovil, and with City keeping just one clean-sheet from three games, they will be hopeful of scoring if they can get enough of the ball. For Man City, they will be eager continue their fine start to the season, and make up the ground on Liverpool if possible.

Chelsea also hoping to make headway

The Blues are another of the unbeaten sides in the WSL so far, and will be looking for much better luck than they got in mid-week. Decisions from the referee didn't go their way, particularly with the penalty that was awarded to the Gunners, whilst they were bitterly unlucky to concede extremely late on after scoring late themselves. Those two goals however were the only ones Chelsea have conceded so far in the Spring Series.

Like Liverpool, Chelsea have scored goals at will. They have a massive 12 in total from just three games, after scoring six against Yeovil and then four against Reading in their opening two matches.

As for Sunderland, they come into this game with just one defeat from their four games. Despite sitting seventh, their start to the Spring Series hasn't been as poor as their league position may suggest. Draws against both Arsenal and Birmingham give reason for encouragement, but they will have to improve in attack, having scored just once. Against Chelsea that will be easier said than done however.