Weekend Wanderings: England host Bulgaria, Manchester City Women go head to head with Manchester United Women
It’s a big weekend in the world of women’s football in England as the WSL returns to action following the World Cup. Alasdair Hooper has all the games you should look out for this weekend.
For fans, this is the defining moment to capitalise on the growth in viewership over the summer and there are some big games in a blockbuster fixture list.
Elsewhere there are some massive games on the international scene as Euro 2020 qualifying continues.
England v Bulgaria (Saturday, 5pm)
It’s fair to say England’s European Championship qualifying has gotten off to a solid start – two games played, two wins and 10 goals scored.
This Saturday Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions host Bulgaria in what should be another straight-forward fixture.
We could see the likes of James Maddison, Mason Mount and Tyrone Mings making their debuts as well as the continuation and development of Declan Rice in the holding midfield role.
Either way if the England attack is as potent as it was in the first two fixtures then it should be another enjoyable game for Three Lions fans.
Manchester City Women v Manchester United Women (Saturday, 3pm)
As mentioned, the WSL is back with a bang as we witness the first Manchester Derby since the league came into existence.
In order to capitalise on the attention, the women’s game received over the summer the two clubs are pulling out all the stops this time around.
To start with it is being held at the Etihad Stadium and Manchester City have sold more than 20,000 tickets for this landmark derby.
But away from the impact off the field it should also be a tightly contested affair on it with both sides surely in the running for a spot in the top four when it comes to the season’s end.
This could be the landmark kick-off we have been waiting for.
Chelsea Women v Tottenham Hotspur Women (Sunday, 12.30pm)
From one blockbuster fixture to another in the WSL as Chelsea – who are always aiming for the top – host Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.
While Emma Hayes will be seen as favourites in this London derby, plenty of attention will be on the club’s ticket policy.
For the game Chelsea have decided to give away tickets for free, which has received both positive and negative press.
The attendance figures will likely be the lead headline but Tottenham’s potential in their first WSL season will also be interesting having signed several new faces.
Arsenal Women v West Ham Women (Sunday, 2.30pm)
Elsewhere in the WSL, Arsenal will look to get their title defence up to a positive start against West Ham.
With the return of Jordan Nobbs from injury receiving a particular level of attention there will also be a heightened level of scrutiny on Arsenal following their WSL win last year as they finished seven points clear of Manchester City.
In theory this should be a comfortable enough win for the Gunners but there is a lot to expect from West Ham.
After reaching the FA Cup final in their first season as a professional outfit Matt Beard’s side have gone through wholesale changes over the summer.
With plenty of new players looking to star, as well as the return of Tessel Middag who missed the entire 2018-19 season with an ACL injury, there is a sense of the unknown surrounding West Ham.
MK Dons v AFC Wimbledon (Saturday, 12pm)
In League One we see the latest edition of the battle of the Dons – namely MK Dons against AFC Wimbledon.
The rivalry here needs no introduction and the clubs’ fans will love getting one over the other should they come away with three points.
AFC Wimbledon are particularly in need of the points as they are yet to win in six league games and have scored just five goals.
MK Dons meanwhile will hope a victory here can propel them into the top half of the table.
Either way this is sure to be a fiery affair.
You can follow Alasdair on Twitter @adjhooper1992
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