Weekend Wanderings: Premier League action returns after the winter break as Manchester City Women face Chelsea Women in a battle to the top

With the Premier League winter break now done and dusted we are back to another jam-packed schedule of games this weekend. 

But it’s not just here where there’s plenty of storylines to be written as we see a vital top-of-the-table clash in the WSL. 

Alasdair Hooper has all the games you should be keeping tabs on this weekend. 

Manchester City Women v Chelsea Women (Sunday, 2pm) 

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The importance of Sunday’s clash between the top two in the WSL can’t really be overstated. 

Manchester City currently sit top of the table on 39 points while their opponents Chelsea are one point behind on 38 points – but with a game in hand. 

Both sides have been in exceptional form recently, which is why this game is so vital. 

Three weeks ago, City produced an exceptional performance to beat reigning league champions Arsenal, with Chelsea doing exactly the same in the previous round of WSL fixtures. 

So, ultimately, many observers could pin this as the game that decides the title. Win here and Manchester City will pull four points clear and Chelsea’s game in hand suddenly seems less important. 

But if Chelsea take the spoils you would have to fancy the side that has remained unbeaten in the league so far this season to go all the way. 

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur (Saturday, 12.30pm) 

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Some are treating it as a fight for the top four (or top five considering what happened to Manchester City last week) and some may be looking at it has a Mourinho fest. 

Either way, Chelsea v Tottenham should produce some sort of fireworks on the pitch. 

Both teams are experiencing stuttering runs of form but just one point separates the two sides. 

Ultimately, if fifth place does open up a door to the Champions League, it makes this fixture a key match-up in the race to qualify for Europe’s elite club competition. 

And a draw wouldn’t really suit either Frank Lampard or Jose Mourinho, with Sheffield United, Manchester United, Wolves and Everton all close behind. 

Leicester City v Manchester City (Saturday, 5.30pm) 

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In among the battle for Champions Leagues places, we have another battle between two of the Premier League’s best sides. 

While Leicester City’s Champions League appearance should be secure with their current gap over their rivals, it is still not a certainty. 

Of course, there is also the small matter of that Manchester City ban – with many observers questioning what their motivation will be like after that news in match-ups like this. 

It’s all well and good beating West Ham midweek, but Leicester represent a very different threat. 

Ultimately however, this is a game between two teams who have a lot of very good players on show – so it should be an entertaining watch.

Arsenal v Everton (Sunday, 4.30pm) 

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Such is the strangeness of the Premier League table both Everton and Arsenal – who at various points of the campaign have lurched from one disaster to another – find themselves within reach of European qualification. 

Of course it has taken new managers to help turn the tide but now, with both clubs, you get the sense that there is some direction here. 

Last week’s win against Newcastle helped dispel some of the Mikel Arteta critics who simply pointed to Arsenal’s lack of wins so far this season. 

But Everton under Carlo Ancelotti should pose far more of a threat than the Newcastle frontline did last weekend. 

Schalke v RB Leipzig (Saturday, 5.30pm) 

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As shown against Tottenham, and as regular viewers of the Bundesliga will attest to, RB Leipzig mean business this season. 

The team are still fighting for the title, and are just a point behind Bayern Munich, but face another tough test to their credentials this weekend.

For a time, Schalke were also up in the mix at the very top of the Bundesliga table although recent form has seen them slip away to sixth. 

That doesn’t make them a bad side and they are very capable of taking points off of RB Leipzig. 

David Wagner’s team will also have Champions League ambitions of their own so this definitely looks like a game that should be packed with entertainment.

You can follow Alasdair on Twitter @adjhooper1992

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