Women's Super League preview: Manchester City and Arsenal face off in seismic game for title race as Liverpool and Birmingham meet in relegation six-pointer
Arsenal's humbling 4-1 defeat at home to Chelsea in the last round of Women's Super League fixtures has blown the title race wide open.
The Gunners now sit level on points with Manchester City at the top of the table, while Emma Hayes' Blues are one point behind with a game in hand.
City and Arsenal face off this weekend in a clash which could well determine which city the WSL trophy ends up in come May.
It is City boss Nick Cushing's final game in charge as he brings to an end six years with the club in what promises to be an emotional day for the team.
Joe Montemurro's side beat Cushing's outfit 1-0 back in October.
But since then City have won six of their seven league games, scoring 26 goals, with their only defeat coming to fellow title rivals Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Arsenal were on a scintillating run of eight wins in a row heading into their crunch clash with London rivals Chelsea last time out and were humiliated in front of their own fans at Meadow Park.
So, it remains to be seen how much that defeat has affected their mental strength heading into what could prove to be the decisive game in the season for both sides.
At the other end of the table, it is a equally huge game in the battle to avoid relegation to the Women's Championship.
Just a single point separates Birmingham from the two sides at the foot of the table in Liverpool and Bristol City.
And it is the Reds who welcome Marta Tejedor's Blues to Prenton Park this weekend, the scene at which Manchester United's men's team thumped Tranmere in the FA Cup last week.
The pitch for that game was questionable, so it could well be a case of whoever best deals with the conditions comes away with the victory.
The quality of pitches in the WSL has come under fire recently, namely from former Arsenal and England international Alex Scott.
Liverpool won their first league game of the season away at Bristol City in their last WSL game and will be buoyed following their 8-1 demolition of Blackburn in the FA Cup.
Birmingham also impressed with a comfortable 3-0 win over Sheffield United in the FA Cup, but before that were nullified with ease by Man City in a 2-0 defeat.
Crucial clashes at both ends of the table mean this weekend of WSL action is one you really cannot afford to miss.
A full round-up of all the weekend's results will be brought to you on the NewsChain website as soon as the final match has concluded.
Women's Super League fixtures (all games on Sunday, February 2)
Liverpool vs Birmingham City (12pm)
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Everton (2pm)
Chelsea vs West Ham (2pm)
Manchester City vs Arsenal (2pm)
Reading vs Manchester United (2pm)
Tottenham Hotspur vs Bristol City (2pm)
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