The WSL action begins with a North London derby at Boreham Wood, before Emma Hayes' Chelsea travel to Manchester United later in the day. Tim Stillman is tipping Arsenal and Chelsea to be smiling come Sunday evening.
"Even with doubts over the participation of Kim Little and Lia Wälti and with Jill Roord suspended, Arsenal still ought to create plenty of chances."
Arsenal and Spurs meet in the second ever North London derby in the WSL. Arsenal were 2-0 winners when the teams met in November and when the teams met in a pre-season friendly at Meadow Park in August, the Gunners won 6-0. I am not expecting a scoreline that emphatic on Sunday, but Joe Montemurro's side are 1/25 for good reason.
Spurs are sitting comfortably in mid-table, which represents a good season for them so far, however, they are still some distance short of the top teams. They've been beaten 3-0 by Manchester United and 4-1 by Manchester City in recent weeks and that's a good barometer for what they can expect on Sunday.
That said, Arsenal have lost back-to-back WSL games to Chelsea and Manchester City and top scorer Vivianne Miedema has not scored for four WSL matches (she has never gone five league games without scoring in her career). The Gunners have under-performed their expected goals [XG] in five of their last 10 WSL games now. They have not been clinical enough.
However, even with doubts over the participation of Kim Little and Lia Wälti and with Jill Roord suspended, Arsenal still ought to create plenty of chances. A 3-0 home win fetches odds of 7/2 which I would be tempted by. Last time out, Spurs held Arsenal until the 67th minute before a pair of second half Gunners goals, you can get 3/1 on a repeat of sorts with the scores being level at half-time and Arsenal winning after 90 minutes.
Recommended Bet: Arsenal to win 3-0 at 7/2.
These teams have met twice this season and both times Chelsea have been forced to work extremely hard for 1-0 victories. Casey Stoney's United side set up in a very disciplined manner when they take on the top three. Defending champions Arsenal were made to wait until the 89th minute before breaking the deadlock at Leigh Sports Village earlier in the season.
United do carry attacking threat, primarily through Leah Galton on the left hand side. However, Stoney usually opts to bench start forward Lauren James for these matches and that usually costs her side the chance to capitalise on their counter attacks. Chelsea will be without Ji So Yun- their creative hub-, Fran Kirby and forward Sam Kerr for this one.
In Beth England they have one of the form strikers in the division, with Erin Cuthbert and Guro Reiten a more than worthy supporting cast. Chelsea prefer to play a counter-pressing style and United's deep block won't allow them to play the attacking game they prefer. However, I think this fixture will follow the established blueprint for the season with Chelsea just having enough quality to scrape it. Chelsea to win 1-0 is tempting at 5/1, I think the Blues might have to wait to break the deadlock again too.
Recommended Bet: Half-time draw / full-time Chelsea win at 16/5