WSL Tips: Manchester City and Arsenal clash balanced on a knife edge

Ellen White is just one of the attackers on show on Sunday
Manchester City striker Ellen White
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The loser of this clash will be left picking over the bones of their WSL title challenge. Tim Stillman suspects that honours will be even, but there will be goals.

"City's Pauline Bremer and Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema lead the WSL for direct goal contributions, while both sides boast an impressive supporting cast in attack."

Manchester City Women v Arsenal
Sunday February 2nd, 14:00
Live on the FA Player app

Home advantage in battle at the top

Manchester City and Arsenal meet four days after the teams clashed in the Conti Cup semi-finals. Arsenal were victorious at Meadow Park on Wednesday, but the history of this fixture is heavily weighted towards the home side. On the last five occasions that the teams have clashed, the home side have won (all competitions).

There is an added emotional element to the game, it will be Nick Cushing's final game in charge of Manchester City after a trophy laden seven-year spell. The City players and the home crowd will be extra motivated to give Cushing a good send-off. For either side here, a defeat almost certainly damages their title credentials irrevocably.

Games between these two teams are always knife-edge encounters and I expect this one to be no different. Any margin of victory is likely to be narrow and victory for either side would not present any kind of shock. Remarkably, this fixture has never ended in a draw in the WSL and I think that might change on Sunday, 16/5 represents value for a score draw.

City's Pauline Bremer and Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema lead the WSL for direct goal contributions, while both sides boast an impressive supporting cast in attack. One potential weak spot for City is at right-back, where they have played attacking midfielder Georgia Stanway in recent weeks and she looked very out of place there on Wednesday evening.

However, City's Lauren Hemp gave Arsenal right-back Leonie Maier a torrid time in the second half of Wednesday's game. Both teams are packed with quality playing in an exceptionally high stakes game, with a home team charged by the extra pinch of emotion Nick Cushing's departure adds to proceedings. A defeat is potentially fatal for both teams and I expect that to lead to a draw.

Recommended bet: 5/1 for a 1-1 draw.

Tim Stillman,

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