WSL Tipsheet: Points will be shared as recent champions Arsenal and Chelsea square off

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes
Can Chelsea manager Emma Hayes conjour up a defeat of Arsenal?

This weekend sees the league's two most recent champions go head to head as Arsenal travel to Chelsea, while last season's promoted duo, Tottenham and Manchester United square off. Tim Stillman has bets for both matches.

"With Lauren James pulling the strings behind the attack and Jess Sigworth and Leah Galton bombing down the flanks, I expect United to hold back in the first half, before overwhelming Tottenham after half-time."

Expect Stoney's side to have too much for Spurs

Spurs v Man Utd
Sunday, 12:30
Live on FA Player and BBCi

Back in March, United beat Spurs 5-1, but I wouldn't expect a repeat of that this time. Spurs have transformed their personnel since then and both teams have put an emphasis on being difficult to break down since promotion to the WSL. For United, Casey Stoney's side have forced WSL heavyweights Manchester City and Arsenal to sweat blood for narrow 1-0 wins before defeating Liverpool 2-0 on match day three.

Even in the Liverpool game, Stoney placed an emphasis on not conceding before playing more expansively in the second half. I expect this to be a template her team follows this season and you can get 7/2 on the scores being level at half-time with United to win at full-time. Stoney is also likely to have Dutch midfielder Jackie Groenen available for this game and she is probably the most talented player in the current squad.

Manchester United have greater firepower than Spurs

Spurs have won without conceding in games against Liverpool and West Ham this season - teams likely to be their peers. However, they were thumped 4-0 at The Hive by Reading recently and the Royals are on a similar level to United at this moment in time. Spurs have also lost their chief counter attacking threat in Gemma Davison, which will take its toll.

With Lauren James pulling the strings behind the attack and Jess Sigworth and Leah Galton bombing down the flanks, I expect United to hold back in the first half, before overwhelming Tottenham after half-time.

A 3-0 away win is priced at a 10/1 and if United really rip into Tottenham that could look like a generous price.

Chelsea v Arsenal will be tight, but not nervy. Expect goals

Chelsea v Arsenal
Sunday, 15:00
Live on FA Player & BT Sport 1

The Gunners won the league fixture 5-0 at Kingsmeadow last season, but do not expect anything similar this weekend. In fact, when the teams met again in West London in the FA Cup in February, the home side ran out 3-0 winners. There are always goals when these WSL behemoths meet, which is no surprise given the attacking talent they each boast.

Arsenal are in better shape, but these are still two very evenly matched teams aware of the potential title ramifications at stake. Emma Hayes' side are two points behind the Gunners and will want to reel them in - Arsenal haven't dropped a point against a team outside of the top-three since April 2018. In fact, that was the last time Joe Montemurro's side drew a game in the WSL.

A draw is the most likely result

I fancy that run to come to an end on Sunday with a 2-2 draw priced well at 9/1. The last four encounters between these sides has yielded over 2.5 goals and with the likes of Beth Mead, Jordan Nobbs, Vivianne Miedema, Beth England and Erin Cuthbert on show on Sunday, bank on that continuing at Kingsmeadow this weekend.

A draw with both teams to score at 3/1 is a safe bet, but if one team is in better shape it's Arsenal. For those who fancy current form to be key, a draw at half-time followed by an Arsenal win is valued at 11/2. However, if the head-to-head is more your thing, you will note that Chelsea have beaten the Gunners the last two times they have played (and the visitors have a Champions League fixture in Prague on Wednesday), making a 3-1 Chelsea win at 14/1 a tempting price.

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