FA WSL relegation battle ep 6

Judgement day is coming on Thursday with a huge Doncaster v Sunderland game. The winner will take an option in the battle to stay up.


Last week-end results saw, Reading and Doncaster beaten while Sunderland did not play so a status quo.

Manchester City 2 Reading 0

Liverpool 1 Doncaster 0



7 Reading 6 pts – 8 pl 11

8 Sunderland 6 pts – 20 pl 12

9 Doncaster 0 pt -25 pl9


The upcoming Doncaster v Sunderland game is crucial a proper six pointer because :

Should Doncaster win, they would close the gap to three points with Sunderland and Reading and six games to play. While Sunderland would have three games only to play. Reading will be at home Liverpool at the same time and looking to get their first win under their belt.

Should Sunderland win the gap between Sunderland and Doncaster would go up to nine points and even with three games in hand, that would be a very difficult task for Doncaster to achieve. Doncaster would in that case hope that Reading lose at home to Liverpool.


The remaining games

Doncaster v Sunderland 01/09

Reading v Liverpool 01/09

Reading v Chelsea 11/09

Doncaster v Reading 24/09

Notts County v Sunderland 25/09

Doncaster v Arsenal 06/10

Doncaster v Liverpool 09/10

Doncaster v Notts County 16/10

Sunderland v Notts County 29/10

Arsenal v Doncaster 30/10

Chelsea v Reading 30/10

Reading v Doncaster 06/11

Sunderland v Birmingham  06/11


The relegation battle might go to the final day unlike the title race…



The race for the Champions League episode 3

Manchester City all but confirmed their Champions League place this week-end with their 2-0 win against Reading while Chelsea and Arsenal won their game to keep the fight alive for the second Champions League place.

Man City 2 Reading 0

Birmingham 0 Chelsea 4

Notts County 0 Arsenal 2



  1. City 35 pts + 29 pl 13
  2. Chelsea 25 pts +20 pl 11
  3. Arsenal 23 pts +11 pl 12

For City not to qualify for the Champions League they need to loose their remaining three League games and Arsenal to catch up on that 18 goals gap in goal difference. Considering City are still unbeaten in the League, this is unlikely to happen.

Chelsea and Arsenal will fight for the other Champions League spot, unless Chelsea manages to close that ten points gap. Something that will be difficult to achieve even with two games in hand.

The remaining fixtures for the three sides :

Chelsea v Notts County  01/09

Arsenal v Manchester City  11/09

Reading v Chelsea 11/09

Manchester City v Chelsea 25/09

Doncaster v Arsenal 06/10

Arsenal v Doncaster 30/10

Manchester City v Birmingham 30/10

Liverpool v Arsenal 06/10

Notts County v Chelsea 06/10


So Manchester City are 99% likely to qualify for the 2017/18 Champions League, with Chelsea favourites to get the second spot as they need to slip up twice to see Arsenal overtake them.




FA WSL 2 week-end preview

We are reaching the business end of the season with title, and promotion on their way to be decided in the upcoming weeks. Matchday 14/18 in FA WSL2.


FA WSL 2 Matchday 14

Bristol (2) v Everton (3)

Another decisive head to head game between promotion contenders. Should Bristol win they would open a eight points gap on Everton, something that does not seem to bother the Everton manager. To me if you were eight points behind with five games to go, even with a game in hand and not worried, well….

Should Everton win, they would come back to a two points gap and a game in hand and therefore would get back in the promotion places.

Durham (4) v Oxford (8)

Another promotion contender against a quickly improving Oxford side. Durham cannot really afford to drop points but face a tough encounter.

London Bees (7) v Aston Villa (5)

A mid table battle, that should see a lot of goals and entertainment at the Hive. Bees are obviously preparing for the biggest game next week in the Conti Cup semi-final.

Sheffield Ladies (6) v Yeovil Town (1)

The League leaders will try to consolidate their place in a tough away game against a physical side, who likes a challenge on the physical and verbal side as well. With Bristol playing early on Saturday, Yeovil could find themselves looking to win the first place back on Sunday with a draw probably good enough to achieve this.

Watford (10) v Millwall (9)

Bottom of the table clash with teams that were looking to improve on their previous season and certainly have in term of quality of play. Watford have already more points than last season and Millwall should also improve from last year’s tally.


UEFA Women’s Champions League 2016/17

The 2016/17 tournament started yesterday in Cardiff and in eight other locations and will finish in Cardiff on the 1st of June 2017 at Cardiff City Stadium with a 33 280 capacity.

The nine group winners in the qualifying rounds will join the 23 teams that received a bye to the last 32 round.

The UEFA administration seeds clubs for the qualifying round, round of 32 and
round of 16, in accordance with the club coefficient rankings established at the
beginning of the season (see Annex D) and with the principles set by the UEFA
Women’s Football Committee.

The titleholder is always the top seed. If, for any
unforeseen reason, any of the participants in a round are not known at the time of
the draw, the coefficient of the club with the higher coefficient of the two clubs
involved in an undecided tie will be used for the purposes of the draw.
For the round of 32 and the round of 16, draws between the same number of
seeded and unseeded clubs determine the pairings.
The round of 32 pairings are determined by means of a draw in accordance with
the following principles:
a. Clubs from the same association cannot be drawn against each other

b. The winners and runners-up of the same group cannot be drawn against each
c. The seeded clubs play the return leg at home

The 16 winners of the round of 32 contest the round of 16, for which the pairings
are determined by means of a draw. Clubs from the same association cannot be
drawn against each other.

Seeded clubs in round of 32

OL, Wolfsburg, Rosengard, PSG, Hjorring, Brondby, Barcelona, Rossiyanka, Glasgow City, Bayern Munchen, Zvevda – 2005, Brescia, Verona, Slavia Praha

The last seeding place number 16 will be either Chelsea with a 24.830 coefficient or FC Zurich with a 34.240 coefficient.

Should FC Zurich win their qualifying Group, Chelsea will be unseeded, otherwise Chelsea will be seeded and the winner from Group 5 will be unseeded

Non Seeded club in round of 32

Eskiltuna, LSK, St Polten, Manchester City, Athletic Club, Sturm Graz, Hibernian Ladies plus all the qualifying  Group winners

The top 8 teams will also be seeded in the round of 16,w hich means if there is no upset : OL, Wolfsburg, Rosengard, PSG, Hjorring, Brondby, Barcelona, Rossiyanka


Lewes 7 West Ham 2

It was a proper entertaining game today between Lewes Ladies and West Ham Ladies. West Ham took a 2-0 lead before Lewes answered with  seven goals back. Quite an extraordinary turnaround.

For those who want a proper match report please look on sentherforward because I am gonna do a short analysis and nothing else here.

West Ham played in a 4-5-1 system that was quite stable and sometimes rigid that left the lone striker quite isolated at times. You can see what James Marrs is trying to do in term of football:

Patient build-up, attacking play from the back, short passing to get out of their defensive third. This kind of gameplan takes months to put into place and I would say at least three months will be needed to set things up as it is a quite a different philosophy from Marc Nurse.

Lewes played in a formation that I never managed to decipher to be honest. The base looked like a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield / 4-3-3 in defensive phase. While in attacking phase, there was a wing back on the right, three centre backs with a defensive midfielder dropping deep, the number 8 in a free role and the left winger roaming down the wing.

Lewes pressed very high on the pitch to counter West Ham’s passing game and it worked quite well as the home team created many chances  early in the game without scoring.

Against the run of play West Ham managed to score two goals from two attacking moves. They were very clinical, every time they managed to go through the first line of Lewes defensive system. Once they got through that line West Ham found pockets of space for the forwards to run at.

On the other side, Lewes scored via multiple rockets from 25 yards or more and via set pieces. They took advantage on set pieces of the quite small West Ham goalkeeper who was previously at Watford and at Middlesex Centre Of Excellence.

She had a very good game, making many important saves but in term of shot going just under the bar, there was nothing she could do.

Personally I will always prefer a smaller goalie rather than a Karen Bardsley who is not very good technically with her feet but can save higher ball, altough she tends to drop crosses as well. The goalkeeper type depends on the football you try to play. See Joe Hart who is not good enough to play for City as his set of skills is not adapted to Guardiola’s football.

Talking about set pieces, West Ham did not defend them well. If your goalkeeper is not the tallest, you should at least be prepared defensively to help her out and West ham did not do it and conceded many goals.

Lewes were very good in pressing and maximizing the potential weaknesses of their opposition and really clinical on set pieces. They scored some fantastic goals, one of them can be seen here

It will be interesting to see how these two teams develop throughout the season and if they can be around in the promotion to FA WSL 2 race.




The FA Women’s Premier League starts on Sunday

The FA WPL is back on Sunday the 21st of August and the season will end with the now traditional promotion to FA WSL 2 play-off game.


Promotion/relegation rules :
For the 2016/2017 season only, the club crowned champion of The FA Women’s Premier
League at the end of The FA Women’s Premier League season will be promoted to The FA
WSL 2 (Step S2). Any such promotion will be in accordance with the league rules of The
FA Women’s Premier League and The FA Women’s Super League and the competition
structure in place following the relevant club’s promotion*.
*The current structure of The FA WSL and women’s summer football pyramid is under
review and promotion to The FA WSL will be promotion to the competition structure
agreed in respect of The FA WSL by The Women’s Football Board and The FA WSL
Management Committee.

The Clubs in the bottom two places in each of the two divisions at Step W1 (FAWPL Northern and Southern Divisions) will be relegated to Step W2 (FAWPL Division Ones). They will be replaced by the Clubs finishing in 1st position in each of the Leagues at Step W2 subject to the ground grading criteria for Step W1.

The Clubs in the bottom two places in each of the four divisions at Step W2 will be relegated
to Step W3 (Regional League Premier Divisions). They will be replaced by the Clubs
finishing in 1st position in each of the Leagues at Step W3. Should a Club finishing in 1st
position not wish to be considered for promotion, then the Club finishing in 2nd or 3rd place may take its place. Clubs finishing lower than 3rd place will not be considered for promotion.

Note 1: as the FA WSL  will move to winter football, the FA WPL should become the Step W3 f0r the season 2017/18.

Note 2 : Cardiff City cannot win promotion to the FA WSL as per the FA WSL rules.

The Full-time link  to the FA WPL Northern Division and the FA WPL Southern Division

Looking at the players registered in the FA WPL side, there are many quality players who used to play in the FAWSL 1&2 and also many who used to be in the FA WPL before the FA WSL was formed.

The quality of the Division is also good because you see many players who came from the centre of excellences and FA WSL development teams playing senior football at that level. They bring what the skills that have learnt through the years to the game and it is a big positive.

The FA WSL 2 promotion race ep6

Everton and Durham drawing 1-1 is a very good news for Yeovil and Bristol. It means none of the chasing teams can come back level with the top two teams with their game in hand.


The table looks like this


1 Yeovil 29 pts + 20 (13)

2 Bristol 27 pts + 12 (13)


3 Everton  22 pts +12 (12)

4 Durham 21 pts + 6 (12)


Maximum points for Everton is 40, while Durham can hit 39. It means Yeovil need 10 points from their last five games to get promotion. Bristol need 12 points from five.

Bristol v Everton will be another crucial game in two weeks. If Everton win that game, they will close the gap to two points with a game in hand and would be virtually back in the promotion places.


Here are the remaining games for the top 4 teams ( in bold)

27.08 Bristol v Everton

28.08 Durham v Oxford, Sheffield v Yeovil

10.09 Bristol v Watford

11.09 Millwall v Durham, Everton v Oxford, Yeovil v London Bees

24.09 Bristol v Durham

25.09 Yeovil v Everton

09.10 Durham v Everton

29.10 Everton v Bristol

30.10 London Bees v Yeovil, Watford v Durham 

06.11 Durham v Millwall, London Bees v Everton, Oxford v Bristol, Yeovil v Sheffield