The WSL returns this weekend, with Katrina Gorry and Charli Grant in line to make their league debuts - facing off against each other for West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.
Read our preview of all of the CommBank Matildas in action abroad below.
Round 11 of the FA WSL kicks off Saturday, 6am AEDT as Leicester City host Aston Villa. Only one point separates the sides in eighth and ninth on the ladder, and both will be hoping for three points to gain a larger buffer between them and the relegation zone. Recent history is with Villa – coming on top in their previous four encounters – but the Foxes will back themselves to put a stop to that record.
Courtney Nevin and Remy Siemsen are both fit and ready to play for Leicester. Nevin has started the majority of league matches for the Foxes and is expected to do so again on the weekend, while Siemsen will be hoping to build on the 25 minutes she played in the FA Cup last week.
Up to four CommBank Matildas will be in action on Sunday, 1am AEDT as Arsenal host Everton. The Gunners have been their own worst enemy at times this season, with defeats to Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool leaving them three points behind league leaders Chelsea. However, they will go into the match-heavy favourites against an Everton side who are eleven points below them in seventh.
Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord are consistent starters for Arsenal, while 21-year-old Kyra Cooney-Cross is an option either from the bench or to start in midfield. Meanwhile, Clare Wheeler has consistently started games for Everton this season and is expected to do so again, either in her preferred midfield position or as a wing-back.
Chelsea will have to defend their WSL title without Sam Kerr as they take on Manchester United on Sunday, 11.30pm AEDT. Kerr suffered an ACL tear in their mid-season training camp in Morocco, ruling her out for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, Chelsea will continue to be favourites, such has been their dominance in the past few seasons under departing coach Emma Hayes – and a win against fourth-place Manchester United will go a long way to easing any nerves about life without Kerr.
Brighton & Hove Albion will take on Bristol City in a massive relegation six-pointer on Monday, 1am AEDT. Brighton are currently tenth, only three points ahead of West Ham and Bristol City, who are on five points apiece. A win for the Seagulls will elevate them six points ahead of the relegation battle, while a second win of the season for Bristol City would drag Brighton right back into it.
Charlie Rule was unavailable for the FA Cup tie against Luton last week due to injury. There is no news yet from the club as to the extent of that injury, and her availability for this week’s WSL match.
Second-place Manchester City will host Liverpool on Monday, 1.30am AEDT. While City go into the match as favourites, Liverpool sit only four points behind them and have posed a serious threat to every team this season. It will take an almighty defensive performance from the Reds to keep City’s front three away from the goals.
Teagan Micah started in goals for Liverpool in the FA Cup last week and performed well in a side that was down to 10 players for the final third of the match, but it is unclear whether she will retain her place ahead of Rachael Laws in the league.
Meanwhile, for City, Alanna Kennedy missed the FA Cup game last week but coach Gareth Taylor said that “she’s in a good place” and didn’t expect her to be out for long. Mary Fowler scored her first goal of the season in the latter stages of that match and will likely come off the bench on the weekend, but will likely need to remain patient to break into the starting side ahead of Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly and Khadija Shaw.
The final match of the weekend could see two league debuts for CommBank Matildas as West Ham takes on Tottenham Hotspur on Monday, 5.45am AEDT. The Hammers will be hoping their new signings – including Katrina Gorry – can help them to only their second win of the season. Meanwhile, Spurs will look to build on their historic North London Derby win last time out and take that form into a successful 2024.
Mackenzie Arnold is expected to start in goals, while Gorry – who started the match in the FA Cup against Chelsea last week – is likely to make her WSL debut. Charli Grant played the full match for Spurs in the FA Cup and will likely make her league debut in some capacity against West Ham, either starting from the bench or playing from the outset.
You can catch all of the WSL action live on Optus Sport.
Paris FC will be hoping to lift themselves back into contention for second spot in Division 1 Féminine as they take on Le Havre on Saturday, 7am AEDT. Sarah Hunter has found playing time difficult to come by this season, but the 20-year-old played 30 minutes in the Coupe de France midweek and has been named in the extended squad against Le Havre.
Clare Hunt’s PSG host Bordeaux on Sunday, 2am AEDT. Hunt started the match midweek as they defeated Reims 4-0 and is expected to feature once more on Sunday morning. Bordeaux are bottom of the table with only five points and PSG will go into the match as heavy favourites. A win will keep them within touching distance of league leaders Lyon – and with a game in hand to boot – but, just as importantly, will keep them ahead of city rivals Paris FC.
Finally, Lyon will travel to Montpellier on Monday, 7am AEDT. Montpellier is no easybeats – fourth on the table with 19 points – but with Lyon on 12 wins from 12, with an astonishing goal difference of 44, it’s hard to look past them as winners. Ellie Carpenter is expected to reprise her regular role as the starting right-back.
You can watch the Division 1 Féminine here.
After being smashed by rivals Barcelona in the semi-final of the Supercopa de España Feminina midweek, Hayley Raso’s Real Madrid will have a break from the league this weekend. Instead, all preparations will go into their Champions League game on Thursday, 7am AEDT against Chelsea. Raso has been a regular for Madrid, either starting or coming off the bench and is expected to do so against the English side.