Women's Super League: What's to play for on the final day of the 2020/21 season?

The climax to the WSL season was discussed on the latest Women's Football Show; Chelsea can be crowned champions while just two points separate the bottom three teams

WSL - without reasons to watch
Image: Chelsea will look to seal the WSL title this weekend when they face Reading

It promises to be a thrilling climax to the 2020/21 Women's Super League season with plenty still at stake heading into the final round of matches.

Defending champions Chelsea remain on course to win another WSL title as they head into the final match of the season against Reading.

On The Women's Football Show this week, presenter Jessica Creighton and regular guest Sue Smith were joined by Crystal Palace goalkeeper Chloe Morgan and Leicester manager Jonathan Morgan, fresh from his side's promotion from the FA Women's Championship.

The quartet looked at some of the key questions ahead of Sunday's last round of games, and Sky Sports have assessed the state of play heading into the weekend.

Who will lift the trophy?

PA - Emma Hayes 0:30
Chelsea Women boss Emma Hayes is hopeful her side will do what it takes to secure the WSL title on Sunday and move another step closer to an historic quadruple

Emma Hayes' Chelsea will wrap up the title with a victory over Reading. They would also clinch top spot with a draw as long as Manchester City do not beat West Ham by three goals or more. Gareth Taylor's City need the Champions League finalists to drop points to have any chance of lifting the trophy.

Will Chelsea finish off the job?

preview image 0:31
Leicester City Women manager Jonathan Morgan has told the Women's Football Show that Chelsea boss Emma Hayes and her players have achieved something 'massive' by reaching Champions League final

Leicester manager Jonathan Morgan told Sky Sports:

"Chelsea have got the trickier of the two games for the weekend, but with the quality, the experience and depth they have, I expect them to come through and pick up the championship.

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"I do know Kelly at Reading will make sure she sets up her team to halt that party, but overall it's Chelsea's to lose, and if I were a betting man I'd definitely say Chelsea will be crowned champions."

So Chelsea are battling on multiple fronts?

Emma Hayes 0:22
Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes says her side's run to the Champions League final means it's been tougher for them to challenge for the WSL title

Yes. They're chasing a quadruple, while City could still win a double. Lifting the title would be the Blues' second piece of silverware this season, having already won the League Cup. Both teams are into the last 16 of the FA Cup, while Chelsea face Barcelona in the Champions League final a week on Sunday.

Who will be in next season's Champions League?

Emma Hayes 0:48
Leicester City Women manager Jonathan Morgan told the Women's Football Show that Chelsea boss Emma Hayes has managed to get them all playing for each other

Chelsea and City have mathematically secured their places, while Arsenal are all-but-certain to be the third and final qualifier.

Joe Montemurro's side beat Everton 2-1 on Monday thanks to Kim Little's stoppage-time winner. That gives the Gunners a three-point and 26-goal advantage over fourth-placed Manchester United, so it would take something extraordinary to deny them.

How about the battle at the bottom?

Anita Asante, Nat Haigh, and Emily Syme celebrate after Mana Iwabuchi's goal for Aston Villa Women against Reading  0:27
Aston Villa Women sporting director Eni Aluko says the team have started to put in consistent performances as they battle to avoid WSL relegation

Just two points separate the bottom three teams. Birmingham had appeared safe due to their goal difference, but they were deducted one point on Friday for fielding Ruesha Littlejohn when she was due to serve a suspension.

That pushed them back into range for bottom team Bristol City, setting up a final day tussle between those two and Aston Villa to avoid being the one team relegated to the Championship.

Bottom 4 Fixtures

  • West Ham vs Manchester City
  • Birmingham vs Tottenham
  • Arsenal vs Aston Villa
  • Brighton vs Bristol City

So who needs what?

Jordan Nobbs celebrates scoring Arsenal's second goal of the game with teammate Katie McCabe
Image: Bristol City are needing a favour from Arsenal

Bristol City will have to beat Brighton and hope either Villa lose to Arsenal or Birmingham are beaten by Tottenham. A draw will see Bristol City relegated regardless of other results, while Birmingham will go down if they lose, Bristol City win and Villa draw.

Both Birmingham and Villa know a draw should be enough for safety, thanks to their vastly superior goal difference.

Can Bristol City avoid the drop?

Sky Sports' Sue Smith:

"They can certainly do it. It's been so close all season. The fact that Bristol City play Brighton, we know it's going to be really tough. Hope Powell's side will have them well organised and difficult to play against.

"Aston Villa are playing Arsenal, who we know are playing so well at this moment in time. Bristol City have done well recently in the fact that they were only beaten 1-0 by Manchester United - an own goal late on - so they will be in confident mood heading into the game.

"Matt Beard will set them up well, but the same goes for Aston Villa. They've drawn their last four games and Marcus Bignot certainly won't let this slip away. It's a game they will have been focusing on all week, so it'll be such a tough one to call."

Manchester City's Steph Houghton during the FA Women's Super League match at the Manchester City Academy Stadium. 3:43
England and Manchester City captain Steph Houghton says the Women's Super League has become one of the best leagues in the world

Crystal Palace goalkeeper Chloe Morgan told Sky Sports:

"Bristol City are a side who are so resilient and they've been in this position before. They've fought off relegation before, and I know they've struggled over the past few years to get themselves out of the bottom two or three teams, but every time they just keep bouncing back.

"Last year, it was Liverpool that slipped and Bristol managed to survive. There's just a part of me thinking they might just do it again as they do just have that 'bouncebackability', so it's all to play for.

"They're such a passionate team, and I've got a lot of respect for Sophie Baggaley in goal because she's a phenomenal force who on her day can keep out shots from left, right and centre. I'm hoping she doesn't have too much to do, but it'll be a brilliant way to finish the season given how exciting and nerve-wracking it is for all the teams down the bottom."

Are there any individual honours up for grabs?

Chelsea's Sam Kerr leads the way in the race for the golden boot with 20 goals, while Arsenal's Vivianne Miedema remains two behind. At the other end of the pitch, Chelsea goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger and Manchester City's Ellie Roebuck have both kept 11 clean sheets.

Anything else to watch out for this weekend?

Fara Williams, Reading
Image: Fara Williams calls time on his illustrious career

England's most-capped player Fara Williams will be calling time on her career, which has spanned more than two decades. Williams has been with Reading since 2017 and will play her final match against Chelsea on Sunday.

Arsenal manager Montemurro is also stepping down at the end of the season, having led the club since 2017 and delivered their first league title in seven years.

The Women's Football Show: Chelsea's quadruple quest, WSL final day predictions and Leicester's fairy tale season

Leicester manager Jonathan Morgan and Crystal Palace goalkeeper Chloe Morgan reflect on their seasons and look ahead to a potentially nail-biting final day of the WSL season.

The panel also discusses Chelsea's progress under Emma Hayes as they continue their mission to achieve the quadruple.

We also hear from WSL referee Stacey Pearson on the challenges facing same-sex couples trying to access NHS-funded IVF treatment.

WSL on Sky: Big names, the 'big three' and inspiring girls

WLS announcement

The Women's Super League will have a new home from next season on Sky Sports. From world-class stars like Lucy Bronze and Vivianne Miedema to the potential end of the 'big three' - Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City - there are plenty of reasons to be excited.

Here, we look at why you should watch the WSL on Sky Sports this September...

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