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The big talking points ahead of the WSL's final gameweek

The big talking points ahead of the WSL's final gameweek
© Reuters
Chelsea are favourites to lift the title ahead of Manchester City, while Bristol City and Aston Villa battle to avoid the drop.

Defending champions Chelsea remain on course to win another Women’s Super League title as they head into the final match of the season against Reading.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the key questions ahead of Sunday’s last round of games.

Who will lift the trophy?

Victory over Reading would clinch the title for Emma Hayes' side
Victory over Reading would clinch the title for Emma Hayes’ side (Adam Davy/PA)

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.

So Chelsea are battling on multiple fronts?

Pernille Harder celebrates scoring in Chelsea's Champions League semi-final win over Bayern Munich
Pernille Harder celebrates scoring in Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final win over Bayern Munich (John Walton/PA)

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?
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?

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.

So who needs what?

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.

Are there any individual honours up for grabs?

Chelsea’s Sam Kerr has 20 goals to her name in the Women's Super League this season
Chelsea’s Sam Kerr has 20 goals to her name in the Women’s Super League this season (Mike Egerton/PA)

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?
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.

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