Top-of-the-table Arsenal play host to third-placed Chelsea on Sunday afternoon at Meadow Park as the Gunners look to take a stranglehold on the title race.
Arsenal are in pole position to add to their record 14 league titles as they sit two points clear of Manchester City and five clear of Chelsea with a game in hand over both their rivals.
And with the Gunners dropping points just once so far this season, defending champions know they need to start clawing back points soon if they are to retain their Women’s Super League crown.
Joe Montemurro’s side were far from their best in a 4-2 win over West Ham last time out and the Arsenal coach revealed he let rip at the team when they went into half-time level.
The Hammers’ two goals came through long balls forward as Arsenal’s defence struggled to clear and Chelsea coach Emma Hayes may be taking note of the possible weak spot ahead of Sunday’s tie.
That result saw Arsenal bounce back from their first defeat of the season – a 2-0 loss to second-placed Manchester City that blew the title race wide open.
Arsenal are by far the highest scorers in the division having netted 46 goals in just 11 matches at the halfway stage of the season.
They boast an embarrassment of riches up front with 14-goal Vivianne Miedema, 11-goal Danielle van de Donk and 9-goal Jordan Nobbs first, third and fifth respectively in the scoring charts.
That fearsome frontline will come up against the meanest defence in the league though – with Chelsea having conceded only five goals all season.
But remarkably those all came in one match – a 5-0 thrashing at home to Arsenal back in October that saw Nobbs and Miedema both netting braces at Kingsmeadow.
That result was the Chelsea’s first WSL defeat since May 2017 and their first loss at home since July 2016. Hayes’ side will be desperate to get revenge when they head to Borehamwood on Sunday.
The Blues are boosted by the return to fitness of last season’s PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year Fran Kirby, who scored twice on her return to action against Reading in the League Cup.
Arsenal meanwhile progressed by the skin of their teeth after two goals in the final six minutes saw them come from behind to defeat Birmingham City 2-1 and secure their place in the semi-finals.
And Chelsea are currently enjoying their best form of the campaign with six wins in their last seven since the 5-0 defeat by Arsenal.
The defending champions have already struck the first blow ahead of the Arsenal game by snapping up goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger from Birmingham under the noses of their London rivals.
Chelsea now boast three top-level keepers and with 11 clean sheets from 12 Women’s Super League matches this season the division’s best defence may have got even stronger.
It tees up a tantalising match on BT Sport between Arsenal and Chelsea with coverage starting at 12.15pm (for a 12.30pm kick-off) at Borehamwood.