Five WSL talking points as Leicester face Man City

Venue: King Power Stadium Date: Saturday, 21 October Kick-off: 17:15 BST
Coverage: Live on BBC Two (build-up from 17:00 BST). Live text from weekend WSL games on the BBC Sport website and app.

There is a top-of-the-table clash in the Women’s Super League this weekend as Leicester City look to maintain their unbeaten start against Manchester City, live on BBC Two.

That is one of two games taking place on Saturday as Aston Villa, hoping to bounce back from three successive defeats, welcome Tottenham to the Bescot Stadium.

Elsewhere, Bristol City host Arsenal, Chelsea welcome Brighton, Manchester United travel to Everton and Liverpool are the visitors at West Ham.

Here are five key talking points before the weekend’s games.

Man City ‘enjoying’ being at the top

Leicester find themselves in a three-way points tie at the top of the WSL table after holding on to claim a draw against Manchester United last Sunday – but can they cause another upset against the blue side of Manchester?

Manchester City picked up two wins, plus a draw against Chelsea, from their opening three matches and manager Gareth Taylor admits they are enjoying the feeling of being at the top of the table on goal difference.

It’s a position Taylor hopes Manchester City will still occupy come May, but he is under no illusions as to how tough Saturday’s opponents will be.

“Leicester are a force to be reckoned with at the moment, but we are looking forward to it,” said Taylor.

“We’re really pleased to be top of the league and we’re enjoying that moment, but we don’t see it as a short-term thing. We want to be there [in the end]. We know how tough it is to stay at the top, but we’re taking it game by game.”

Leicester’s Kirk ‘all for’ added time

A new feature in the WSL this season has been the implementation of more added time from officials.

It has led to a flurry of late goals – Aston Villa conceded two in stoppage-time against Arsenal last week, while Chelsea’s equaliser at Manchester City came in the sixth added minute.

Liverpool boss Matt Beard and Aston Villa manager Carla Ward have been among those to voice their frustrations, but Leicester’s Willie Kirk is “all for it”.

“I’m OK with it. If teams are wasting time, it’s being added on. That’s nothing new. The referees are just now doing exact timings,” said Kirk.

“We played games last season where it was a disgrace how little the ball was in play. That’s not what the fans want either. They want value for money. I don’t see why we think a 55-minute game is acceptable.”

No ABBA but Johnny Cash for Eidevall

Laura Wienroither, Vivianne Miedema and Leah Williamson at the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal's victory over Aston Villa

Arsenal picked up their first win of the season with that late comeback to beat Villa 2-1 last weekend and they were boosted by the return of England international Beth Mead from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

They are still waiting on several others to return, including Laura Wienroither – who was running on the pitch for the first time this week – and England captain Leah Williamson.

But there is plenty of positivity in the Gunners camp as they prepare for Sunday’s fixture with newly promoted Bristol City as Williamson has been encouraging karaoke at the training ground.

Manager Jonas Eidevall revealed Williamson has brought in a karaoke machine, but the Swedish boss insisted he is not a fan of ABBA when asked about his music taste – and he is “more of a Johnny Cash” man.

“I have not had a go!” said Eidevall. “It tried to come into the medical room a couple of times, but they have been doing some strong defence to try and get it out so it doesn’t disturb the treatments.

“But we get to spread joy in other rooms in the building. Sometimes you need a spark in something. You need to start with a laugh. That’s why Leah Williamson is a great leader.”

Will ownership uncertainty affect Manchester United?

Everton will hope to build momentum following their Merseyside derby victory over Liverpool at Anfield last weekend when they take on Manchester United.

Visitors United were knocked out of the Champions League second-round qualifying stage this week amid increased speculation over the club’s ownership.

Businessman Sir Jim Ratcliffe is hoping to secure an initial 25% minority stake in the club, but how will this affect the women’s team and will they remain a priority?

“I have no doubts about that,” said manager Skinner. “We don’t really know anything right now. I don’t think the clarification of those points have been made yet and it takes time.

“We’ve just invested in a new training facility and we’re continuing to invest. We’re already discussing the next three to four transfer windows. It’s business at usual and I think the women will be at the forefront of it.”

Spurs continuing progression under Vilahamn

Martha Thomas celebrates scoring against Chelsea

Elsewhere, it has been a great start to the season for Tottenham under new boss Robert Vilahamn.

They have won their last two WSL games – as many as in their previous 18. They are looking to win three in a row for the first time since a run of five victories between May and October 2021.

Summer signing Martha Thomas has also scored in all three of Spurs’ games so far this season.

“I’m very happy with six points from three games because you need that in the table, but it’s actually the way we have performed,” said Vilahamn.

“There will come times when we don’t succeed and we lose games so we need to continue to develop. This season is all about that. I’m very happy with the start, but I know there will be tough times as well.”

Saturday’s opponents Aston Villa have lost three successive matches but manager Ward insists there is “no pressure” to beat Tottenham.