Chelsea vs Man Utd - WSL preview: TV channel, live stream, team news & prediction
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The most important WSL game of the season so far takes place this weekend when league leaders Manchester United travel to second place and reigning champions Chelsea.

Only one point separates the pair coming into the match – Chelsea have a game in hand – and should either team take maximum points it will give them the inititiative in the title race.

Chelsea put a disappointing Conti Cup final defeat to Arsenal last weekend behind them on Wednesday night with a comfortable win over Brighton. Manager Emma Hayes had pointed the finger at complacency for the Gunners loss and made seven changes to face the Seagulls.

Having overcome a slightly sticky patch in late January and early February, United are bringing better form after scoring 10 goals across their last two games in all competitions – albeit against opposition in Durham and Leicester they were expected to convincingly beat anyway.

Chelsea won 3-1 at Leigh Sports Village when these teams last met in November. It was a tense first hour, with neither side really going for it, until the Blues scored a quickfire double through Sam Kerr and ex-United star Lauren James. Alessia Russo pulled one back, but Erin Cuthbert sealed it late on.

When is kick off? Sunday 12 March, 12:30 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? Kingsmeadow
TV channel/live stream? BBC Two/iPlayer (UK), FA Player (International)
What time does TV coverage start in the UK? 12:15 (GMT)
Referee? Cheryl Foster

Emma Hayes is likley to ring in the changes again following Wednesday night’s win, not least because Sunday’s game is only the third of seven outings in four competitions for the Blues this month.

Lauren James, Sophie Ingle and Eve Perisset are all vying to return, while Magdalena Eriksson could make her first WSL appearance in nearly two months.

Fran Kirby and Pernille Harder were still missing against Brighton.

January signing Jayde Riviere, who is the final stages of her recovery from a long-term injury, is the only confirmed absentee for United here. The Canadian full-back remains about two weeks away.

Lisa Naalsund will be hoping to make her debut after remaining an unused substitute against Leicester, while Marc Skinner made five changes during that win over the Foxes with one eye on keeping players fresh and involved ahead of this game.

Manchester United have never beaten Chelsea – the only side they have never tasted victory against after getting one over on both Arsenal and Manchester City multiple times. They have threatened to, holding the Blues to a draw in 2020 and leading twice in a meeting on the final day of last season, before eventually succumbing to a Sam Kerr-inspired comeback.

Chelsea have been there and done it time and time again in recent years. They know how to win in any circumstance, even when not playing at their best. That is a skill that United have had to try and learn after dropping too many points last season, but to their credit it seems to be happening.

Since losing against Chelsea at Leigh, United have beaten Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium and were disappointed to only draw against Manchester City at the Etihad. Their mentality has shifted for these types of games and, while they still may not win, it is likely to be an even contest.

Prediction: Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter!

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