My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
The Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL) approaches its finale this month, and this Sunday will see the third last round of matches. And there are several issues yet be decided.
Glasgow City, who have won the last eight SWPL titles, travel to Hibernian knowing three points will see them all but win the title. Neutrals hoping for a final-day title race will be wanting to Hibs win
The issue is that despite City being only three points ahead of their Edinburgh rivals, City’s superior goal difference makes it the equivalent of four points.
The great news for the neutrals is that in the three games the two clubs have played against each other this season have been exciting, two-sided affairs. In the league, the two games ended in 3-3 draws, with Hibs getting last gasp equalisers. And in the SWP League Cup Final, Glasgow City required extra-time to triumph after trailing for most of the game.
Stirling University vs Inverness City
4 October 2015, Kick-off: 12:30 pm
Stirling University, one of the two promoted sides from the First Division have been one of the success stories of the season having nearly ending up in the top six before the league split. With the bottom four teams being relegated due to league reconstruction, it made their survival chances harder.
On Sunday, they require just one point to secure their safety thanks to a post split form that has seen them just lose one game out of seven. Their opponents Inverness City have struggled a lot this season, having lost their previous 18 matches. In the two league matches this season, the first ended in a 1-1 draw, whilst the game in August saw Stirling win 4-1.
Another team that can secure their survival are Forfar Farmington, who play Hearts. Currently, Forfar sit in 8th, the final safe place – seven points ahead of Hearts who are in 9th.
If Hearts are to have any chance of survival, they must beat Forfar with a draw seeing the Edinburgh side relegated to the newly formed SWPL 2. Unfortunately for them, they are playing the league’s in-form side. Before the split in June, Forfar had picked up just seven points – but they have won their last eight matches, including their final game before the split.
When the teams met in May, Hearts triumphed 2-0 but in August, it was Forfar who won 2-0.
Aberdeen vs Spartans
4 October 2015, Kick-off: 1pm
Whilst the hunt for third does not lead to a European spot, third place will be a key battle to watch.
The favourites are Aberdeen who sit in third place, who have been a revelation this season: nearly taking points off Glasgow City and then becoming the first team to beat Hibernian in the league.
If Aberdeen beat sixth placed Spartans, they will secure the third spot. The two games between the two sides have been tight affairs, with the first tie ending in a goalless draw, whilst Aberdeen beat Spartans 2-1 in August.
Celtic vs Rangers
4 October 2015, Kick-off: 2pm
A game between these two sides are never meaningless, but it is a must-win game if Celtic are to catch Aberdeen – going into Sunday’s tie five points being them.
Rangers had been struggling in the league, having lost their first six post-split games. But last Sunday, they ended that run with an impressive 2-0 win over Aberdeen. They will also be out to avenge Celtic who thrashed them 5-0 back in August. The earlier tie saw Rangers win 2-1.
Hutchison Vale vs Hamilton
4 October 2015, Kick-off: 2pm
Whilst both of these teams know they will be playing in the SWPL 2 next season, they both have a chance of finishing ninth. With both of these teams to play Hearts in the final two games, there is a real chance they can catch them despite the points deficit.
Clearly Hamilton have the advantage, sitting three points ahead of Hutchison whilst only five points behind Hearts.
The two fixtures in the league this season have ended in Hutchison Vale wins.