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    Rebecca Welch’s rise from Sunday League ref to become the EFL’s first female referee

    REBECCA WELCH picked up a referee’s whistle 11 years ago at 27 after being dared to do so by a friend.And now the Sunderland-based former NHS worker is set to enter the history books as the first woman to take charge of a men’s English Football League fixture. 
    Rebecca Welch will make history as the first woman to referee an EFL game when Harrogate Town play Port ValeCredit: PA
    Harrogate Town’s League Two Easter Monday clash with Port Vale will see Welch take on one of her most significant match officiating challenges yet. 
    Welch, 37, jokingly told Sky Sports: “A good game on Monday is, by 10 to five (o’clock), they’re talking about the game and not about the ref.
    “I like] the games when nobody remembers who the ref is.”
    Who is Rebecca Welch and how she did become a referee? 
    Welch, who is originally from the town of Washington, took up match officiating while still working in the health service. 
    She earned her qualifications as an official through Durham County FA
    The former NHS admin officer, who has played football since childhood, started her life as a ref in university football clashes and Sunday League games. 
    And while the college football encounters involving teams of female students was a “doddle” her experience of refereeing men’s Sunday division fixtures was less straightforward. 
    Welch, 37, began her life as a referee in university matches and Sunday League clashesCredit: Prime Media

    Welch told the FA’s web site: “I played football and didn’t even think about refereeing until one of my really good friends, who is a referee, refereed us.
    “I spent the whole game telling her how to do her job!
    “Her response was, ‘If you think it’s that easy, give it a go. That’s how it happened and years later here I am.
    “The first couple (of matches) I did were women’s university games and the players weren’t really that bothered about so it was a doddle. 
    “Then the third game I did was Sunderland Sunday league football and it was a completely different kettle of fish. 
    “That took some getting used to but I am so grateful for the grassroots football experience because I never would have got to where I am now without it.
    “Sometimes I used to go home and chuck my bag down and I’d tell myself I’m never doing it again but you soon realise that not every day is going to be a good day in the office – it’s just like anything else. 
    “I had to analyse my performances and work out what I could do to improve and that’s something I really enjoy. 
    “I’ve been doing this for more than ten years now and I guarantee that the good days will far outweigh the bad ones in the long run.”
    Welch’s match officiating performances have led to her being added to Fifa’s international list of refereesCredit: Getty
    Rise to the top 
    Welch eventually worked her way into the higher echelons of match officiating, becoming part of an elite group on Fifa’s international list. 
    The Sunderland-based administrator also made her mark on the women’s game covering domestic and international encounters. 
    In addition to refereeing the Women’s FA Cup final twice, in 2017 and 2020, Welch has officiated in the men’s National League for three seasons and taken charge of WSL, Women’s Champions League and international clashes. 
    And she has been selected to oversee Harrogate’s clash with Port Vale following an ongoing review of her performances this season and official approval from referee chiefs Mike Riley and Mike Jones.
    The Washington-based ref is reported to be among the individuals included within the Professional Game Match Officials top group of referees. 
    Welch added: “I’ve always said, through all my promotions, I want to be appointed because I am in the top 10 match officials on that list. 
    “I never want to be appointed based on anything else. I’ve got faith in the system, and I’ve been rewarded.”
    Welch took charge of Fiorentina’s Women’s Champions League clash against Slavia PragueCredit: Zuma Press
    What next for Welch 
    Welch, who took charge of the 2020 Women’s Community Shield duel which saw Chelsea beat Man City, wants to be considered for selection for the 2022 Euros and 2023 World Cup. 
    The football official, who describes Sian Massey’s efforts as a Prem assistant referee as “amazing”, hopes to one day see a woman take charge of a Premier League fixture.
    And Welch remains open-minded on the challenge falling to her or another breaking through the glass ceiling. 
    I’ve been very lucky that I turn up and they don’t see me as a female referee, they just say, ‘Rebecca’s here and she’s the ref today’ so that’s quite nice.Rebecca Welch
    And she counts herself lucky not to have encountered any abuse or sexist behaviour so far in her career.
    Welch told Sky Sports: “I’ve got no doubt, in the next ten to 15 years, we will see a female referee in the Premier League. 
    “I don’t really try to focus too much on the future, I always take one game at a time. 
    “If I finish in the top one or two per cent at the end of the season, I put myself in a position to be selected. I’ve got to keep on performing, achieving those marks, to get those rewards. 
    Welch regards Sian Massey as a trailblazer for women refereesCredit: Eddie Keogh Telegraph Media Group
    “I’ve received criticism for my refereeing, and that’s part of football. 
    “But I’ve gone through the men’s pathway and I’ve never experienced anything like that (abuse) because I’m a female referee.
    “I’m aware that not everybody is as fortunate as me and I’m aware it does happen. 
    “We need to keep on educating people, about how it makes that person feel. 
    “I’ve been very lucky that I turn up and they don’t see me as a female referee, they just say, ‘Rebecca’s here and she’s the ref today’ so that’s quite nice.”
    Welch believes a woman taking charge of match officiating in the Premier League could happen in ten to 15 yearsCredit: Getty
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    Chelsea boss Emma Hayes can led Blues to Euro glory, says Arsenal legend Vic Akers – just like he did

    VIC AKERS says seeing Emma Hayes’ “look of pressure” brought back memories of  his rollercoaster Champions League triumph at Arsenal.And the former Gunners Ladies chief believes  Hayes’ Chelsea can conquer Europe, just as his side did 14 years ago.
    Vic Akers believes Emma Hayes and Chelsea can triumph in Europe this termCredit: Reuters
    Akers led Arsenal to a Women’s Champions League trophy win in 2007Credit: PA:Press Association
    Akers, who founded Arsenal Ladies in 1987, is widely regarded as a trailblazer for women’s football.
    His North London outfit — who notched up five domestic and league cup doubles — are still the only English side to have won the top contest for Europe’s elite clubs.
    But Akers, who had Hayes with him in the dugout during that 2007 Champions League win against Sweden’s Umea, believes this could be Chelsea’s year.
    Kingsmeadow gaffer Hayes worked as Arsenal assistant manager from 2006-08 before moving to US giants Chicago Redstars and then to Chelsea in 2012.
    Akers, 74, told SunSport: “That was a  special year with special memories, in terms of winning the trophy.
    “I felt a little bit of those memories come back when I was watching Chelsea against Wolfsburg.
    “It felt like was I back in time and experiencing the same feelings as I was feeling back then on the touchline.
    “And I’m sure Emma was going through those feelings too, because I looked at her face and I could see that look of pressure.
    “It reminded me of Arsenal  and that moment when we played the final because that’s exactly what it was like.
    “Our goalkeeper Emma Byrne making fantastic saves like Ann-Katrin Berger, balls hitting the crossbar and posts and we still hung on to the lead that Alex Scott gave us in the away leg because it was two-legged.
    “I do a little bit of scouting for Emma as we’re still good friends.
    Chelsea are hoping to win the second leg of their quarter-final duel with Wolfsburg after beating them 2-1Credit: Zuma Press

    “If anybody can match what we achieved that year it’s Emma with Chelsea. It would be nice if she’s the manager that goes on to win it.
    “But if it’s not this year, it definitely will be in the coming years because she is an outstanding coach.”
    Akers now runs a property sales firm in St Albans after his role as Arsenal Ladies boss ended in 2009.
    Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
    Arsenal are currently the only English women’s club to have triumphed in the Champions LeagueCredit: Getty
    Emma Hayes gets stuck into Chelsea training More

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    Lyon refuse to let Nikita Parris link up with England while Steph Houghton misses camp due to injury

    LYON have yet again refused to allow star striker Nikita Parris to link up with England – despite one of the upcoming matches being held in France. The French side have returned a string of positive coronavirus tests and were forced to axe their upcoming Champions League quarter-final second leg tie with PSG.
    Steph Houghton is ruled out of England duty for the first time since November 2019
    Lyon have refused to let Parris link up with the Lionesses for the April camp
    Manchester City and England skipper Steph Houghton is also ruled out due to an Achilles injury.
    It will be the first time the Lionesses have been without their captain since November 2019.
    Boss Hege Riise has named a 24-player squad for the next camp ahead of matches with France and Canada.
    When asked about the omission of Parris and Houghton, Riise said: “It’s an opportunity for others to step up and show they want to be a part of this.
    “Steph has been captain for many years and of course has been a major player for a long time.
    “We cannot replace her but it is an opportunity for a younger player to step up and that’s what we are looking for.”
    Parris was also absent from the February camp after Lyon refused to let her leave due to strict quarantine regulations in France amid the coronavirus crisis.
    Riise continued: “Hopefully we can look later in the camp for Parris to come in for the last bit but we don’t know, that’s the world we are living in right now.
    England Women’s squad for April camp
    Goalkeepers: Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), Sandy MacIver (Everton), Carly Telford (Chelsea), Karen Bardsley (OL Reign, on loan from Manchester City).
    Defenders: Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Leah Williamson (Arsenal), Millie Turner (Manchester United), Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City).
    Midfielders: Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Jill Scott (Everton, on loan from Manchester City), Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal), Keira Walsh (Manchester City).
    Forwards: Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Beth England (Chelsea), Ellen White (Manchester City), Beth Mead (Arsenal).

    “Not only injuries but other things can be challenging.
    “I don’t know all the details (on the Lyon situation) but I will hold back on my answer until we know more.”
    Who else is missing?
    Lauren James, 19, has been snubbed despite her scintillating form for Manchester United.
    Ebony Salmon and Hannah Hampton were both called up in February but have been axed from this squad.
    Hampton was recently cut from contention for this summer’s Team GB squad in a high-profile incident that saw the Football Association apologise. 
    The young goalkeeper received the news less than two hours before playing a Women’s Super League game for Birmingham.

    Who is in?
    Veteran goalkeeping duo Karen Bardsley and Carly Telford have been recalled.
    Arsenal’s Mead, the most high-profile omission from the first Lionesses squad last month, is back in the side.
    Chelsea’s Niamh Charles and United’s Millie Turner earn their first senior call-up.
    Blues duo Fran Kirby and Millie Bright are all back in the England squad ahead of April’s friendlies, after missing out last time due to injury.
    Demi Stokes returns despite picking up an injury at the weekend in Man City’s win over Reading.
    Beth England, who has missed Chelsea’s last four games through concussion, is also included.
    Tokyo Olympics
    Riise’s side play France in Caen on April 9 before a home friendly against Canada in Stoke four days later.
    She added: “This is crucial as we move closer to the Tokyo Olympics.
    “But also important as we continue to prepare this squad to compete at the home Euro next year and the World Cup in 2023.
    “I look forward to two exciting fixtures and the opportunity of challenging every player to impress us and stake their claim for a place in the shortlist for GB Football.
    “I have also been watching very closely those players for the home nations who are in contention for the GB squad.
    “And I will continue to do so right up until we shortlist next month.”
    Lionesses in training More

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    Chelsea aces Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr forming iconic strike partnership like ‘Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole’ says Hayes

    SAM KERR and Fran Kirby’s lethal link up against Aston Villa gave Emma Hayes a nostalgic whiff of the legendary strike partnership between Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke.Chelsea’s deadly duo have combined ten times already this season – and Aussie ace Kerr is the top-flight’s second-highest scorer.
    Kirby (left) and Kerr (right) have linked up ten times already this season
    Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke formed a special strike partnership at Man United
    She has hit an eye-watering 14 league goals, leaving her just one behind record Arsenal markswoman Vivianne Miedema. 
    Hayes said: “How do you define chemistry between two people?
    “It’s not that you can describe it in any way. It just works. They’re yin and yang, one goes one way one goes the other.
    “Some call it telepathy, some call it chemistry, some call it a brilliant partnership.”
    Yorke and Cole defined an entire era of dominance for Manchester United.
    They conjured up a staggering 53 goals between them in all competitions for during the club’s treble winning 1998/99 season.
    Hayes continued: “I think about Yorke and Cole when I think of Kerr and Kirby in terms of the spaces they feel, and for me the thing that stands out is the selflessness.
    “You don’t come across these types of partnerships easily and sometimes they’re formed over many many years.

    “The amount of times Fran has been in great positions herself and set someone else up,
    “And the amount of times Sam makes a run not for herself but to clear space, that for me is as impactful as the chemistry between them.”
    Kerr and Kirby’s formidable partnership may be the key to ending the Blues’ Champions League trophy drought.
    On Wednesday the West Londoners travel to Budapest for the second leg quarter-final away tie with Wolfsburg, with a 2-1 lead.
    Drogba and Lampard currently hold the record with 36 goal combinations across all seasons
    Thierry Henry and Robert Pires linked up 29 times in total for Arsenal
    Kane and Son are currently the second most-lethal PL duo ever
    Yorke and Cole’s quality was evident when they combined to score five of the six in a 6-2 victory at Leicester in the 1998/99 season.
    And Kerr and Kirby have already matched that this term in the 6-0 League Cup final drubbing of Bristol City.
    Kirby had a hand in all six goals, scoring twice herself and adding four assists in an outstanding display, which saw Kerr grab a hat-trick.
    They are giving Tottenham’s Harry Kane and Son Heung-min are run for their money.
    Earlier this month, the Spurs superstars broke an incredible Premier League record of most combinations in one season.
    They reached 14 link ups, breaking the previous record of 13 set by Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton for Blackburn during the 1994/95 season.
    Kane and Son could set a huge new record given Spurs have nine League games remaining this season – but so could Kerr and Kirby who are hot on their tails.
    Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard currently hold the record with 36 goal combinations across all seasons.
    Kane and Son have 34, while Sergio Augero and David Silva have 29 for Manchester City.
    Thierry Henry and Robert Pires also have 29 and Darren Anderton and  Teddy Sheringham hold 27 for Tottenham.
    Chelsea named best Premier League club of past decade More

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    Europa League-type contest for women’s game among new ideas floated by European club chiefs

    OFFICIALS representing the biggest football teams in Europe are mulling over proposals for a Europa League-style tournament for the women’s game. The idea for the competition and a women’s Club World Cup are among a raft of exciting new suggestions being considered by the European Club Association.
    European football chiefs are considering plans for a new club competition in addition to the Women’s Champions LeagueCredit: Getty
    Bigwigs from the body backed by Uefa and representing 232 clubs included the proposals in their ‘Be a Changemaker’ strategy launched today.
    The plan aims to provide opportunities to boost revenue for the women’s game and support the creation of new women’s football clubs. 
    Claire Bloomfield, the ECA’s head of women’s football said: “We have a responsibility to explore all opportunities that can help grow the competition landscape, both on a European level with a second-tier competition and then on a much more global scale, with a possible Club World Cup.”
    The Women’s Champions League is currently the only club contest in the sport involving sides from across Europe. 
    From next term, up to three English sides will be able to compete in the Champions League in a new structure to include a group stage and a round of 16 for the first time.
    ECA chief Charlie Marshall suggests a women’s Club World Cup may soon be established as part of plans to support the international growth of the game.
    In men’s football, the Club World Cup has been going since the year 2000, with winners of the biggest competitions from different continents going head-to-head.
    German giants Bayern Munich are the current defending champions after beating Mexican outfit Tigres in February.
    ECA chief Marshall said: “The prospect of a Club World Cup, fairly soon in the women’s game, assuming that calendars can be resolved, is a really exciting one and I know FIFA is very keen on it as well
    “In the women’s game, there is much more potential, much more quickly, to develop global competitive balance.”
    The women’s game could soon have its own Europa League-style competitionCredit: PA

    Chelsea boss Emma Hayes believes the ECA’s new plans could help level the playing field between women’s football and the men’s game. 
    Hayes, whose team are due to play Wolfsburg said: “Our success on the pitch can be helped by winning off the pitch and ECA’s bold new plans can drive an even higher performance culture throughout the women’s game.
    “The standards in elite women’s football should not be any different from the men’s and this strategy has the potential to start closing the gap.”
    A Club World Cup for the women’s game has been included in proposals developed by the ECACredit: Getty
    Emma Hayes gets stuck into Chelsea training More

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    Manchester United Women defeat West Ham 2-0 in historic victory in their first ever game at Old Trafford

    MANCHESTER UNITED WOMEN beat West Ham 2-0 in a historic win in their first-ever game at Old Trafford.Goals from Lauren James and Christian Press in the second half saw United sail to victory against the Hammers at the Theatre of Dreams.
    United saw off a resilient West Ham in their first ever game at Old TraffordCredit: Reuters
    It was a winning start for Manchester United Women at Old TraffordCredit: Reuters
    But despite United’s epic win at the legendary stadium, boss Casey Stoney was critical of her team’s performance and called it “disappointing.”
    Speaking after the game, she said: “Good second half, not so good first half if I’m honest.
    “I’ve come away from it disappointed with us really in terms of an exhibition.
    “If there was a crowd in here, they would’ve been disappointed in the first half so just as well there wasn’t.
    “Second half they would’ve been really pleased with the team and the response.
    “So we’ve done it now, we’ve played at Old Trafford, for me it’s about next time and doing it with a crowd, and making sure that we’re better.”
    Defeat for the Hammers meant they stay at the bottom of the table with their WSL safety slipping through their fingers.
    Despite their loss at Old Trafford, boss Olli Harder took some positives from their performance and thinks they can still remain in the league.
    He said: “The application today was fantastic and we said it’s okay to be disappointed and it’s okay to be upset.
    “But what’s not okay is for us to give up this fight moving forward, we’ve got some important games coming up so we must continue.”
    Stoney was underwhelmed with her team’s performance at the Theatre of Dreams and labelled it disappointingCredit: PA

    United took the lead in the game after a sluggish start through James – sister of Chelsea star Reece James – who headed in a corner in the 49th minute.
    Press put the game to bed shortly after when she latched out to a defence splitting pass from Jackie Groenen to smash her strike past a helpless Courtney Brosnan in the 54 minute.
    And the Hammers misery was complete when Laura Fetterleine sent for a foul on Kirsty Hanson in the 76 minute.
    Harder remained upbeat after the Hammers defeat and reckons they can still stay in the WSLCredit: PA
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    Tottenham boss Skinner focused on defeating Arsenal in WSL North London derby

    REHANNE SKINNER hopes Tottenham Women can make WSL history by toppling Arsenal for the first time at the home of Spurs’ Prem team. And the former Lionesses assistant coach is not letting memories of past glory with the Gunners get in the way of her goal later. 
    Tottenham are set to take on Arsenal in the WSL for the first time under Rehanne SkinnerCredit: Rex
    Arsenal are three points behind Man United with a game in hand and hope to beat TottenhamCredit: Getty
    Tottenham, who are eighth, are set to take on a resurgent Arsenal in a behind closed doors derby at Spurs 62,000-seater ground. 
    And it will be the first time the team have faced Arsenal under Skinner who enjoyed a trophy-laden spell as Gunners’ assistant manager from 2010 to 2013. 
    Skinner, 41, who won two WSL titles with Arsenal, said: “I have got an attachment to Arsenal and an attachment to Leicester which is the club I started at. 
    “I think you always have those special memories that you created through those periods. 
    “But football is football and I’m here to focus on the job I’m doing at Tottenham.
    “At the same time, it’s nice playing against the club that you were at before. 
    “Three points are big in any game. I think getting them in a North London derby is something people can’t underestimate.
    “It is a different game when you play the most local team with a history and a reputation like they have on the men’s side of things. 
    “It sometimes carries over a bit into the women’s team. 
    “Getting those three points from any game right now is really important to us. Getting it from Arsenal will be even better.”
    Spurs who are eighth hope to pick up their first WSL win against the Gunners at Tottenham Hotspur StadiumCredit: Getty

    Skinner, whose side are targeting their first win since a 3-1 defeat of Aston Villa in December, is reported to have the FA’s highest Psychology in Football qualification. 
    Using this to help her players excel on and off the pitch is a subject the former England Women’s No2 is passionate about.
    And she has help from Hockey ace Helen Richardson-Walsh who won a gold medal with Team GB women’s hockey team at the Rio 2016 Olympics. 
    Skinner added: “Psychology in elite sport is really vital. 
    “And often, to be honest, I think it can be overlooked – the stuff that goes on off the pitch that players have to handle.
    “Ultimately affects performance if it’s not managed properly.”
    “I don’t think you get through a day or a coaching session without having to consider what that looks like when you’ve got a squad of 23 people with different feelings, personalities and backgrounds.”
    Skinner says psychology in football is important in helping players develop their skills on the pitchCredit: Getty
    “It’s about being able to bring all of that together to work in your favour at the time when it really matters and developing skills as you would with a ball.
    “It’s definitely something that we work towards and I’ve got a really good support team.
    “Helen Richardson-Walsh is here as our performance psychologist who’s a gold medal winner, been there done that and got the t-shirt.” 
    Meanwhile, Arsenal, who are chasing a return to the Champions League, are looking to pick-up their fourth win on the bounce. 
    Joe Montemurro’s side are eager to humble their rivals at the home of Tottenham’s Prem team after beating them 2-0 in front of a record crowd of 38,262 last season.
    With fans currently prohibited from attending stadiums supporters can watch the game on FA Player and on Tottenham’s official website.
    Joe Montemurro says Gunners fan Lotte Wubben-Moy personifies what “it means to be Arsenal”Credit: Zuma Press
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
    And life-long Arsenal fan and full-back Lotte Wubben-Moy, 22, is particularly keen to see her side pick up a win. 
    Montemurro, 51, said: “Lotte has had this massive smile on her face all week. 
    “And, coupled with the fact that she scored last week and is showing her true capabilities, I think for me, the exciting thing is what’s to come. 
    “We think she’s a player who will personify what it means to be Arsenal”. 
    A win for Tottenham will see them go level on points with Reading if the Royals lose to Man CityCredit: Getty
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    Zelem relishes making Old Trafford history in Man United Women’s clash with Hammers

    KATIE ZELEM says leading Man United Women’s team out at Old Trafford will go down as one of the most thrilling experiences of her career. And the life-long Red Devils fan is expecting a “physical” battle with West Ham when the teams take to the field.
    Katie Zelem will skipper Man United Women’s team in their first game at Old Trafford which kicks off at 11:30Credit: Getty
    United will be looking for their second WSL win against West Ham after beating them 4-2 earlier this seasonCredit: PA
    Zelem, 25, who began her journey as a footballer at United’s Centre of Excellence at six, has fond memories of visiting the Theatre of Dreams during her childhood.  
    And now the Oldham-born Red Devils skipper – who spent four years at Liverpool from 2013 – hopes to seal her ever WSL win at the world-famous stadium. 
    Zelem told SunSport: “I think it’s, it’s quite hard to say, in a structured way what this means for me. 
    “I’ve visited the Theatre of Dreams since I was young and been to numerous games that we’ve won and we’ve lost with good experiences and bad ones. 
    “When I watched the men’s team walk out onto the pitch when I was young, I used to think ‘my god that must be amazing. And now it’s me doing it.
    “I think it is something I definitely couldn’t have imagined, but it’s definitely high up on my list of achievements.
    “I’m sure it is with a lot of the other girls in the team.” 
    United will take on the Irons behind closed doors with Covid restrictions currently preventing fans from attending WSL matches. 
    And the historic game not being aired on television has been described as a “missed opportunity” by team boss Casey Stoney.
    Zelem and her United team-mates are hoping to qualify for a spot in next season’s Champions LeagueCredit: Getty

    Zelem, who moved to Manchester from Juventus in 2018, hopes her side – who are third – do their fans proud when they play the Hammers. 
    Their visitors, who are bottom and winless in six games, are battling to keep their top-flight spot. 
    Zelem added: “West Ham are a really organised team and very physical. 
    “That’s something we need to be prepared for. I think if we execute our game plan well and hopefully, the three points will be ours.
    “For the fans our family and friends, to be able to see us walk out there and know that we’re making them proud will be huge for us.” 
    United’s Old Trafford appearance comes in the same week football chiefs announced a megabucks agreement to air WSL games on Sky Sports and the BBC next season.
    And Stoney hopes the three-year £24million deal – reported to be the biggest broadcasting in women’s football history – will lead to in-depth punditry around the sport. 
    Casey Stoney hopes the WSL’s TV deal with Sky Sports and the BBC will lead to more in-depth women’s football punditryCredit: Getty
    ⚽ Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
    Stoney said: “It’s going to give people more jobs which is great, more opportunities to do punditry. 
    “All I ask is let’s do it properly. Let’s analyse the game as we would do the men’s and let’s look at the tactics, look at the nuances within each team, let’s pick it apart. 
    “And I think the pundits will have a real opportunity to be able to do that now.”
    West Ham are looking to register their first win in the top-flight under Olli HarderCredit: Rex
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