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#SBSSWPL Preview – 12/11/17

2017 Scottish Building Society SWPL 1

The four fixtures in the top flight are all fascinating games in the battle to win the title and in the relegation fight. Also, there is a small matter of an Old Firm derby.

Title and Europe

If this came with a film trailer, then this would not do justice to how big this game really is. Glasgow City could win their 11th title in a row and secure a Champions League place. Hibernian need to avoid defeat to retain title hopes, although you would expect they need to win to have a realistic chance of ending one of the most extraordinary title runs.

City lead by two points with two games, and have won both of the league games between the sides and remain unbeaten. The game between the sides in September was a tight encounter, with the sides separated only by a stunning Katey McCabe strike.

With Scotland only having one Champions League spot in the 2018-19 edition, it will be only the champions who will be in the continental competition.

Relegation And Battle For Fourth

There are two critical games, not only in the battle against the drop but also for fourth. Stirling University occupy fourth but are level on points with Spartans. Aberdeen are in the relegation place, but after beating Hamilton last week, they are four points behind Accies.

Stirling kick-off first, meaning that Hamilton could be safe before their match kicks-off two hours later. They must draw to retain hope but a win would force Accies to have to beat Spartans to guarantee their survival.

Worryingly for Aberdeen, all six of their points have been won at home meaning they must pick up their first away points of the season.

Aberdeen drew at home against Stirling earlier in the season, before Stirling beat them 3-1 back in August.

Spartans beat Hamilton 1-0 in March and the two teams played out a goalless draw in August.

Old Firm

The other SBS SWPL 1 game is just the small matter of an Old Firm Derby.

Celtic have nearly secured third place in the league, sitting four points ahead of Stirling University and Spartans. A win would guarantee the position, whilst a draw would make it interesting as they play Stirling on the final day.

Rangers, who have impressed under Amy McDonald, are five points behind Spartans and will likely finish the season in sixth place.

Rangers have won both the Old Firm games this season, winning 4-1 and 2-1, although both games have been at New Tinto Park.

Scottish Building Society SWPL 2

Battle For Second

Glasgow Girls host Motherwell with the winner finishing the season in second place, although Glasgow Girls will secure the position if they avoid defeat.

One point separates the sides and Glasgow Girls go into the game on decent form. They’ve only lost two games since the mid season break and have scored 13 goals in their past two matches.

Last Sunday, Motherwell ended a three-game losing run thanks to a late winner against Jeanfield Swifts, keeping themselves in contention in finishing second. Whatever happens, they have had a superb season and were the team that pushed Forfar the closest to the title.

Motherwell’s forward Suzanne Winters announced her retirement after picking up an injury in the defeat to Hearts in late October. It brings an end to a superb playing career and a Scottish legend.

Edinburgh Derby

Hearts take on Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale (EUHV) in an Edinburgh derby that both teams would have hoped would have had more riding on it in terms of a possible title. However, with two points separating the clubs, there is fifth place up for grabs.

Since the break, Hearts have struggled but have returned to form by beating Buchan, Motherwell and drawing with Forfar Farmington.

EUHV have moved away from relegation trouble and have been in great recent form, winning three of their past four matches. Since the mid-season break, they have only lost twice and could finish in fourth if they win and Jeanfield Swifts lose.

Champions Home Game

The champions Forfar Farmington finish their season against Jeanfield Swifts where they will look to celebrate their title win. They have had a superb season, and are deserved champions. They have still only lost one game all season. A win against Jeanfield Swifts would mean that they will win the title by at least 12 points, and a draw will mean the winning margin will stay in double figures.

Jeanfield Swifts cannot finish higher than their current position of fourth after last week’s last-gasp defeat to Motherwell, but if they can secure fourth (which they will do with a draw) that will be a superb achievement for the club. Previous to their last match, they had won the previous two games and that was the example of their form that saw them battling for second.

Relegated Sides

Buchan and East Fife meet with both teams relegated from the division, but there is the matter of avoiding bottom spot.

Currently, East Fife are two points ahead of Buchan meaning that they will just need to avoid defeat to secure seventh. They have lost their past three matches after they had beaten Hearts 2-1.

Buchan has lost their past six games, with their last victory coming against East Fife when they had beaten them 3-2 back in August.

Written by
Tim Oliver
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