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Arsenal and Malmö looking strong

Published: Tuesday 21 August 2012, 14.49CET
Arsenal LFC and WFC Malmö are maintaining strong title defences yet there could be new champions elsewhere as UEFA.com examines how the sides in Thursday's draw are faring.
by Paul Saffer
Arsenal and Malmö looking strong
Jordan Nobbs equalising for Arsenal against Everton ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 21 August 2012, 14.49CET

Arsenal and Malmö looking strong

Arsenal LFC and WFC Malmö are maintaining strong title defences yet there could be new champions elsewhere as UEFA.com examines how the sides in Thursday's draw are faring.

The English and Swedish women's leagues have resumed after the Olympic break with Arsenal LFC and WFC Malmö maintaining their strong title defences while there could be new champions in Norway and Iceland as the summer competitions continue.

Latest women's league standings

Two teams that between them supplied half of Great Britain's 18-strong Olympic squad, Everton and Arsenal, were matched in England's FA WSL on Sunday and the Gunners only just emerged with their unbeaten record intact. Twice Everton went in front, through Fara Williams and Lucy Bronze, only for the first lead to be cancelled out by a Kim Little penalty while Jordan Nobbs ensured a 2-2 draw with 12 minutes left.

That keeps Arsenal five points ahead of Everton, who have played a game more, while Birmingham City LFC are one further behind after beating Lincoln LFC 3-1, keeping them level with both Bristol Academy WFC and Chelsea LFC in a tight race for 2013/14 UEFA Women's Champions League places. Both Arsenal and Birmingham will be in this season's round of 32 draw on Thursday.

Malmö and Göteborg FC will be representing Sweden but they are having contrasting fortunes in the Damallsvenskan. Reigning champions Malmö resumed their campaign last Wednesday with a 2-1 win at bottom side Djurgårdens IF and then beat the same team 4-0 at home on Sunday with Anja Mittag scoring her 14th league goal of 2012. They are two points clear of Tyresö FF who defeated Vittsjö GIK 5-1 on Monday with Marta scoring her seventh goal since joining. However Göteborg, runners-up for the last two years, are sixth and 16 points behind the leaders following a 1-0 loss at lowly AIK Solna.

Over the border in Norway the summer break began on 4 August and Lillestrøm SK, never before champions, are one point clear of unbeaten Stabæk IF – against whom they resume their campaign on 23 September. Title holders Røa IL, who like Stabæk will be in Thursday's European draw, are five points off the lead along with Arna-Bjørnar with seven rounds to go.

In Iceland it could be a maiden title for Thór, who after a 2-1 win at Breidablik last week are six points clear of UEFA Women's Champions League contenders Stjarnan. Scotland's representatives Glasgow City LFC, meanwhile, have won all 12 of their fixtures so far, scoring 95 goals and conceding just four, leaving Hibernian LFC six points behind having played a game more.

Among other teams in the draw whose title defences are coming to the crunch, FC Bobruichanka lead FC Minsk in Belarus by a point with Zorka-BDU only one further back, PK35 Vantaa are two clear of Åland United in Finland with a game in hand, but FC BIIK-Kazygurt are five behind FC CSHVSM-Kairat in Kazakhstan.

Last updated: 21/08/12 17.39CET

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