They are back after a three-week gap! Emma Hayes and her players resume the domestic campaign with a match on Merseyside.
We take on Liverpool Women tonight at Prenton Park, home of Tranmere Rovers, with kick-off at 7pm. Here is the information you need in the build-up to the game…
The international break came at an unfortunate time for Emma Hayes’ squad after a hat-trick apiece for Fran Kirby and Bethany England secured a thumping win for the Blues over Bristol City at Kingsmeadow.
A crowd of 1,821 were in attendance for our biggest WSL victory of the season, in which we went 2-0 up inside the opening five minutes on our way to recording a second straight win, following on from our impressive 3-0 triumph over Arsenal in the Women’s FA Cup, which secured a quarter-final trip to Durham.
Liverpool are on their best winning run of the season, with four victories on the spin, including the past three at home. As a result, they are now far closer to the middle of the pack in the WSL, having endured a disappointing start to their league campaign. They also have an FA Cup last-eight tie against Manchester City to look forward to after beating MK Dons and Milwall in their two ties in the competition this term.
|1||Manchester City Women||16||11||5||0||45||11||34||38|
|3||Chelsea FC Women||16||9||5||2||30||11||19||32|
|4||Birmingham City Women||15||9||1||5||20||14||6||28|
|5||Bristol City Women FC||15||6||4||5||13||22||-9||22|
|6||West Ham United Women FC||15||6||1||8||21||28||-7||19|
|7||Reading FC Women||14||5||3||6||19||20||-1||18|
|9||Brighton and Hove Albion Women||16||3||3||10||11||32||-21||12|
|11||Yeovil Town Ladies||14||1||0||13||8||42||-34||3|
HOW TO FOLLOW
Those not attending can keep up to date with the matchday experience via our social media channels. Simply search 'ChelseaFCW' on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
EARLIER THIS SEASON
In our meeting with Liverpool at Kingsmeadow, the Blues emerged with a narrow 1-0 victory courtesy of a Goal of the Season candidate from Magda Eriksson. Our Swedish centre-half controlled a header from Drew Spence with her right foot and scored a quite sublime effort with her back to goal.
Speaking to the matchday programme recently, Eriksson was still struggling to get her head around the finish.
‘It was a very special goal – I think I have a patent on that type of goal, as I haven’t really seen one like that before,’ she joked. ‘It felt kind of surreal and, in fact, it still does now. In that moment, I don’t really know what happened, it was just something that came to me and I tried it and it came off.’
We have won each of our last eight WSL matches against Liverpool, including the aforementioned match in October. That run includes a memorable comeback victory on the final day of last season, when Ji So-Yun came off the bench to inspire a 3-2 triumph which ensured we went through the whole league campaign unbeaten.
Prior to that we had not played a WSL away match against the Reds for more than two years, when Ji was also on target in a 2-1 victory. The South Korean clearly loves playing on the red half of Merseyside as she also netted one of the greatest goals in the history of Chelsea Women when we played away at Liverpool in the autumn of 2015; her Gianfranco Zola-esque strike helped us to a 4-0 victory which pushed us within touching distance of our first WSL title.
Prior to that we had lost three of our four league visits to Liverpool, the exception coming in July 2012 when Dunia Susi and Gemma Bonner – who went on to skipper the Reds to back-to-back WSL1 titles before joining Manchester City – were on target in a 2-0 win.
At the end of the Algarve Cup during the international break, Erin Cuthbert was one of several Scotland players rested by Shelley Kerr for their fifth-place play-off against Denmark, which the Scots won 1-0. Ramona Bachmann also didn’t feature in her side’s play-off with Spain to determine seventh place, but Switzerland didn’t fare so well as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat.
Read: Road to the World Cup – Carney scores as England lift silverware
Speaking before she headed off on international duty, Cuthbert (pictured top) discussed how the players need to approach their return to action after a long period apart.
‘We just need to come together as a group and get everyone in the zone after the international break, switching our Chelsea heads back on,’ she said. Previously we’ve only had three days to recover after internationals, but this time it’s a week. That’ll help us a lot and hopefully we’ll be ready, no excuses.’
The next two chances to see our international stars in action at Kingsmeadow are the quarter-final of the Women’s Champions League against PSG on Thursday 21 March and in the WSL against West Ham on Sunday 31 March.
Tickets for the West Ham game are half-price - £3 Adults and £1.50 juniors. The day will also host the Vitality Football Festival
Click for tickets