Emma Hayes insists her Chelsea Women’s side have nothing to prove against WSL leaders Arsenal when we take on the Gunners at Borehamwood tomorrow.
The Blues are on a 10-game winning streak and have kept 12 clean sheets on the spin, a run which began since our last meeting with our London rivals in the middle of October.
A 5-0 defeat was a huge shock to the system, establishing Arsenal at the top of the standings and leaving us with a mountain to climb in order to retain the WSL title we lifted for the second time in our history last May.
However, revenge will not be on the agenda when we travel to Meadow Park for a lunchtime kick-off this Sunday, a game you can see live on BT Sport.
‘I don't think we have a point to prove,’ insists Hayes. ‘We've been champions more times than they have in recent years.
‘It's nice to be in a chasing position. I know what it feels like to be the leader and what Arsenal are going through right now, the expectations they have for themselves, so they'll be expecting to win the game.
‘Their form has suggested that, and for us it's about making the rest of the league campaign difficult for them to win the league easily.’
Incredibly, not only have we not conceded a goal since that earlier game against Arsenal, it remains the only WSL fixture this term in which our net has been breached.
The issue in the early part of the season centred on scoring goals, but that now seems to have been corrected during our recent run, with early goals aiding our cause in both of our opening two matches of 2019.
Everton were beaten 3-0 in a league match last weekend after Bethany England opened the scoring after six minutes, while the returning Fran Kirby required only three to put us in front when we saw off Reading in the Continental Tyres League Cup quarter-finals in midweek.
‘A fast start for the team, two games in a row, makes it difficult for the opposition,’ said Hayes, speaking after the 4-0 triumph over the Royals. ‘We were clinical in and around the box.
‘The clean sheet record is absolutely phenomenal. I’m not saying it will survive, but we make it so hard on teams. And if we want to close the gap on the teams above us, that’s our priority.
‘We made so many changes for that game and I've got an even bigger headache now. This is one of the best squads I have ever worked with, one of the best in Europe.’