Drew Spence and her Chelsea Women team-mates return to Barclays Women’s Super League action on Sunday as we host Arsenal at Kingsmeadow with a 3pm kick-off and the midfielder speaks about our huge match against the reigning champions…
The Blues’ longest serving player with more than a decade of service knows about the importance of the derby all too well having played in numerous fixtures against our London neighbours, and ahead of this weekend's meeting, the 25-year-old reminisced about her most memorable game against the Gunners
‘The FA Cup final when we beat them 3-1 is definitely a stand-out performance for me,’ she said. ‘We were just dominant throughout, confident and that was one of the times we played them and controlled the match from start to finish.
‘It was good because it was a London derby but even better because it was a cup final as well.’
Spence featured in her first Chelsea v Arsenal fixture 11 years ago when she was juggling her college studies with football and with the 2019/20 title being up for grabs, she has expressed the significance of the occasion.
‘It’s a big one obviously, we’ve had numerous games against them over the years and we want to be the best team in London. It’s massive for us because they are one of the teams we are challenging with for the title.’
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At this stage our opponents have maximum points having won all three of their opening WSL games. And despite the international break, the Blues will be hoping to build on their emphatic 4-0 win against Bristol City two weeks ago.
‘It’s huge, if we win this game it really puts a marker on the league. We’ve dropped a couple of points already so this game is massive for that reason. We can’t really afford to drop any more points and at the end of the season these are the kind of games that it comes down to.
‘We have got to be aggressive from the start and make sure we don’t stand off them. We know their strengths and they know ours so really it’s just playing our best game and making sure we’re on the front foot.
‘It’s tough because the girls get back from international duty and we’ve only got a few days to work on things and really get our tactics down for the weekend. But it’s also the same for Arsenal and it’s just part and parcel of the game.'
Our first league game of the season against Tottenham Hotspur was played at Stamford Bridge in front of a huge crowd and Spence hopes to see fans return to show their support on Sunday.
‘It’s important fans come down to Kingsmeadow to support us and we’re hoping for a big crowd for one of the big London derbies of the season.’