Match Preview

Hayes demands more as Blues look to end league drought at City

Chelsea return to Barclays Women’s Super League action on Sunday when we travel to face Manchester City, with boss Emma Hayes calling for more of the same after the magnificent 7-0 victory over Servette in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Hayes had demanded a relentless display in Switzerland and the players responded in devastating style to ensure they extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 10 games.

Victory away against Man City for the first time in the WSL would also bring a sixth league win in a row and the simple message from Hayes for the next match in a hectic spell is ‘same again please’.

‘We had to do the right things to be more clinical and at the same time work on our clean sheets,’ Hayes said of the win over Servette in Geneva. ‘The players are applying the details every day in training and for that reason we are in a good place.

‘There is a correlation between our physical output and our football output. You have to work hard on and off the ball if you are going to create situations time and time again.

‘I don’t think there is a coincidence that our two highest physical outputs resulted in our two best football outputs against Manchester United and Servette, so the call from us is that we want more of the same and we expect to keep pushing and improving.

‘The demands we place on the players will only increase.’

Although we have failed to beat City in eight away league games, with just two draws, we have beaten them on their home turf in the past two meetings – including last month’s 3-0 win in the FA Cup semi-finals.

‘It’s a great league record for them but not for us and it is something we have to address,’ Hayes added.

‘We have to keep building on the form and a lot of good team performances. Lots of players are playing well and scoring goals, which is what we want to see.’

City have been plagued by injuries this season and have managed two wins from six league matches so far, but Hayes said they remain a ‘top team’ full of quality despite having to do without players including Ellie Roebuck, Lucy Bronze, Steph Houghton and Keira Walsh at times during the season.

Hayes said: ‘The injuries have been well documented but I have seen an upturn in their performances with Georgia Stanway coming back into the fold. She is an important player for them. They are missing internationals but they have a team full of internationals. They are a top team and we won’t underestimate that.’

Hayes once again expects to be without Danish striker Permille Harder and Dutch defender Aniek Nouwen because of injury.

‘Pernille has a little quad muscle injury and it’s just not settling down,' she said. 'I think her and Aniek will both be absent.

‘Pernille might be available for Sunday but I have been saying she is nearly there and I am going to say the opposite this week and that she won’t be available and maybe she will be.

‘The muscle is not badly damaged and there is a little bit of swelling, but it is taking time to settle down.’

Norway captain Maren Mjelde could once again feature after the defender made her much-anticipated return from an eight-month injury lay-off in the thrashing of Servette in midweek.

‘Maren trained really well and is available for selection,’ Hayes confirmed.

‘We still have to be a little bit patient because she has been out for a long time but we will start to see more and more of Maren.

‘She’s a top player. Everyone has missed her. She feels like a new signing for us. Her return to the team is timely.’

The game kicks off at 3pm on Sunday and is live on Sky Sports

Before then, take part in our Women’s Play Predictor for a chance to win some great prizes! Play on the 5th Stand app and make your selections for the game before registration closes.

 

More from chelsea