Chelsea Women go head-to-head with reigning Women’s Super League champions Arsenal on Sunday and here is our preview ahead of the London derby….
WHEN AND WHERE?
The Blues will make the journey to Arsenal’s Meadow Park for what is expected to be a mouth-watering clash against two title contenders. The match takes place tomorrow (Sunday) and kicks off at 2pm.
Arsenal Women have confirmed that tickets for this fixture have now sold out. Chelsea fans should note that there will be no matchday ticket sales at Meadow Park.
HOW TO FOLLOW AND WATCH LIVE
Fans who missed out on buying a ticket for our away match can support the Blues by watching the game live on BT Sport 1 or on the FA Player app, a free streaming platform, exclusively dedicated to women’s football.
You can keep up to date with the match via our social media channels, too. There will be live commentary on our Twitter page, regular updates on Facebook and Instagram, plus footage of the matchday on our Instagram Story. All you need to do is search ‘ChelseaFCW' on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date!
The title run continues and the Blues come into this match with almost a perfect record in our 2019/20 WSL campaign. We are the only team in the league who are currently undefeated having won nine and drawn two. In terms of our WSL away form, we remain unbeaten in 26 games, a record that dates back to 2017 when we suffered a 1-0 defeat to Manchester City.
Chelsea booked a place into the last four of the Continental Tyres Cup on Wednesday evening with a 3-1 victory over Championship table toppers Aston Villa. Despite us hitting the woodwork twice in the first half, it took 55 minutes to crack a stubborn Villa defence and it came from the head of Magdalena Eriksson.
Ji So-Yun, who played her 150th game as a Blue, came off the substitutes’ bench to double our lead when she fired home. Yet Villa were not willing to go down without a fight and netted against the run of play with less than 10 minutes left on the clock, but Emily Murphy snatched any hope that Aston Villa may have had when the 16-year-old opened her Chelsea account with a close-range effort on 90 minutes.
Last Sunday we thumped Bristol City 6-1 in the Women’s Super League. Chelsea trailed a goal in the opening quarter but forward Bethany England levelled the scoring with a brave header and three more goals followed by half-time. Hannah Blundell gave us the lead five minutes prior to the interval with a superb left-footed strike that took a deflection on its way in.
Defender Jess Carter scored her first ever Chelsea goal when she poked home from close range, and Ji directed her low powerful shot into the net to give us a comfortable lead at the break. The South Korean scored her second of the match five minutes into the second half and England took her tally to 14 goals this season when she thumped home a header in the final stages of the match.
Arsenal are currently top of the table and so far have only dropped points against Chelsea when we triumphed 2-1 at home in October. Their last WSL match was last week against Brighton & Hove Albion where they ran out 4-0 winners. Danielle van de Donk got the dice rolling after three minutes and Jill Roord made it two with a half-volley before the break. Jordan Nobbs and Beth Mead notched the third and fourth to maintain the No.1 position.
Like us, the Gunners are in the hat for the Continental Tyres League Cup semi-finals after seeing off Reading Wednesday night. Midfielder Kim Little celebrated her 200th Arsenal appearance with a late winner.
CHELSEA V ARSENAL RECENT HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
Chelsea Women v Arsenal Women has been one of the biggest fixtures in women’s football since the WSL was established in 2010 with both clubs founder members of the rebranded English top flight. The Blues struggled against the Gunners for the first few years and it was not until July 2014 that we registered our first win. Yuki Ogimi and Ji So-Yun scored our two goals in a 2-1 victory at our old home Wheatsheaf Park.
We deservedly beat the WSL table-toppers 2-1 when we last met in October at Kingsmeadow.
Arsenal found the net early on, despite our dominance, when Van de Donk blasted past Ann Katrin-Berger. It was not until the second half that our hard work paid off and it was England who came up trumps when she turned her player to steer her shot into the net after good work from Fran Kirby. Thorisdottir and Ramona Bachmann, who both came on in the later stages of the match, proved to be super substitutes when Bachmann teed up her Norwegian team-mate who slammed a rocket of a shot into the top corner.
This was a huge contrast to last season’s home fixture against the Gunners which ended in a 5-0 thrashing.
We progressed to the last-eight of the 2019 Women’s FA Cup when England bagged a brace and Jonna Andersson scored her debut Chelsea goal. Just weeks before that impressive result, the Blues capped off another home win against the Gunners which ended 2-1 when Erin Cuthbert scored two brilliant goals either side of half-time.
One game which will not be forgotten for the right reasons was when we beat Arsenal 3-1 at Wembley Stadium to lift the 2018 FA Cup in front of more than 45,000 fans. Ramona Bachmann got a brace and Fran Kirby was on target that day.
NEXT UP AT KINGSMEADOW
Emma Hayes’ Chelsea will next play at our KT1 home on Sunday 2 February against West Ham United. The WSL fixture kicks off at 2pm and tickets are available to purchase priced at £1 for juniors (under-20) and seniors (under-65) and £9 for adults.