This weekend Chelsea Women kick off our Barclays FA Women’s Super League campaign at Stamford Bridge against newly-promoted Tottenham Hotspur.
We preview Sunday’s season opener here…
WHEN AND WHERE?
The Stage is Set and the Blues welcome London neighbours to Stamford Bridge on Sunday 8 September with a 12.30pm kick-off. Emma Hayes’ side begin the quest to regain the title they won as recently as 2018.
Chelsea Women ended last season without clinching any silverware having finished third in the league behind winners Arsenal and Manchester City. The Blues came close to reaching the Women’s Champions League, the FA Cup and Continental Tyres League Cup final but fell short at the semi-final stages.
It has been a busy few months for the Blues with 10 Chelsea representatives spending the summer competing with their countries at the World Cup in France. Eriksson and Jonna Andersson of Sweden returned to Chelsea as bronze medallists, while Fran Kirby, Millie Bright and Carly Telford finished in fourth place with England.
After the World Cup, it was swiftly back to work at Chelsea where the players joined back up with the rest of the team to begin pre-season. Our trip to the south of France to play in the French Cup against Montpellier and Bayern Munich ended in two heavy defeats. However, Hayes insists her team will be prepared for Sunday.
Next up was the journey to Tel-Aviv to face the Israeli national team, which was sponsored by Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich and the Israeli FA. The friendly finished 3-1 to the Blues with Bethany England, Sophie Ingle and Eriksson scoring the goals.
A number of the team recently returned from international duty and now full focus turns to beginning the season on a high in front of an expected bumper crowd at Stamford Bridge.
Tottenham were promoted to the WSL from the Championship after finishing runners-up behind Manchester United. Spurs left it until the last day of the 2018/19 season to secure promotion to the top flight and a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa was enough to go up. Their pre-season has consisted of playing six friendlies, with four of them being victories.
There are three former Chelsea players in the Spurs squad - winger Gemma Davison, goalkeeper Becky Spencer and forward Rosella Ayane.
The season opener promises to be a great day out for all the family. Entertainment kicks off at 10am at Eel Brook Common where the Chelsea Foundation Fan Zone plays host to free football coaching sessions, kicking challenges and skills zones for kids of all abilities. Meanwhile, outside the stadium, we have stilt walkers, face painters, football freestylers and a visit from the London Fire Brigade for photos. And in the run up to the 12.30pm kick off, enjoy an exclusive pitch-side DJ set from Capital FM’s Marvin Humes.
Click here for further matchday activities and information of the day.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Those who are not supporting the Blues on Sunday can still keep up to date with how the match unfolds via our social media channels. There will be live text commentary on our Twitter page, regular updates on Facebook and for behind-the-scenes footage, make sure you check out our match-day Instagram Story. Simply search 'ChelseaFCW' on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
CHELSEA V TOTTENHAM HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
This will be our third game against Spurs and our first league encounter. We have won both our fixtures against the north London side which were in the Continental Tyres Cup group stage. In December 2017 the Blues won the game 4-1 which was also a celebration occasion for our long-serving left-back, Claire Rafferty, who now works in Chelsea’s partnership department. Hannah Blundell opened the scoring when she fired us in front, Kirby scored twice and though Spurs pulled one back, Drew Spence completed the scoring in the victory.
The second game came almost exactly a year later in the same cup competition when we travelled away and triumphed 5-0. Deanna Cooper scored her first Chelsea goal when she struck early on and not long after that Ali Riley, who now plays for Bayern Munich, opened her account for the club by curling her effort into the far corner. Chelsea legend Karen Carney finished off an excellent team move and England headed home in the second half. The forward added her second and the Blues’ fifth of the match with a stunning left-footed effort.
ELSEWHERE IN THE WSL
The other 10 teams of the WSL will be in action over the course of the weekend. Two matches take place on Saturday, both with a 3pm kick-off. Manchester City host league debutants Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium while Bristol City welcome Brighton and Hove Albion to Ashton Gate. On Sunday Liverpool take on Reading and Birmingham City face Everton at 2pm. The final kick-off of the day is between league winners Arsenal and fellow London club West Ham United, which kicks off at 2.30pm.