Emma Hayes can’t wait for Chelsea Women to take on Manchester United in the Barclays Women’s Super League at Kingsmeadow this afternoon as we look to extend our unbeaten run.
There is very limited availability of tickets and the game is expected to sell-out early.
The Blues have had a strong start to the 2019/20 WSL campaign having won four and drawn one, making us the only team to go unbeaten at this stage of the season.
And with more than half of Hayes’ squad having only just returned from international duty, the Chelsea boss has praised her players’ performances while away and will be looking for that to continue today.
‘It’s fair to say we’ve got a lot of players in good form and that helps. The form is built on a solid platform from what they do week in week out on the training pitch here.
‘Ramona [Bachmann] scored a wonderful hat-trick which is a wonderful sign of how good her form is at the moment, Guro [Reiten] is good for a goal a game with her national team and is doing really well.
‘Erin [Cuthbert] I’m really happy for her because she wanted to add goals to her game and for all the hard work she’s putting in this season it’s paying off. Beth [England] scored another goal for her country, another milestone for her.
‘Ultimately everyone’s performances from what we’ve seen have been top notch and we expect them to bring it into the club setting.’
Today’s fixture is a new challenge as Chelsea meet fourth-place Manchester United for the first time ever, but nevertheless, it’s a perfect chance for Hayes’ side to create history in front of an expected bumper crowd.
The game is part of the inaugural Women’s Football Weekend, an event aimed at capitalising on the men’s international break by encouraging supporters to attend women’s football matches on the 16-17 November.
‘Playing a new opponent for the first time in front of an expected sell-out crowd is another milestone achievement for the football club,’ she said.
‘I have no doubt that it will be a wonderful advert for the women’s game in terms of product – both teams are full of quality and Manchester United started this season very much like Manchester City did at the beginning of their journey.
‘They are already title contenders from the off and lead really well by Casey [Stoney] and she’s using all of her experience to build a wonderful young team that are rivalling all of the top teams immediately.
Although the Blues have been on a good run prior to the international break, Hayes is not taking our opponents for granted.
‘Considering they have not conceded a lot of goals and they have beaten Manchester City in the cup already this season, they will be full of confidence and flying high and come here with big expectations.
'We just came back together on Thursday, so it’s been about assessing where everybody is and making sure we have got the game plan right.
‘It’s our home, we know the expectations there and the noise of our fans really carries weight in the difficult moments in the game, and I expect that will be another big factor throughout the 90-plus minutes.
‘It will be a really tight game, there won’t be much in it and their defensive record suggests that. Our team will have to use all its wisdom and experience to break a very good United team down.'
Hayes also spoke very highly of the United manager, who is a former Chelsea player, and said: ‘Casey was a top player and is a top coach – she has led her United team really well out of the Championship into the top league.
‘She’s got a lot of experience and great knowledge in putting teams together in an organised fashion. Her understanding of defending has clearly rolled over to her team and she’s made a tremendous start to her career in the top flight.
‘I have got full respect for the work she’s doing and I really look forward to the game and playing in front of our fans again.’
Kick-off today is at 2pm, read the Chelsea v Manchester United preview here
On Wednesday the Blues are back at Kingsmeadow for our Continental Tyres Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur. The match kicks off at 7pm and tickets cost £3 for adult and £1 for juniors (aged under 20) and seniors (aged over 65).
Click to buy your tickets.