Chelsea FC Women captain Magda Eriksson believes Sunday’s showdown with Arsenal in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League will be settled by the finer details on the day.
Just four points separate league leaders Arsenal and Chelsea, with the Blues also having a game in hand, meaning whoever comes out on top in the 2pm kick-off will take a major step towards potentially being crowned champions in May.Chelsea have every reason to be confident ahead of the trip to Meadow Park, having beaten the Gunners 2-1 earlier in the season and by the same scoreline on our last trip to north London in the 2018/19 season.But Eriksson doesn’t believe those wins will have an impact on proceedings, instead insisting the result will come down to who has prepared better for the day after a busy week that has seen both sides reach the last four of the Continental Tyres Cup.‘There is psychology in football but for me it comes down to who is best prepared to win,’ said the Swedish defender.‘For me in games like this everything comes down to who is the most ready on the day to beat the opposition. It is two amazing teams so it all comes down to who is ready on the day, who is best prepared and who is most recovered after midweek games.‘It will be a tight race and it is about turning up for every game. This Sunday it is Arsenal but any team we play it is massively important to turn up and give our all. Not only in matches but in training and if we do that I am confident we will win.’
Eriksson arrived at Chelsea in 2017, going on to help the Blues win the Double her first season. That success was followed by frustration last year as Arsenal won the league and Manchester City lifted both domestic cups, and while the central defender remembers the success fondly she reveals it is last season’s frustrations that are driving the team forward this year.‘My first year we won the Double. I came in to an amazing team who had already won the Spring Series and then we just kept on winning and winning.‘We had that winning mentality and it was as an amazing first experience and once you win something that is all you want. But I think all of us were disappointed and wanted more from last year and we are hungry to do it this year and win more titles.‘We have put ourselves in some difficult situations this year, going behind, but we have managed to come back in each game which shows we have a great mental strength to really dig deep and never give up. That is the big difference to last year and it shows the big mental strength.‘Our game is improving each week and we are creating lots of chances which is good for the future.’
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes celebrated her 200th game in charge during our 6-1 win over Bristol City last weekend and Eriksson took some time out to praise the role the boss has had on the club and on a personal level.‘It is a massive landmark for Emma,’ she said. ‘Emma has been here since 2012 and has overseen the development to what we have and where we are now. She has been the one that has fought for everything and is always trying to break new ground.‘It is the reason our form has been so good as she is always setting new standards and demands.‘She has high demands and loves to challenge us which is a great way to keep us on our toes and not get complacent. She always wants us to be better and is driving the standards all the time.‘Personally she has always encouraged me to be brave in my game and braver in my one-on-one duals. It is a different way to Swedish football so she has challenged and developed me.‘She has improved me in possession as well and always wants us to be brave and not to do the safe things, step out of our comfort zones and not play it safe.‘I was also very proud when Emma asked the question [to be captain]. It was an unexpected question to hear and I am extremely proud to represent this club and this team as captain.’
You can catch Eriksson and her team in action at Kingsmeadow on Sunday 2 February where we host West Ham United. The Women’s Super League match kicks off at 2pm and tickets are priced at £1 for juniors and seniors and £9 for adults.