Chelsea Women play their first away game of the new Barclays Women’s Super League season on Sunday against Brighton and Hove Albion, and the Blues hope to build on their triumph from last weekend. Here we have all the background information ahead of the 2pm kick-off…
WHEN AND WHERE
Kick-off is 2pm.
The venue is the People's Pension Stadium, the home of Crawley Town FC.
The Blues kicked off the WSL campaign with a well-deserved victory against newly-promoted Tottenham Hotspur. The game finished 1-0 and was held at Stamford Bridge in front of a crowd that was five times more than our record home crowd. It was last season’s top goal scorer, Bethany England, who put us ahead inside five minutes. Her fine left-footed strike from 30 yards out flew into the top corner beyond former Blue, Becky Spencer.
Brighton and Hove Albion began their second season in the top flight with a goalless draw away to Bristol City. The Sussex side had a first-half penalty saved and although it is still early days, one point on the board for Brighton is a positive as they target finishing higher than their ninth-place finish last season.
CHELSEA VS BRIGHTON HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
This will be our fifth match against Brighton, with the Blues winning all four previous encounters. The last time we crossed paths was in December 2018 when we came away as 4-0 winners. The goals were late in the second half when Magdalena Eriksson flicked home her effort and Bethany England headed in the second soon after. Then Ji So-Yun, who had set up that goal, tidily finished an excellent move in the 77th minute to put us 3-0 up. England added a fourth in stoppage time with a clinical finish.
Three months prior to that we hosted the Seagulls at Kingsmeadow and recorded our maiden triumph of the WSL, courtesy of first-half goals from Fran Kirby and Erin Cuthbert. Kirby volleyed brilliantly on 32 minutes and almost immediately Cuthbert doubled the Blues’ lead with a sublime strike.
Our first competitive fixture of that season came against Brighton in the Continental Tyres League Cup and although we eventually ran out as winners, it required a defensive mistake for Drew Spence to open the scoring on the stroke of half-time. Our performance was more fluid after the break, with Kirby deservedly extending our advantage with a typical poacher's finish, but there was a nervy end when the visitors pulled a goal back late on through Aileen Whelan. However, England headed home with two minutes remaining to ensure we began the season with a victory.
In the 2017/18 season, before the Seagulls became a full-time outfit in the WSL, we travelled to meet them in the Continental Tyres Cup and once again it was the Blues who emerged victorious. Kirby volleyed us ahead after only 13 minutes and late goals from former Blue Crystal Dunn and Ji completed the scoring.
HOW TO FOLLOW AND HOW TO WATCH THE LIVE STREAM
Those not travelling can 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 matchday Instagram Story. Simply search 'ChelseaFCW' on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The match will also be shown on The FA Player, a new free live streaming platform, exclusively dedicated to women’s football.
Emma Hayes selected defender Magdalena Eriksson as Chelsea’s 2019/20 captain in place of the retired Karen Carney. Eriksson joined Chelsea in 2017 and has been a regular in the side - she started more matches than any other player in the 2018/19 season.
WATCH THE BLUES AT KINGMEADOW
See the Blues in action at our KT1 home for the first time this season on Sunday 22 September in the Continental Tyres Cup against West Ham United.
Season tickets are still available for just £49 for the whole season. Junior fans (aged under 20) as well as senior fans (aged 65 or over) can enjoy the whole season for just £5!