Chelsea FCW travel to the red side of London on Sunday afternoon for a monumental matchup against rivals Arsenal WFC. Having won three of the four previous matchups, the Blues will surely fancy another victory against an Arsenal side who lost their first WSL match last weekend, against Manchester United. Three points on Sunday would go a long long loooong way towards putting Chelsea in driver’s seat of the WSL table.
Date / Time: Sunday, November 15, 2020, 2:30pm BST; 9:30am EST; 8:00pm IST
Venue: Meadow Park
Referee: Kirsty Dowle
Forecast: Cool and rainy
Arsenal WFC team news: Arsenal WFC know the pressure will be squarely on them tomorrow. Losing last weekend to Manchester United has only amplified the importance of earning points against the Blues. Unfortunately for manager Joe Montemurro, the Gunners have struggled mightily against their biggest league rivals, Chelsea and Manchester City. In fact, Arsenal’s last victory over Chelsea came back in 2018, and that’s starting to become distant memory.
Arsenal will attempt to turn the tide without a couple of key contributors in Jordan Nobbs and Jen Beattie. Fortunately for the Gunners, Jill Roord and Kim Little are expected to feature after missing time through injury. And it’s not like those injuries have done much to slow down Arsenal’s attack.
Up front, the dynamic duo of Vivienne Miedema and Caitlin Foord have been particularly effective in creating and finishing chances. Meanwhile, Leah Williamson will be given the unenviable task of anchoring a back line dealing with the likes of Sam Kerr, Beth England, and Pernille Harder. To deal with the high press of the Blues, Montemurro may opt to play three at the back, a tactic he has experimented with in recent matches.
Chelsea FCW team news: Other than Fran Kirby, who is still recovering from a thigh injury, the Blues enter Sunday’s matchup ready to roll with all guns blazing. Manager Emma Hayes has rotated the attacking lineup throughout the season, and last weekend’s brace may have earned Bethany England another start. Regardless of who starts up top, the Blues will expect to pressure Arsenal high up the pitch, a tactic the Gunners have struggled to deal with in recent meetings.
The Blues defense will be lead by captain Magdalena Eriksson, fresh off a newly signed contract through 2023! Her partnership with Millie Bright will be key to slowing down the high-flying Arsenal attack. Jonna Andersson played a fantastic match against Everton last time out, and will look to support Chelsea’s left flank.
Melanie Leupolz and Ji So-yun are just about undroppable in the midfield. And we can look for Guro Reiten to return to the lineup on the left wing after scoring twice against Arsenal in October.
Previously: The Blues rolled to an impressive 4-1 win over Arsenal in a group stage matchup of the Continental Cup back in October. Goals came courtesy of Reiten (x2), Eriksson, and England.