UPDATE: POSTPONED DUE TO SNOW
⚠️ Our away match versus Bristol City, which was set to kick-off at 2.00pm today, has been postponed due to a heavy downpour of snow overnight resulting in an unplayable pitch. ❄️#CFCW pic.twitter.com/5P0lUz91hl— Chelsea FC Women (@ChelseaFCW) January 24, 2021
Chelsea travel to Twerton Park today with a chance to make history and achieve the longest unbeaten streak ever in the WSL at 32 games. Chelsea, having not lost a league game since January 2019, get a chance at this remarkable feat against a Bristol City team who sit rock bottom of the table with just two (2!) points.
Date / Time: Sunday, January 24th, 2020, 14.00 GMT; 9am EST; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Twerton Park, Bath, England
Referee: Emily Heaslip
Forecast: Cold; snow possible
Bristol City WFC team news: The first half of the season brought highs and lows for the Robins. The league campaign has been a mighty struggle, as they find themselves having scored the fewest league goals, while also conceding far and away the most. Their goal differential of -43 in 11 matches is painful, though it is exaggerated by a couple of monstrous defeats to Chelsea and Manchester City. Still, Bristol City have battled their way to the semifinals of the Continental (League) Cup. If they can get past FA Championship side Leicester City, they may even find themselves in a cup final against Chelsea!
Matt Beard has taken temporary management duties at Bristol City as Tanya Oxtoby is away on maternity leave. Though Beard won’t have had a lot of time to make a mark on the squad, he has indicated he’s getting more familiar with what he has to work with. One thing he’ll know is that he has a very good goalkeeper in Sophie Baggaley. Unfortunately for him, she is unlikely to feature against the Blues as she and teammates Jemma Purfield and Carla Humphrey have been out due to COVID quarantine protocol.
Perhaps the brightest spark of the season for Bristol City has come from 19-year-old forward Ebony Salmon. Having scored 3 of the team’s 6 league goals, Salmon has shown quality indicative of a big future.
⚔️ Sharper— Bristol City WFC (@bristolcitywfc) January 23, 2021
The boss is focused on taking it a level. pic.twitter.com/5MDW7OGNIz
Chelsea FCW team news: The Blues are in red hot form, having picked up victories against both Manchester teams in the past week. No team will envy the challenge of facing Chelsea, but that’s true even more so in our current form. After defeating Manchester United in WSL play last weekend, Chelsea sit atop the table while also holding a match in hand over United, and Arsenal as well.
Given our strength of position and continuing fixture congestion, we may opt for heavy rotation against Bristol City. Fran Kirby, Wonder Woman 2020, was given the day off in the midweek contest against Manchester City. She will likely return to start, making it a dangerous Chelsea attack regardless of who joins her. It would be nice to see Bethany England get a start up front after not logging the minutes she would have hoped for in the first half of the season. Pernille Harder opened her Chelsea scoring account with a silky flicked finish in the first meeting against Bristol, and may be poised to deal additional damage in round two.
Sophie Ingle could be used in a centre back pairing with either Millie Bright or Magda Eriksson. Ingle has been excellent in midfield as usual, but her experience at the back may prove valuable in Chelsea’s ever-thinning backline. Ann-Katrin Berger took a strong challenge late in the Manchester City matchup and may give way to veteran Carly Telford in goal.
Previously: The prior matchup between these two saw Chelsea pick up our first WSL victory of the season, a 9-0 blowout back in September. Goals came from nine different goal scorers, but of note, Fran Kirby scored what was then her first goal in 16 months for the club.