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Chelsea FCW vs. Arsenal WFC, FA WSL: Preview, team news, how to watch

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And here...we...go...

Bristol City v Chelsea - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Harriet Lander - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Matches before Halloween don’t get much bigger than this. Last year’s WSL champions are undefeated while Chelsea’s only blemish is a 1-1 draw. The blue and red sides of London — plus Manchester City — are expected to be in a three-way season-long battle for the title, with points won and lost against each other likely to determine who’s lifting the trophy in May.

Arsenal have come out flying in the league, scoring seven goals with just one reply; Chelsea have scored six with a single reply. Arsenal’s expected goals per 90 (xG90) is currently at a fairly ridiculous 1.88; but bested by Chelsea’s extra ridiculous 2.21. I don’t want to promise a goalfest — I know how cruelly the football gods operate — but this really should, at the very least, be an extremely intense match.

The sheer amount of talent that will feature is sort of mind-boggling; Vivianne Miedema, Daniëlle van de Donk, Kim Little and Beth Mead versus Fran Kirby, Ji So-Yun, Guro Reiten, Beth England and Erin Cuthbert — in a word: bonkers. This is as must watch as it gets.

Chelsea team news: Everyone appears to have survived international duty without any injury worries. Fran Kirby, who came back from prior injury just a week prior to the international break, left the Lionesses camp to return to Chelsea before their match with Brazil. Beth England came on as a sub and scored, but England fell 2-1.

Meanwhile, Guro Reiten suited up for Norway and played a part in two absolute smashings (v. Belarus, 7-1; v. Faroe Islands, 13-0), including this ridiculous scorpion kick goal.

Ji So-Yun flew to Chicago with South Korea and became a household name in America. The dynamic Chelsea midfielder scored first en route to spoiling USWNT manager Jill Ellis’ final match in charge. Though the Americans equalized, Ji’s goal also ended their 17-game winning streak.

Arsenal team news: Arsenal’s Beth Mead scored the lone goal in the Lionesses’ win over Portugal. Striker Vivianne Miedema scored in each of the Netherlands’ matches against Slovenia and Russia, with midfielder Daniëlle van de Donk netting a goal in the latter. The rest of the Gunners’ key players returned from the break injury-free as well.

Previously: Chelsea’s last league match against Arsenal was all the way back in January, when the Blues had handed the Gunners a 2-1 loss (one of only two they suffered all season) courtesy of two Erin Cuthbert strikes. The last time the teams actually met was a month later in the Women’s FA Cup, with Chelsea besting their London rivals again via a dominant 3-0 win that featured a brace by Bethany England.

Date / Time: Sunday, October 13, 2019; 3:00 BST; 10:00am EDT; 7:30pm IST

Venue: Kingsmeadow, Kingston upon Thames, England

Forecast: Showers at kickoff, 14°C/53°F

How to watch: The FA Player is the only thing you need to watch every WSL match for free — yes, FREE — barring any applicable local broadcast rights. Did I mention is free? Well it is. All you need is an email address, and those are free too. So sign up on the FA Player website, bookmark the site, save the Blues’ fixture schedule or keep checking here on WAGNH.

Anyway, here’s two minutes of Chelsea Women scoring goals against Arsenal.