The new, post-2019 World Cup season of the Women’s Super League (WSL) kicks off this weekend, and for Chelsea FC Women, it starts with a very special occasion indeed, with a derby against Spurs, held at a sold out Stamford Bridge — granted, tickets were free, but still, all were claimed.
Chelsea boss Emma Hayes expects excitement aplenty, with the attendance set to be 20x the average at a Women’s game, which are usually held at 4800-capacity Kingsmeadow.
“We’re starting with a home game in front of a sell-out crowd, which is dreamland for us, and we’re doing that on the back of this entire football club working so hard to make it happen [...] It’s a really exciting time and to start with a game against Tottenham Hotspur has a great ring to it so it’s one I feel extremely proud and privileged to lead this weekend.”
-source: Evening Standard
And the match will be available to watch and stream for free as well, so there’s no excuse to miss it!
Date / Time: Sunday, September 8, 2019; 12:30 BST; 7:30am EDT; 5:00pm IST
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Forecast: Warm-ish and partly sunny
How to watch: The FA Player — the free (yes, FREE) service from the FA that will broadcast each and every WSL match this season (barring any local broadcast rights). Did I mention is free? All you have to do is sign up on the FA Player website, and you’re good to go. Most excellent service that should be applauded (and will hopefully be less glitchy than when Chelsea tried to broadcast game this summer).
Chelsea team news: A disappointing third place was mitigated somewhat by reaching the semifinals of the Women’s Champions League last season (and losing to the eventual champions, Olympqiue Lyonnais), but Chelsea will be looking to get back on top of the domestic game. To that effect, the team signed the creative Guro Reiten, who starred for Norway at the Women’s World Cup this ssummer.
Leading scorer Fran Kirby will miss this game through injury, but the likes of Erin Cuthbert, Maren Mjelde, both fresh off of World Cup 2019 campaigns, should spearhead the quality needed to beat the newly promoted Spurs side. Magdalena Eriksson, another World Cup veteran, is expected to captain Chelsea.
Spurs team news: As it usually happens with promoted sides, Spurs signed more players than we can count as they hope to make last year’s second place in the second division stick — two of the new arrivals include former Chelsea players Gemma Davison and Becky Spencer however.
Previously: The highpoint of Chelsea’s last season was probably Mjelde’s last-minute winner (on aggregate) against PSG in the Champions League.