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Chelsea FC Women vs. Bristol City WFC, FA WSL: Preview, team news, how to watch

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Sam Kerr and Bethany England versus a team with a -23 goal differential — let’s see what happens!

Chelsea v Reading - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Before the break, and over a span of just 11 days, Bristol City played Arsenal twice (once in the FA WSL Cup) and Manchester City once, and the combined aggregate score was 23-1. After the break Bristol collected their first win by shocking fourth place Manchester United, 1-0. Bristol only had two shots in the match, but they repelled United’s TWENTY-SIX shots to keep the Red Devils scoreless. This would be hilarious if it wasn’t similar to Chelsea’s 1-1 draw an also-cellar dwelling Liverpool in the Blues’ final match of 2019 (outshot the Reds 18 to 9).

Still, there’s an eleven point gap between Chelsea and Manchester United, and we’ve doubled their win total while losing five fewer. Given all of that, plus Bristol City being the squad that Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema went supernova on for six goals and four assists, every Chelsea attacker should be salivating. And after being denied a debut goal in three 1v1 chances versus Reading last week, Sam Kerr should be more settled and eager to litter the scoresheet with her name.

Sure, walloping Bristol City may not be all that original anymore, but since they sport a -23 goal differential, we might as well aim to do something fun.

Date / Time: Sunday, January 12, 2020; 2:00pm GMT; 9:00am EST; 7:30pm IST

Venue: Kingsmeadow

Forecast: Mostly Cloudy, 51°F/11°C

How to watch: The FA Player is the only thing you need to watch every FA WSL match for free — yes, FREE — barring any applicable local broadcast rights. Did I mention it’s free? It’s super free. Sign up on the FA Player website, bookmark the site, save Chelsea Women FC’s fixture schedule, and keep checking WAGNH.

Chelsea team news: Last weekend Erin Cuthbert was dropped from the starting XI to make way for Sam Kerr, leaving fellow winger Guro Reiten as the only true wide player. For the first few minutes, until right about the time Reading’s keeper was sent off for flying out to crush Kerr, it was a problem. Of course Chelsea still fashioned chances, but they didn’t take them and eventually conceded at the 15 minute mark.

Emma Hayes will have to be crafty about ensuring defenses remain honest along their back line with Kerr and England on the pitch at the same time. They’re clearly our most dangerous players at the moment, but they both float in central areas, and neither are too familiar with the ‘chalk on your heels’ type of wide play that a natural winger brings.

At least in this match it shouldn’t be a problem. Even if the blues have to build centrally, the dynamic England and Kerr have already shown is enough to fashion high quality chances for one another multiple times against lesser competition.

Bristol City team news: Genuine congratulations to them for beating Manchester United for their first win of the season. United is inconsistent, but they’re an improving side with some quality talent, and it took a collective and determined defensive effort to ensure one goal was good enough for the win. Very well done.

Now forget everything you did.

Previously: It’s return fixture time so we don’t have to go back too far. Our last meeting with Bristol City came in the first month of this season when we walked out of Stoke Gifford Stadium with a 4-0 win. Guro Reiten scored her brace in just ten minutes, and Ji So-yun and Sophie Ingle added the other two.

Sauce Moment of the Week: Last week. The Blues were being pressed but worked the ball up the flank to Ji So-yun who lobbed it on to Beth England, who nutmegged a pass to get it to Sam Kerr, who backheeled back to England, who then rounded the keeper for the goal. SAUCE.