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Chelsea FC Women vs. Liverpool WFC, FA Cup 5th Round; Preview, team news, how to watch (maybe?)

Just 90 minutes against the second-bottom team in the league stands between us and the quarterfinals

Liverpool v Chelsea - FA Women’s Super League - Prenton Park Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

You may remember that Liverpool are one of only two teams to stop Chelsea from collecting all three points from any given match this season. Just before the winter break the Reds — aided by the mud pit they call their home pitch — frustrated Chelsea to a 1-1 draw. They scored in the 5th minute, Bethany England equalized in the 15th, but they held on from there to claim their point.

Liverpool are not a particularly well constructed team, but on their day they can frustrate anyone. Though they’re second from bottom in the league, their goal differential is only -10 (the three teams above them are -17, -18, and -17), and out of the Reds’ thirteen league matches, ten (10!) have ended in 1-0 or 1-1 scorelines. Basically, if they could put the ball into the net from time to time, they’d be respectably mid-table.

There are signs that they could be figuring that bit out. Their last league match was against Arsenal, and it took a 78th-minute goal from Vivianne Miedema to propel the Gunners to a very nervy 3-2 win.

On paper, Chelsea should be heading into the quarterfinals by the full-time whistle, as there are much tougher opponents the Blues could have drawn — but also none more annoying.

Date / Time: Monday, February 17, 2020; 7:00pm GMT; 2:00pm EST; 12:30am IST

Venue: Kingsmeadow

Forecast: Mostly Cloudy, 46°F/8°C

How to watch: I tried to utilize my minimal journalism skills in an effort to make this column maximally useful to you, but I failed. I have no idea if this match will be broadcast on The FA Player. Precedent suggests it will be — they aired our quarterfinal tie with Manchester United — but Storm Dennis pushed this game out from yesterday (Sunday) to today (Monday), and the BarclaysFAWSL account hasn’t been promoting the match at all. So, uh, I guess try to tune-in around kickoff to see if you can watch it? Who doesn’t love surprises?

Chelsea team news: Good news: We are whole again! Ji So-yun and Sam Kerr have returned from international duties.

Though Chelsea won every match in their absence, their presence was still missed. Perhaps not in our 8-0 win over West Ham in the league, but our League Cup semifinal bout against Manchester United was a nervy 1-0 win, and against Birmingham (a team we beat 6-0 earlier in the season) the Blues were held to a scrappy goal just before half-time en route to a solid but not exactly unconcerning 2-0 win.

Liverpool team news: Rinsola Babajide is one of those young, ultra-talented players whose inexperience and rawness sometimes makes her easier to defend than she should be. However, when she gets the chance, she can be as dangerous as nearly anyone on any pitch. Against Arsenal she opened the scoring by absolutely scorching two Arsenal defenders.

None of the Blues’ defenders have the pace to stay with her, let alone catch her. It may be worth dropping our standard high line just a bit to make sure passes in behind have to be hit perfectly.

Previously: A very annoying 1-1 that consisted of 75+ minutes of Chelsea being unable to find a winner.

Sauce Moment of the Week: Erin Cuthbert to Bethany England for our second against Birmingham. Cuthbert provides a delicate lobbed pass, but this is all about England being unstoppable. (Controlling a ball that softly while in a full-on sprint is remarkable, and the mind games with the keeper adds to the sauciness of the entire move.)

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