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Manchester City WFC vs. Chelsea FCW, WSL: Preview, team news, how to watch

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Manchester City v Chelsea - The Vitality Women’s FA Cup Semi Final Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus

Before we get into team news I want you to listen to this episode of “Wrighty’s House”, a podcast hosted by Ringer FC, because Emma Hayes was a guest for a live recording they had in London, and provides the rawest look into her personality, her footballing philosophies, and why she doesn’t like her players to get comfortable. Also, like a true Blue, she clowns Arsenal and Spurs at every opportunity.

Hayes also spoke about the upcoming match against Manchester City and the tactical battle she’s anticipating, and how she thinks we’ll cope with it.

“You’ve got a traditional 433 playing against a 343, so it’ll be an epic battle of how their wide players are going to pin our wingbacks and vice versa, how we’re going to exploit certain spaces when they invert players — and how we’re gonna kill ‘em on the transition. But we’ll see how it plays out.”

-Emma Hayes; source: Wrighty’s House

Hayes sort of half-joked about it not playing out this way and her losing her job, but we all know the likeliest of the two scenarios.

Date / Time: Sunday, November 14, 2021, 15.00 GMT; 10:00am EST; 8:30pm IST
Venue: Academy Stadium, Manchester, UK
Forecast: Cloudy; 49°F/9°C
How to watch: NBC Sports Live (US), Sky Sports Premier League (UK), Sportsnet (Canada), ESPN Brasil (Brazil)

Chelsea team news: I’m done with attempting to predict Pernille Harder’s status, and so is Emma Hayes it seems!

“Pernille has a little quad muscle injury and it’s just not settling down, I think her and Aniek [Nouwen] will both be absent.

“Pernille might be available for Sunday but I have been saying she is nearly there and I am going to say the opposite this week and that she won’t be available and maybe she will be. The muscle is not badly damaged and there is a little bit of swelling, but it is taking time to settle down.”

-Emma Hayes; source: Chelsea FC

To be fair, injuries like these are hard to predict, and having a player play through it could lead to more extensive damage. It’s a rough one for Harder, and I’m sure she’s frustrated as well. She was becoming the focal point of the attack and showing that the team can rely on her to get the goals when we need them.

So, expect Jessie Fleming to once again get the start on the left side of the attack, just like midweek. But, as in her recent starts, don’t expect her to stay bolted to that position. Fleming will drift around and also take up positions to allow Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr to flare into wide spaces and with a wingback in support (and Fleming then arriving to overload).

Nouwen being out is also frustrating because the back three looked solid with her in the center. Expect Hayes to go with Jess Carter once again, as Maren Mjelde probably isn’t yet ready to start, having just made her return to the pitch as a 66th minute sub against Servette on Tuesday.

Manchester City team news: City manager Gareth Taylor had good news and bad news for his supporters. The good news is that they have no new injury concerns, the bad news is that striker Bunny Shaw is thus still set to miss out.

Taylor and City aren’t looking at this match as payback from their (2020-21) FA Cup exit at the hands of Chelsea just the other day, but as a salve to a much larger concern: their league position. City currently sit 7th, with just seven points and a -1 goal differential (courtesy of a 5-0 drubbing by Arsenal).

Three points would lift them to double digits and to only five behind Chelsea’s fifteen. Sometimes three points are more than three points, and Chelsea will have to be prepared to resist a team desperate to reframe their season.

Previously: You have to go alllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the way back to two weeks ago, when Chelsea topped City 3-0 to book a place in the (2020-21) FA Cup Final.