Due to These Unprecedented Times™, Chelsea had to begin our defense of the 2020-21 FA Cup barely a month after winning it. So far so good, thanks to a 3-1 win over Aston Villa in January and a 7-0 drubbing of Leicester City in late February.
However, now it’s the quarterfinals, and the big clubs are all looking to advance. Arsenal defeated Coventry City this weekend to book their spot, West Ham face Ipswich Town, Manchester City tussle with Everton, and Chelsea square off with bottom-of-the-table Birmingham City.
With only four points in the league, Birmingham are almost certainly going to go down, but teams in such positions can be motivated to leave a mark before making their exit.
Date / Time: Sunday, March 20, 2022, 14.00 GMT; 10am EDT; 7:30pm IST
Venue: Kingsmeadow, Kingston Upon Thames, UK
Forecast: Partly Cloudy; 48°F/9°C
How to watch: The FA Player
Birmingham City team news: No one would call Birmingham City at any point this season particularly “good”, but they have been able to bother teams since switching to a back three in late December, including a 2-0 shock win over Arsenal in the league.
More recently they made West Ham earn a tough 1-0 victory, and nearly stunned Arsenal again by scoring two quick late goals to cut the deficit to 3-2 before a stoppage time goal made things appear slightly more comfortable for the Gunners.
Chelsea team news: The best news is that Magdalena Eriksson and Maren Mjelde returned from injury spells to make substitute appearances in the midweek 3-0 win over Everton. We appear to be inching closer to full health in fact, with Pernille Harder, Erin Cuthbert and Jessie Fleming in the XI. However, Fran Kirby has been missing still from the squad.
With a big midweek match versus Tottenham coming up, a decent amount of rotation from Hayes is likely. We’re all still waiting for Lauren James’ first goal, so let’s all prayer circle for a start and a star performance.
Previously: 5-0 courtesy of a Sam Kerr hat-trick and a Fran Kirby brace.