If Chelsea are going to three-peat as WSL champions, we’re going to have to do it the hard way. Of our six remaining league matches, three are against teams in the top 5: two against Tottenham, including tonight’s, plus Manchester United on the final matchday.
Manager Rehanne Skinner has done a great job of improving Spurs tactically, making them an extremely annoying team to play against. In fact, we may remember that our last match against them late last season was an uncomfortable 2-0 win. The first half hour saw the North Londoners frustrate with a high press that had our entire team flustered. Sam Kerr came to the rescue with a brace eventually, while Spurs weren’t able to get any of their four shots on target past Ann-Katrin Berger. Expect a similar performance to be necessary to collect all three points.
The added bonus of doing so would be leaping one point ahead of Arsenal at the top of the table, with the same number of matches played. The Gunners also face Spurs, later this week in another North London Derby, but let’s heap a bit more pressure on that matchup, shall we?
Date / Time: Wednesday, March 23, 19.45 GMT; 3:45pm EDT; 1:15am IST (next day)
Venue: Kingsmeadow, Kingston Upon Thames, UK
Forecast: Clear; 50°F/11°C
How to watch: The FA Player
Tottenham team news: Winger/midfielder Kyah Simon went off injured in their last match with a finger injury, but as that was ten days ago ago, it’s likely she’ll be available.
That relatively length break will have also allowed Spurs to get in extra training sessions and focus on crafting a gameplan to foil Chelsea’s title aspirations, which their manager pointed as well.
Chelsea team news: Thankfully, the squad’s fitness has been improving, with Captain Magdalena Eriksson, Maren Mjelde, and Lauren James all seeing increased minutes in recent games. Same with Erin Cuthbert and Jessie Fleming, two crucial options if we are to stitch together a complete midfield.
Fran Kirby, however, will still be out, with Emma Hayes giving her a physical as well as mental break.
“[Fran] won’t be available this week. She’s been tired so we’re giving her some time at the minute, nothing more than that. We’ve had an Olympics, two weeks’ holiday, then back in. It’s taken its toll on some of the players — I don’t think it’s just Fran.”
“I’ve taken her out of the spotlight a little bit and given her some time to recover because it’s important she regains her freshness, and at the moment she’s not available for selection.”
-Emma Hayes; source: ChelseaFC
Previously: Our previously scheduled meeting with Spurs was postponed due to COVID-19 cases, so we have to go back to the end of last season for a head-to-head. A Sam Kerr brace plus a Berger clean sheet made it look rather routine, when, truthfully, it wasn’t really!