After beating Arsenal in an FA Cup match (this time a semifinal to book a spot in the final versus Manchester City), the Blues’ next task is trying to maintain our one point advantage over the Gunners at the top of the WSL table. The run-in to do so will not be easy, and this will be the first of two matches in four days against Spurs.
That’s right, due to COVID-19 related postponements, both league fixtures against Spurs will not happen in the same week. With the title on the line. Whomst wrote this script, I just wanna talk.
While this is a must-win match for Chelsea, it’s less so for Spurs who are ten points away from the final Champions League spot. They have two games in hand over Manchester United, but Manchester City are three points behind with one game in hand. It’s unlikely both Manchester clubs slip up enough in the final handful of matches to give Spurs a real shot at playing in Europe next season. Of course, annoying the hell out of Chelsea and having a say in the title race is probably motivation enough. However, let’s hope they can’t do anything about that until May 4, when they face Arsenal.
Date / Time: Sunday, April 24, 14.30 BST; 9:30am EDT; 7:00pm IST
Venue: The Hive Stadium, London, UK
Forecast: Clear; 63°F/17°C
How to watch: BBC One (UK); NBCsports.com (USA); The FA Player (most other int’l markets)
Tottenham Hotspur team news: By the time the match kicks off, Spurs will have gone twenty-one days without a competitive match. Any non-long term injuries are sure to be healed, so the only question is the age old ‘rust vs. rest’ conundrum.
Spurs manager Rehanne Skinner, who recently signed a contract extension, is a solid tactician who will no doubt have plenty of tweaks specifically for Chelsea. Starting with intensity early will be key to avoid being dragged into whatever traps are waiting.
Chelsea team news: The good news is that there are no surprises. Everyone is available in some capacity besides Fran Kirby, who is battling fatigue and working with team doctors. But everybody being back means that Magdalena Eriksson and Pernille Harder are fit and presumably in contention for the starting XI.
Harder entered the FA Cup win over Arsenal as a sub while Eriksson was unused on the bench. After a week of training with no change in the status of their availability, it would be a massive boost to see them both back in the starting lineup.
Previously: You have to go back to last season for our last meeting with the North Londoners, where a Sam Kerr brace gave us a 2-0 win.