There should be a rule where if you’re scheduled to play a team twice in one week, and in the first match you beat them 3-1 despite them scoring the first goal and you having to play down a player for seventy minutes, then the second match is unnecessary and the three points are gifted.
Anyway, that’s not how life works. So instead Chelsea will face many of the same faces we faced just four days ago.
The stakes remain the same as well. Three points from every match are crucial to ensure the title. Spurs, while stingy, also lack much of a threat going forward (they didn’t register a single shot in the aforementioned first game).
Of course, no two games of football are the same. There exists many paths to a frustrating result, but so far we’ve excelled at avoiding the final destination offered by those paths. Let’s hope none of the players share my mindset and instead go into the match with the intensity Emma Hayes teams at their peak are known for.
Date / Time: Thursday, April 28, 17.45 BST; 2:45pm EDT; 12:15am IST (next day)
Venue: Kingsmeadow, Kingston Upon Thames, UK
Forecast: Clear; 59°F/15°C
How to watch: Sky Sports Football (UK); NBCsports.com (USA); Star+ (Brazil); Sportsnet Now Plus (Canada); The FA Player (most other int’l markets)
Chelsea team news: Goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger picked up a straight red card last time for a bad challenge outside of the box and will be unavailable for this match. However, there were no additional injuries, and Pernille Harder and Magdalena Eriksson came on at halftime as they seek to return to their best fitness and form.
Bethany England, who had been in stellar form in the league, was the player sacrificed as the result of Berger’s red. For this match, that also means she’s fresh and should be back in the starting XI.
Tottenham team news: In addition to the uppercut to morale of losing in the way they lost, and at home, Spurs will also be without key defender Ashleigh Neville due to yellow card accumulation. Neville is an important vocal leader and stalwart defender that they will surely miss. Everyone else will be available.
Previously: [cackles at the Sun]