Date/Time: Sunday, October 29 at 2 PM London time (10 AM EST)
Venue: Kingsmeadow Stadium, Kingston-upon-Thames
Forecast: Partly cloudy, 54°F/12°C at kickoff, 82% humidity, wind speeds up to 5 m/s S
On TV/Streaming: No word on broadcasting through any major outlet (ChelseaTV will be airing a re-run of the Qarabag match at kickoff time...), but the BBC Sport website will have a live feed covering the game, so we can keep our fingers crossed that there may be a video component available to UK viewers. Would not hold my breath, given the weak opposition this weekend.
Notable Team News: Having by and large taken care of business during their international break, the Ladies will be returning the full squad of players to action unscathed, although they are still missing Jade Bailey and Deanna Cooper. Yeovil Town appear to have their regular side available as well, but it’s hard to tell, as most of their coverage revolves around the club’s current campaign to raise the funds necessary to meet the FA’s new criteria.
Expected Lineup and Prediction: This is an opponent that Chelsea beat handily during the Spring Series, despite them being WSL 2 champions. They currently sit bottom of the table with three losses from three and a -6 goal differential. But upsets do happen in sports, which is why we watch.
Chelsea also have six games over the next two and a half weeks including two legs of a difficult Champions League Round of 16 tie against Rosengård, so it’s possible Emma Hayes doesn’t field the strongest side today in anticipation of tougher opponents ahead. However, given that the squad is reasonably well-rested and there’s really no such thing as a weak lineup from this roster, I imagine we’ll see a creative and free-flowing XI to keep the momentum from the Blues’ excellent start rolling. Claire Rafferty had herself an excellent strike in training and hasn’t featured thus far this season, so I would like to see her out there. It’s always fun to see Ji So-Yun on the ball, so I’m hoping she gets a start as well. Millie Bright might retain her place in the side, but I think the more adventurous pairing of Hannah Blundell and Maria Thorisdottir will comprise the right side of Chelsea’s defense for this one.
Predicted Scoreline: 7-0
COME ON, YOU BLUES!