Two of the top four in the Women’s Super League face off today in the quarterfinal of the WSL Cup. Liverpool sit fourth with nine points from their first five matches. (Defending spring series champions) Chelsea meanwhile are chasing Manchester City for the top spot and currently trail by a couple points.
Chelsea have beaten Liverpool six consecutive times, including the 1-0 earlier this season already, but in a cup competition, especially a single-elimination one, anything can happen.
Date / Time: Sunday, December 17, 14:00 GMT; 9:00 am EST; 7:30 pm IST
Venue: Kingsmeadow, Kingston-upon-Thames, England
Forecast: Near freezing temperatures and mostly clear
On TV/Streaming online: Despite the big clubs involved with the match-up, no broadcasters have as yet shifted their coverage to this one, which means following along live has to happen in person or on Twitter.
Chelsea Ladies team news: There’s been no official word on Eni Aluko’s availability, and Jade Bailey and Deanna Cooper are presumably nearing a return to some light practice by this point. With last weekend’s match against City postponed and no midweek action, the whole squad will be fresh and available for selection. For me, the only questions around squad selection involve the front three, whether Ji, Spence, or Aluko will break into what seems to be Hayes’ first choice for the big games.
“The team are in really good shape, we were all disappointed last weekend’s game was called off but this is a chance to finish the year on a high and reach a semi-final. It is difficult for other teams as they don’t know who will play on any given day and all they see are the goalscorers we have and they must be thinking: “How are we going to stop that?”
-Club Captain Katie Chapman, source: Chelsea FC
Predicted Line-up: Lindahl | Bright - Flaherty - Eriksson | Thorisdottir - Mjelde - Chapman - Dunn | Bachmann - Kirby - Carney
Liverpool Ladies team news: Liverpool just barely escaped their group, having secured progression despite falling in a 1-0 defeat to group winners Sunderland on the final match day. As with the last time these two teams met, the Reds have no key contributors missing due to injury or suspension. Their top scorer Natasha Harding has five goals in seven matches so far this season and will be one to watch.
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has spotted this draw up as a difficult one ahead of the match.
“It’s a tough draw for us but we’re delighted to be at home and playing in front of our wonderful supporters at Kingsmeadow. We won all four of our group matches, but that counts for nothing if we don’t get the job done against Liverpool. We’ve never really shown what we’re capable of in this competition, but we’ve got a squad which is strong enough to compete for every single trophy and we want to get our hands on the lot this year.”
-Emma Hayes, source: Chelsea FC
Previously: The teams met in the league back on October 7th, at which point a heavily rotated Chelsea side (following a midweek UCL match against Bayern) defeated Liverpool at home by the narrow margin of 1-0 despite dominating large portions of the match.