WSL Preview: Man City vs Chelsea in Title Showdown
Manchester City take on Chelsea this week in a highly-anticipated top-of-the-table clash in the Women’s Super League. Chelsea currently sit top of the league on 50 points, with City hot on their heels in second on 48 points. With just 3 games left to play, this match will be vital in determining who claims the 2020/21 WSL title.
Manchester City will be disappointed by their recent exit from the Women’s Champions League at the hands of Barcelona, but will be buoyed by the idea of Chelsea having to concentrate on European fixtures as well as a gruelling title race. Emma Hayes’ side face Bayern Munich in the first leg of their semi-final tie just four days after this crucial WSL match against their title rivals.
So will City secure the win they need to leapfrog Chelsea at the top of the table? Or will Chelsea take a major step towards retaining their title? We preview the upcoming WSL fixture of Man City vs Chelsea.
When: Wednesday 21st April, 6pm Kick Off.
Where: The Academy Stadium, Manchester.
TV Channel: BT Sport 1
Watch them live on BT Sport later this month! ⬇️
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 8, 2021
Manchester City began the WSL season in sporadic form, but have since corrected their course and sailed to an impressive 12 consecutive wins in the competition, including a 3-0 win last time out against Tottenham. Gareth Taylor’s side will be brimming with confidence coming into this game off the back of an 8-0 win against Aston Villa in the FA cup at the weekend.
However, a recent defeat in the Champions League exposed their flaws, with a poor defensive display in the first-leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Barcelona culminating in a 3-0 loss which proved too difficult to overturn despite a much-improved second-leg showing. City will need to be back to their best defensively to keep out a free-scoring Chelsea side.
Chelsea are in similarly good form, winning their last six WSL games without conceding a goal since their shock loss to Brighton in February. They have conceded just 8 goals in 19 league games this season, scoring 60, and look in formidable shape. Their last WSL match was an impressive 6-0 victory over Birmingham.
Chelsea have also enjoyed recent success in cup competitions. They beat Bristol 6-0 in the League Cup final courtesy of a Sam Kerr hattrick in March, securing their first major piece of silverware this season. The Blues also progressed into the semi-finals of the Champions League by beating last year’s European finalists Wolfsburg in both legs of what looked on paper to be a tricky quarter-final tie. Along with their FA Cup win at the weekend against London City Lionesses, this means they are still in with a chance of an historic quadruple this season.
— Barclays FA Women's Super League (@BarclaysFAWSL) April 5, 2021
Manchester City will be without the presence of inspirational captain Steph Houghton for this fixture as she recovers from an achilles injury. In her absence, Lucy Bronze’s experience will be crucial in organising the City defence. Young goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck, whose performance against Barcelona in the Champions League was widely praised, will likely have an important role to play as well against a potent Chelsea attack.
Up front, Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly have proved key players for Manchester City this season. The young wingers have been two of the standout performers in the WSL. Kelly has chipped in with a league-high 11 assists, as well as an impressive 7 goals. Hemp is also having a superb campaign, and at just 20 years of age is looking to win her third PFA Young Player of the Year award. City will need these two stars to come out firing to break through a stubborn Chelsea defence.
Chelsea’s in-form attacking duo of Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby are nearly impossible to contain. The two forwards have formed an effective partnership in recent weeks and have plundered an impressive 31 league goals between them this season. Add two-time UEFA Player of the Year Pernille Harder into the mix and Man City will have to be at their defensive best to keep Chelsea out.
Emma Hayes’ side also have a stellar defensive record, with the centre back partnership of Millie Bright and captain Magdalena Eriksson proving as solid as ever. Although regular full-back Maren Mjelde was ruled out for the season after sustaining an injury in March’s League Cup Final, her replacement Niamh Charles has acquitted herself well thus far. This Chelsea defence will be a tough one for City to break through.
Potential line ups
City: Roebuck; Bronze, Dahlkemper, Greenwood, Morgan; Weir, Walsh, Mewis; Hemp, White, Kelly.
Chelsea: Berger; Charles, Bright, Eriksson, Andersson; Leupolz, Ingle; Kirby, Harder, Cuthbert; Kerr.
9 – Following Fran Kirby’s two assists for Sam Kerr’s two goals against Aston Villa at the weekend, the @ChelseaFCW duo have now combined for nine top-flight goals this season, a new record for goal combinations between two players in a single @BarclaysFAWSL campaign. Kerrby. pic.twitter.com/qRW77wWP0J
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 30, 2021
We hope you enjoyed the article ‘WSL Preview: Man City vs Chelsea in Title Showdown’. Who do you think will win the WSL title? Let us know!
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