Tonight’s quarter final – Manchester City Women vs Chelsea Women could easily be the Continental Cup Final as Emma Hayes’s team travel to Manchester this Wednesday to take on the Sky Blues at Academy Stadium.
The Blues form is unbelievable at the moment and they are coming from a very important and massive victory over the Red side of Manchester, having beat United 2-1 in the league just a couple of days ago.
The opponent in tonight’s game had a rather easy win vs Aston Villa in the weekend. The Sky Blues won 7-0 with Lauren Hemp, who is back from an injury, starting the goalscoring party after only a couple of minutes. Hemp’s name turned up on the scoresheet later on when she netted again in the 38th minute.
The Dubaigate debacle did not seem to affect City’s performance, although there were several key players missing in their squad. First goalkeeper choice Ellie Roebuck, Keira Walsh, Caroline Weir, Gemma Bonner and Demi Stokes all missed out. Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle are also missing for the rest of January due to the US training camp. Star fullback Lucy Bronze did play, however, in an unfamiliar left-back role.
Chelsea – The Continental Cup Journey So Far
The Blues have been on an amazing journey the first half of the 2020/2021 season, with the only bump on the road happening against Everton back in September when they lost 2-1 at Goodison Park in the FA Cup quarter-final. Two things from that game stand out; even though they weren’t the main reasons for Chelsea ending up as losers. Firstly, captain Magdalena Eriksson wasn’t in the squad that day. Secondly, Pernille Harder started her first game for Chelsea that day and played as a striker on top with Sam Kerr. Harder has not started in that position since, although when she has been coming on as a sub, she has done some minutes in that position since.
In the first stage of the Continental Cup, the group stage, Chelsea have two wins, one vs Arsenal with 4-1 where Chelsea crushed the Gunners with high pressure and a great speed. The other one vs Tottenham A second-half creamer from Erin Cuthbert and a late Melanie Leupolz penalty sent the Blues top of Group B. The third game vs London City Lionesses was never played because of Covid-19.
Manchester City – The Continental Cup Journey So Far
City played in Group C and after winning vs Liverpool 3-0, vs Everton 3-1 although losing to local rivalries Manchester United after penalties (0-0 at full time) they still ended up as winners in their group and made it through to the cup’s play off.
City’s form have been questionable in the beginning of the season and they are currently 4th in the Women’s Super League table. With the players missing from the squad along with head coach Gareth Taylor on Sunday when they played Villa, they could carry some weaknesses into this clash against Chelsea.
Manchester City Women vs Chelsea Women – Predicted lineups:
Although this is “just” a cup game, Emma Hayes has made no effort in trying to hide the fact that Chelsea go for this title, we probably can expect Hayes to put the players out for this game, that she thinks can win it. Chelsea have Bristol City at home on Sunday in the league so we probably can expect a lot of rotation in that game.
Carly Telford (GK); Maren Mjelde, Millie Bright, Magdalena Eriksson, Jonna Andersson; Niamh Charles, Sophie Ingle, Guro Reiten; Fran Kirby, Pernille Harder; Bethany England
Karen Bardsley (GK); Lucy Bronze, Stephanie Houghton, Esme Morgan, Alex Greenwood; Chloe Kelly, Georgia Stanway, Jill Scott, Laura Coombs; Ellen White, Lauren Hemp
Chelsea – Ones to Watch
Look out for deadly duo in link ups with Fran Kirby and Pernille Harder, who both scored in Sunday’s game vs United. They will hopefully serve Bethany England up front with delicious through balls in and behind the City defence to threaten the Sky Blue goalkeeper and keep her on her toes from the start to the final whistle.
Manchester City – Ones to Watch
Manchester City’s Chloe Kelly has shown good form all season and will certainly test Jonna Andersson defending abilities all night long on Andersson’s side of the pitch. Georgia Stanway is another player in City that is always dangerous in and outside the box. In the round of 32 in the UWCL, Stanway played a huge part in City’s play when they won vs Swedish side Göteborgs FC.
How can you watch Manchester City Women vs Chelsea Women?
This game will be shown live on the FA Player and on Man City + TV. Kick off time: 17:30 GMT, 18:30 CET
Written by Mia Eriksson (@mia_eriksson)
Edited by Rob Pratley