League leaders Manchester City and Chelsea will fight it out at the Academy Stadium in what could potentially be a title-deciding match. On paper, there is little to separate the two sides as they sit in first and second place with just two points between them. Chelsea lead with 50 points, boasting dominance with just one loss and two draws. Similarly, Manchester City asserts an impressive record with only a single loss and three draws. It’s Manchester City vs Chelsea in a clash for the Women’s Super League (WSL) title.
Manchester City vs Chelsea: This Season
If this season’s previous meetings are anything to go by, the scales may just slightly tip in favour of the London Blues. When the two sides met for their first tie in October, Chelsea beat the Citizens 3-1. Later on, in their Conti Cup Quarter-Final, Chelsea won by four goals to two and subsequently went on to lift the trophy. Nevertheless, Chelsea are yet to seize a win over Manchester City in a league match at the Academy Stadium. With this fixture holding such importance, City will certainly be looking to keep it that way.
After a rocky start to the season City have ironed out their kinks and in recent weeks, despite injuries, they have been in impeccable form. Coming in to a home game after a mammoth eight-nil FA Cup tie victory over Aston Villa should spur them in being confident and capable, yet conscientious throughout.
Chelsea, as expected, have gone from strength to strength as the season has progressed and are set on track to seriously contest for the quadruple this year. Should Chelsea clinch the win over City, it is almost a dead certainty that they will be crowned the Women’s Super League Champions for the second year running.
All in all, this is a battle that will be fought until the bitter end. A top of the table clash you do not want to miss.
Manchester City vs Chelsea: Predicted Lineups
Most signs point to Emma Hayes continuing with her tried and tested 4-3-3 formation that has served Chelsea well all season. However, the Blues have dabbled with a 4-4-2 diamond in recent months, especially in big games.
Maren Mjelde’s injury means she misses out, but captain Magda Eriksson is fit. Niamh Charles has impressed at full-back and she will start. We’re also predicting Erin Cuthbert to get the nod over Ji So-Yun, due to the Scot’s energy and dynamism.
In attack, Chelsea boast Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby who have a formidable record this season, and an even better partnership.
Keep an eye on…
Chelsea’s forward duo of Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby have formed a partnership that, at times, has appeared almost impossible to breach. Kerr’s positional intelligence paired with Kirby’s raw creative insight have merged to create one of the league’s most formidable goal-scoring machines. The irrepressible duo have combined for 31 goals this season as their Chelsea side stand on the cusp of a first ever UWCL final and a second WSL title in a row. City’s backline will have to have their wits about them to keep the ever vehement ‘Kerrby’ at bay.
On the other side, City’s wingers Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly have equally made things rather difficult for oppositions. Hemp possesses a wicked pace that turns the ground before her to dust and Kelly’s cross field ingenuity means she continues to be one of City’s most dangerous attacking outlets. Chelsea’s fullbacks will certainly have their work cut out in taming the two youngsters.
How to Watch
- BT Sport in the UK
- NBCSportsSoccer in the US
- OptusSport in Australia
- SPORTATSABC &TelkomONE in South Africa
- SparkNZ on New Zealand
- Charlton in Israel
- Viaplay Iceland, Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania, Austria
- V Sport Premium in Sweden as well as the above option
- V Sport + in Norway
- TV3 Sport in Denmark
- Dazngroup (atafootball.com) in Italy and Germany
- SN Now in Canada
- Central America: Canal 521
- Rest of the World: The FA Player
Written by Charlotte Stacey (@CharlotteS1206)
Edited by Rob Pratley and Dan Hill
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