Chelsea Ladies will be looking to go top at least temporarily this afternoon as they take on Birmingham City Ladies away from home. With City not in action until Sunday afternoon, the Blues can put a bit of pressure on the Citizens by winning their game first and spending the night as WSL 1 leaders.
The Chelsea Ladies will be on a high after their resounding victory in the Women’s FA Cup last weekend where they beat the London Bees 10-0, with five different scorers including Erin Cuthbert grabbing a hat trick. The cup victory made for a change from their results so far this year with all of their victories being hard fought narrow wins. The quick interplay and clever movement last weekend was a lot more reminiscent of their form before Christmas and that could prove ominous for Birmingham.
Birmingham however will be feeling buoyant themselves after winning three games on the spin. They won two games at home in the league, firstly beating Bristol City Women 2-0 and then beating Yeovil Town Ladies 3-0. Before winning away from home in the FA Cup last week with a 1-0 victory over Reading Women. Those two wins in the league propelled City up to 5th place with a record of three wins, four losses and a draw in their eight league games so far.
Emma Hayes was able to rotate the majority of the squad last weekend and so has a fresh and energised squad to choose from. Hayes has the ability to keep her opposite number guessing whether she will revert the team to the back four she has been using recently or stick with the usually successful three. Erin Cuthbert’s hat trick means she will be pushing for a starting place up front with Fran Kirby while Ji So-Yun has started the last couple of games and will possibly be rested and come on from the bench.
Chelsea have a fantastic record against Birmingham and are unbeaten in the last five games they’ve played against them. This includes winning the last two times away from home in Solihull Moors; a 2-0 win in 2017 and then a 4-0 win the year before.
Birmingham City Player to Watch: Aoife Mannion
Chelsea Player to Watch: Erin Cuthbert