Bristol City Women vs Chelsea Ladies Continental Tyres Cup Preview
Attention is diverted away from the league this week for Chelsea Ladies as they focus on cup competitions. After already beginning their Continental Tyres Cup campaign in midweek, they play their second group game this weekend away at Bristol City Ladies.
Chelsea dispatched of lower league opposition on Wednesday in the form of Brighton and Hove Albion Women, beating them comfortably 3-0 with goals from Fran Kirby, Crystal Dunn and Ji So-Yun. That result left them 2nd out of 5 teams in their group. Tottenham Hotspur Ladies currently hold the top spot having won their opening two group games. Chelsea will look to join them in 1st place by beating Bristol after already beating them in the first game of their WSL 1 season 6-0, albeit that was at home in Kingsmeadow.
That opening game at home to Bristol has turned out to be the start of a remarkable run for the Blues as so far, they are yet to concede in domestic competition while also scoring goals at a canter. This game will be a lot tougher than that 6-0 victory, firstly because they will be away from home at Bristol’s Stoke Gifford Stadium. Secondly, because Bristol City will now know what to expect from this rampant Chelsea team and make better provisions to deal with the threats.
Since that defeat away at Chelsea, Bristol’s form has been indifferent. They find themselves in 8th place in WSL 1 having won one, drawn one and lost one, their most recent loss being a 5-0 defeat to Reading Women. They have also already lost their first Continental Cup group game as they lost 2-0 away at Tottenham. Willie Kirk will need to get his charges back in to shape in a tough fixture if they are to get out of their current form and avoid going 4 games without a win.
Chelsea go into this game with the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie against Rosengard in the back of their minds. Emma Hayes may field a largely rotated side this weekend to keep the squad fresh, but unfortunately for Bristol, Chelsea’s strength in depth will mean they won’t get an easier ride.
Chelsea Player to Watch: Eniola Aluko
Bristol City Player to Watch: Lauren Hemp