Chelsea Ladies make the short trip to The Hive in Edgware to take on London Bees in the fourth round of the Women’s FA Cup. With the WSL teams now entering the tournament at this stage, the opportunity for giant killings comes in to play. Chelsea will hope not to slip up against lower league opposition.
The Bees are currently 7th in WSL 2, but only one point above the team in bottom position (10th place) in the league. In fact, London Bees had failed to win a game all season until the beginning of December. That win came in the form of a penalty shootout victory over Watford Ladies in the group stage of the Continental Cup. That luck of the draw victory has given them a new wave of confidence as since then they have played three more games, winning two of them and drawing the other. Last time out, they beat Watford this time in the league 3-1 in a match they comfortably dominated.
Emma Hayes will be forced to rotate her squad after a quick turnaround of fixtures. They played in a gruelling top of the table clash with Manchester City Women on Thursday and so will only be able to get a couple of days of training in preparation for this fixture. The strength in depth of Chelsea’s squad will be tested after such a tiring match but the Blues will be expected to still come out on top with the level of quality they still do have in reserve.
The London Bees will be aiming to cause a cup upset and Chelsea will have to resist any complacency setting in. The Bees will be aiming to tap in to the spirit of last year’s FA WSL Cup in which the WSL 2 side upset all the odds in getting to the semi-final, the first WSL 2 team to ever do that. On the way to the semi final, they actually did beat Chelsea. It was 3-3 after extra time and London Bees managed to come out on top in the penalty shootout that followed.
London Bees Player to Watch: Katie Wilkinson
Chelsea Player to Watch: Eniola Aluko