There is an international break this weekend for the EPL. With that, it should not come as a surprise anymore, but I will be tuning into the Barclay’s FA Women’s Super League this weekend. While I do try to catch all of Chelsea’s matches, it does not always happen. This Sunday, however, they are playing in the match of the weekend, and I will take the time to watch.
Chelsea v Manchester United
Chelsea had some huge news this week announcing the signing of Sam Kerr, prolific Australian forward who will be available in the second half of the season. That may put some added pressure on Beth England, Fran Kirby, and Ramona Bachmann as they all tend to play through the middle, which is Kerr’s preference. I feel like this team is primed for a run on the title this year. Without the women’s champions league fixtures to contend with, there are minimal distractions. They have good depth across the board to contend with any injury concerns. I still think that Frank Kirby is the key for this team. She can link play, play as a pure second striker that roams, and play as the focal point. With her health getting back and her form rounding back into shape, I’m expecting big things for the rest of the season. Bachmann scores a hat trick during their international break, and Erin Cuthbert scores two for Scotland over the break, giving the attack more confidence. The win over Arsenal was huge, and a statement piece as they bossed most of the game, so confidence should be high throughout the club.
Manchester United is a surprise; currently, they are fourth in the table, due to an excellent run of form for a team that is in their first season of top-flight women’s football. They began the season with matches against Manchester City and Arsenal and lost both since then, they have gone undefeated in all competitions. This recent form includes knocking Manchester City out of the Women’s League cup. Again this is the league cup versus the Super League, but confidence can breed success. They have not given up a goal since the loss to Arsenal, meaning the backline has a good base and has shown consistency. Lauren James and Katie Zelem have been the focal points upfront, while not providing all the goals, creating the majority of the opportunities. Coming in following the 3-0 win over Everton, which had goals from both James and Zelem, should be the ground they look to build on. I think this is just an ask too far. Chelsea should be a measuring stick for their growth, not expecting to win. Come into the match as a fan with the openness that this Chelsea side might be something special this season and see where you compare. The talent is coming into United, and they should be looking forward to this season.
I believe this game will break down to be close for the opening 15/20 minutes before Chelsea will assert their dominance. Their talent and strength in the midfield and forward lines are just too much for almost anyone in Europe, let alone England. I think this is going to be entertaining, though, so I will be up to watch. You may ask how, but that is simple; the FA Player App is a free app that once you register for a free account will allow you to stream any women’s game. And for another time, I am not sponsored to remind people about it, though if they somehow read this and want to sponsor a weekly breakdown post, I will not say no……..(someone wants to make that happen?????). Final Score: Chelsea 3 United 0.