Some say that Chelsea’s opener vs Manchester United was a disappointment in that way that the Blues were huge favourites to win easy. I can’t entirely agree. Not that it wasn’t a disappointment, because it was.
The Women’s Super League has been highlighted as the world’s best league for women the past few weeks because of the recruitments that have been made. We’ve seen some massive signings in this window. Pernille Harder to Chelsea. Tobin Heath and Christen Press to Manchester United. Rose LaVelle and Samantha Mewis to Manchester City accompanied by Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood. Rachel Daly to West Ham and last but not least Alex Morgan to Tottenham.
With that being said; it can’t be a huge surprise that the red side of Manchester manages to keep our women under control and to get a draw. The gap to the team that came in fourth after their first season in the WSL wasn’t supposed to be that big; we knew that.
The disappointment should not be about the fact the Manchester United scored; the frustration should be about that the Blues didn’t score on the opportunities they had to do so.
Enough said about the opening weekend—new game for the Blues and new opportunities to get the goalscoring underway. The last time Chelsea hosted tomorrow’s opponent Bristol City at Kingsmeadow the result was written 6-1 in favour of the Blues. Let’s hope for a similar show for Sunday’s game.
To predict a starting formation and to pretend to know what Emma Hayes is thinking right now is more challenging and more rigid than ever. It’s almost impossible, some might say. She says that it’s a delicate problem to have and it could be if the players in every starting formation that are chosen to play, deliver every time. It’s still early to be critical but let’s be honest; chances to score have been wasted, and we can’t afford that.
There was some criticism toward the Blues’ defence against Manchester United. Fair enough. But to be honest, Chelsea’s defence is good. It’s stable, experienced, and they have things under control. That leaves no doubt that the same back-line will start when Bristol City comes to Kingsmeadow. Maren Mjelde, Millie Bright, Magdalena Eriksson and Jonna Andersson shall begin at the back. Goalkeeper? Ann-Katrin Berger. As long as she is in shape to play, she is the keeper Hayes’ will invest in as the first choice this season.
Midfielders? I’m sure Hayes wants to see many balls hit the back of the net at Kingsmeadow tomorrow. Why don’t you go for a 4-3-1-2 formation? Put Guro Reiten on the left-hand side, Sophie Ingle in the middle with Ji So-Yun on the right-hand side as central midfielders. Sure, this leaves newly added Melanie Leupolz on the bench, but she could also be the choice, leaving Ingle benched. Pernille Harder as a trequartista behind Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr as top strikers. For Kerr, it might as well be Bethany England but okay, let’s give Kerr another opportunity as it seems like England is still recovering and getting fit after her appendix surgery. She’ll be the perfect substitute for Kerr later on in this game.
This is a game that Chelsea must win. Preferably with a lot of goals and a lot of different goal scorers. The answer we will have tomorrow evening. Let’s go Blues!