London giants, Chelsea and Arsenal, will battle it out in the final derby of what promises to be a mouth-watering Women’s Football Weekend.
Chelsea will be heading to Borehamwood fresh off a 4-0victory over Everton; Arsenal on the other hand, coming in from a 1-0 defeat in their last match against Manchester United.
Chelsea have a favourable record over the Gunners, winning 4-0 and 4-1 in their last two meetings, however Arsenal have had a strong start to the season with a number of high score lines in consecutive games. Chelsea remain undefeated in the Women’s Super League so far, and with an exquisite strength in depth, a once again, injury-ridden Arsenal, will have a job on their hands to break this spell.
Arsenal currently sit second in the table with 15 points, two points behind a somewhat unexpected top-dog positioned Manchester United. Chelsea are not far behind in third place with 13 points with the added advantage of a game in hand, meaning this could potentially be a crucial fixture in the race to win the title.
Players to keep an eye on…
Vivianne Miedema is a force to be reckoned with when she finds a rhythm. Potentially Arsenal’s most dangerous player, Miedema will punish any defensive mistakes. Chelsea’s centre-backs Madga Eriksson and Millie Bright will have to limit any space Miedema may find and close her down as soon as possible in a bid for containment; the Dutch forward is a formidable number nine.
The English international is Arsenal’s defensive anchor. While the Gunner’s have suffered a number of early injuries, Williamson has remained their steadfast constant at the back. She is able to lead with her trademark long switches of play but is also able to surge forward when the time is right. Williamson is a very well-rounded player who may well cause Chelsea’s forward line problems.
Chelsea boast an exceptional midfield, yet it becomes all the more dangerous when Ji So-Yun is in the mix. Ji radiates a criminally clever creativity and an attacking flair that sees her often link up with the forward line. Arsenal will have to keep close to Ji as she will be a key player in creating chances for Chelsea.
Swedish left back, Andersson, is one of Chelsea’s secret weapons. She is able to push forward and create problems along the wing, all the while remaining defensively sound. Andersson often prevails in the battles down the left, and this will be something Arsenal will need to consider heading into the game.
It is likely that Chelsea’s number one goalkeeper will be between the posts for the derby, and it is fair to say that Berger is one of the most highly thought of keepers in the league. She is ever-cool, calm and collected and rarely phased by the occasion. Berger is known for making saves that can seem almost impossible at times, meaning she will be, as she is always, a tough nut to crack.
How to watch
The match will be shown live on BT Sport for viewers in the UK, and on the FA Player everywhere else. Kick-off is at 2:30pm GMT.
One is hopeful for a match full of firepower and grit from both sides. Chelsea will have the upper hand going in due to Arsenals extensive injury list, however, the Gunner’s remaining squad is certainly not to be sniffed at.
But, in an honest prediction, one estimates that come 4:30pm, London will be blue.