Hayes expects it tight against the Foxes; Arsenal WSL fixture date confirmed

From the official Chelsea FC website:

The WSL returns this weekend after an international break with Chelsea heading to Leicester for a Sunday game. Emma Hayes has shared injury news ahead of a fixture she does not expect to be as straightforward as in the past two seasons.

It could hardly be tighter at the top of the table with the Blues leading Manchester City on goals scored alone. We lost to City 1-0 at home in the match preceding the internationals but we reacted to each of our last three league defeats with a win, and that recent rare set-back has certainly not been troubling Hayes.

‘Everybody gets beaten,’ she said in her pre-match media conference on Friday afternoon.

‘I accept those things and it’s always about the learnings you take from them. It was a game where there wasn’t much in it. Whatever it took for us to win [the league] last year, it certainly has to be more than that this year. That’s clear to me. But I am not one to stew over anything to be honest.’

The Chelsea manager confirmed she is without Lauren James this weekend due to suspension, while Maren Mjelde is doubt having come off at half-time for Norway, as is Fran Kirby. They have not been ruled out of appearing at the King Power Stadium but definitely missing for a prolonged time is Mia Fishel. She suffered an ACL injury while away with the USA.

‘Of course I’m devastated for her,’ lamented Hayes. ‘I’ve spoken numerous times about the challenges of players and travelling and loading and everything that comes with that.

‘Injuries are going to happen in football but once again, it’s another major injury within nine days of the club-international break transition. It’s no surprise to me but it’s one that I would really like to see a big piece of research done on.’

With the top two in the league currently separated by the five goals more scored by Chelsea, the scoreline in individual matches comes into focus. The last two times the Blues played away at Leicester we won 9-0 and 8-0, the Foxes’ two heaviest defeats in the competition. Hayes insists it will not be that comfortable again.

‘Leicester commit the most amount of fouls in the league,’ she pointed out. ‘This is a team that will disrupt you in any 50-50. If you get away and you escape pressure, they will foul. Nonetheless, Willie Kirk has done a really good job and with the quality he’s adding to his team, Leicester will be a team on the rise. When you go there, every team knows you’re going to get a difficult game.

‘Leicester have proved they are a difficult team to beat. Man City took 80 minutes to score past them at home a couple of weeks ago. Leicester might feel aggrieved with the goals we’ve scored against them up there over the years. I expect nothing but an aggressive performance from them, I expect nothing but a really tight game. So for me is about winning the game. I’m not focused on goal difference.’

Chelsea vs Arsenal date confirmed

Following today’s announcement of when the men’s team will be playing their FA Cup quarter-final tie, it has been confirmed that Chelsea Women’s WSL match against Arsenal Women at Stamford Bridge remains as scheduled. It will be played on Friday 15 March, kick-off 7pm.





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