Man City to take on champions Chelsea in huge WSL clash

Bethany England of Chelsea is challenged by Alex Greenwood of Manchester City during the Vitality Women's FA Cup Semi-Final match between Manchester City and Chelsea FC at Manchester City Football Academy on October 31, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Man City will host Chelsea this Women’s Football Weekend in a blockbuster Women’s Super League clash.

Reigning champions Chelsea will be hoping for a win on Man City territory — something they have failed to do in their last five attempts. 

Manchester City

Man City have had a troublesome start to the season, having been knocked out of the Champions League in the early stages and suffering a difficult league run.

They have had a streak of poor results in the WSL, losing back-to-back home games against Tottenham and West Ham respectively. Additionally, they were handed a 5-0 defeat away to early leaders Arsenal towards the back end of September. 

Gareth Taylor’s only wins in the league have come against Everton on the opening day at Goodison Park and more recently the win over Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

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Chelsea are having an excellent start to the 2021/22 season. They are still competing in the Champions League, as well as booking their place in the FA Cup final.

The champions have lost just one match this season — a 3-2 defeat to London rivals Arsenal at the Emirates. 

Since then, Emma Hayes’ side have secured wins away at Manchester United and Aston Villa. They currently sit second in the table and three points behind the Gunners. 

The Blues are a free-flowing goalscoring team, having scored on 37 different occasions inside 11 matches in all competitions.

Their defence record is also third best in the league and will prove difficult to break down having only conceded five league goals so far. 

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Last time out

Manchester City were last in action last weekend when they travelled to bottom of the table side Leicester City.

Despite conceding a goal in the first minute to former Manchester United striker Jess Sigsworth, the team bounced back and comfortably won the game 4-1. 

Caroline Weir found an equaliser in the 24th minute followed by a long range effort from Keira Walsh. The second half brought two goals — the first from Lauren Hemp and then another from substitute Laura Coombs, which ultimately bumped City up to seventh in the table. 

Meanwhile, Chelsea travelled to Servette on Tuesday evening for their group stage match in the Champions League. 

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The team showed a ruthless display, putting seven past the Swiss side. Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby both scored twice, with the other goals coming from Melanie Leupolz, Jessie Fleming and Guro Reiten. 

That result sees Chelsea remain top of Group A, two points clear of Wolfsburg. 

Previous encounters

The last time these two sides last faced off against each other was Sunday 31st October in the FA Cup semi-final. 

City’s efforts to retain their title of FA Cup winners was ended as Chelsea ended up winning the game 3-0, after two first half strikes from Erin Cuthbert and Melanie Leupolz. 

The home side still enjoyed many spells of possession and did create a couple of chances, but they weren’t enough to trouble the Chelsea defence. 

Second half substitute Bethany England capped of the afternoon after heading in a delightful cross by Jessie Fleming. 

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Players to watch

Manchester City

Georgia Stanway has played just 352 minutes across six games so far this season.

She struggled at the beginning of the season with a breathing problem, in which she had to wear a protective mask, which reduced her playing time. 

However, her versatility could be key on Sunday with her providing the option to defend as well as create opportunities up the other end of the field. 

Since returning from suspension last weekend, the No.10 started the win against Leicester City, where she also set up the third goal for teammate Lauren Hemp. 

Stanway has scored in her last three out of seven league appearances against Chelsea. All three were scored at the Academy Stadium.

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Canada’s Olympic gold medalist Jessie Fleming had a slow start to her career with Chelsea as her minutes on the pitch were also very limited. 

After her performances throughout the summer at the Olympics, Hayes started to give more opportunities to the midfielder. 

Fleming has scored twice already this season against Man United and Aston Villa in the WSL. She has also provided four assists across seven league appearances. 

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Team News

Manchester City are still without a number of their first-team regulars, who are sidelined through injury. 

Gareth Taylor has suggested Khadija Shaw will be a doubt for the match. This comes after she picked up a foot injury in the FA Cup semi-final two weeks ago.

The trio of goal-keepers Ellie Roebuck, Karen Bardsley and Khiara Keating are amongst the list of players who are unavailable. 

Club captain Steph Houghton is still missing from the squad since she withdrew from England’s September fixtures with an achilles problem. 

The right-back position for the Sky Blues is very light with the current occupants of that position Esme Morgan and Lucy Bronze out with a leg fracture and a knee injury respectively. 

Chloe Kelly remains a long-term absentee after an ACL injury back in May. 

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Pernille Harder is expected to miss out on the trip to Manchester with a muscle injury. Netherlands defender Aniek Nouwen is also a doubt due to an injury. 

Maren Mjelde is available for selection after making her long-awaited return to action on Tuesday.

Predicted XIs

Manchester City

Taieb; Stanway, Kennedy, Greenwood, Stokes, Walsh, Weir, Losada, Hemp, White, Beckie. 


Berger; Carter, Bright, Eriksson, Fleming, Ingle, Ji, Leupolz, Kerr, Kirby, Reiten. 

Where to watch

The highly anticipated match will take place on Sunday 14th November at 15.00 GMT. Sky Sports Premier League will be showing the game live from 14:45. There is also the option to listen live to the game via BBC Radio Manchester. 

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