Just four days after they played in a Champions League semi-final, Chelsea have another crucial game in store. They play Tottenham Hotspur this evening in the Women’s Super League.
Having missed out on domestic action at the weekend, Chelsea now have a game in hand over their opponents. Manchester City may be currently sitting top of the WSL with 52 points, but Chelsea, who are second on 51 points, can regain their advantage with a victory against Tottenham.
If Chelsea are defeated by their London rivals, however, the title will be Manchester City’s to lose. Due to both teams having a similar goal difference, even a draw would result in a nervy season-finale this weekend.
Using Champions League buzz in the WSL
For Chelsea manager Emma Hayes, her team’s 4-1 victory over Bayern Munich was crucial to success in the league. Chelsea overturned a 2-1 loss to the German side from the first leg of the Champions League semi-final, with the side reaching the final after a 5-3 win on aggregate.
"Imagine we'd lost [against Bayern] and you have to play on Wednesday, and you've got to pick a dressing room up that loses, imagine how hard that is in my position," Hayes said, as reported by Sky Sports.
"From a winning position, I can get them to do anything. From a losing position, that would have been a big challenge. That was on my mind before the game. I kept thinking, 'If we want to win the league, we still have to win both of those games - please win', because I think that would be an impossible task.”
Chelsea will certainly be on a high since the semi-final spectacle on Sunday, and will be hoping to bring that confidence into their clash against Tottenham Hotspur.
Must keep focus
Although Chelsea will have a positive mindset this evening, there will be some tired players on the pitch after an exhausting 90 minutes against Bayern Munich. Key names such as defender Magda Eriksson, who only returned from injury on Sunday, may be rested.
Those on the pitch will have to be careful not to lose focus. This is exactly what star player Fran Kirby has said in the run-up to the match.
“Everyone gave everything, there were bodies on the line and it's really special,” the forward told Chelseafc.com. "It's one of the most important wins but for us we have to focus on what we've still got coming up.”
"We've got the league that we want to win and then we've got this one which we also want to go and win. We can't just be happy with getting to the final."
Chelsea will be boosted by their impressive record against opponents Tottenham Hotspur. The two teams last met in January, an encounter that ended 4-0 to Chelsea. The South London side also triumphed 2-0 in a Continental Cup clash in November.
Tottenham are also in a poor run of form. Their last victory was a 1-0 result against West Ham in January, Since then, the North London club have been winless for their past nine matches.
Chelsea should not be complacent though. Tottenham have had enough calibre this season to avoid a relegation battle – players such as Angela Addison, Alanna Kennedy and Ashleigh Neville have been key.
Winger Niamh Charles has urged her side not to take Chelsea's record against Spurs for granted.
"At this stage of the season, every team is wanting to finish the season strong so we won’t be underestimating them," she said. "They are going to be a tough test and that’s credit to the WSL. Every game is hard but we’ll be going into it as we do every game and trying to win."
Tottenham Hotspur host Chelsea at the Hive at 5:30pm. The match will be shown on BT Sport 1 for UK viewers and the FA Player for international fans.News Now - Sport News