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Predictions, key battles, and extra - Football Roof

Predictions, key battles, and extra


It is virtually becoming that the Women’s FA Cup remaining will see Manchester City and Chelsea do battle once more. The 2 sides already confronted off within the Continental Cup remaining in March, they usually’ve every been on fairly the run of type — Metropolis have received their final 13 video games and Chelsea their final 11 coming into Sunday’s showdown.

Whereas Metropolis received the Conti Cup handily, 3-1, however they could not catch Chelsea within the league because the Blues held off Arsenal on the ultimate matchday to take the Women’s Super League title. However who could have the higher hand within the FA Cup?

ESPN’s Tom Hamilton, Kathleen McNamee, Connor O’Halloran and Sophie Lawson have a look forward to the match and supply their predictions for what could be in retailer.


Coming into the sport, which head-to-head battle is most fascinating?

Hamilton: It’s going to be fascinating to see how Chelsea cope with the specter of Lauren Hemp. She has 5 objectives in 5 video games throughout all competitions for Metropolis in a ahead lineup together with Ellen White and Khadija Shaw, who’re each additionally on hearth. Chelsea’s 3-5-2 formation means it’s going to be a mixture of Jess Carter and Niamh Charles, who’ll be marshalling Hemp on that facet of the pitch, whereas Erin Cuthbert and Millie Bright can even be readily available to nullify that menace.

McNamee: I am excited to see the impression that each midfields have. We all know Man Metropolis and Chelsea are stacked up entrance with spectacular scorers, however I feel the midfield space is someplace that each groups have checked out to assist them get by way of tough durations. I will be curious to see how the likes of Caroline Weir and Georgia Stanway withstand Chelsea’s Ji Soyun and Cuthbert.

O’Halloran: There are any variety of doable solutions to this, however for me it is Lucy Bronze vs. Jonna Andersson/Guro Reiten. The England worldwide was key a part of the second-half turnaround in March’s Conti Cup win over Chelsea. Initially nullified within the first interval, Bronze was in a position to get ahead and discover area within the second and permit Metropolis’s dynamic entrance three to essentially trigger harm. Will probably be fascinating to see how Chelsea can maintain her quiet, and Bronze can be lots busy in defence, too.

Lawson: It is a bit of a cop-out, however for me it is in regards to the normal wrestling for possession and the way the press/counter-press performs out all through the match — so it finally ends up being crew vs. crew quite than participant vs. participant. That being mentioned, with how far Carter has come for the reason that begin of the season, I feel it may be enjoyable to see who wins the battle between her and Hemp.


Why will not this be a repeat of Man Metropolis’s Conti Cup win?

Hamilton: Metropolis had come out of their difficult spell whereas Chelsea have been nonetheless within the midst of an damage disaster when the 2 met. Emma Hayes’ Chelsea have been with out Cuthbert (who’s indispensable of their system), the good Fran Kirby, nor Jessie Fleming in March. Whereas Kirby is a doubt for the weekend, the others are again and firing.

There’s additionally a further emotional facet to this match for Chelsea — the likes of Soyun and Drew Spence can be leaving on the finish of the season they usually’ll need to give them an important ship off. And in addition from a Metropolis perspective, they’re in all probability taking part in higher now than they have been then.

McNamee: Each side have been at very totally different phases of their season when Metropolis beat Chelsea. The London facet could have been buoyed by their WSL win on the ultimate day and Metropolis can be trying to show that they’re higher than their third-place end. Metropolis can be going through a harder Chelsea facet than they did within the Conti Cup and have confronted a league defeat to them since then.

O’Halloran: Each side are in white-hot type — Chelsea have been flawless during the last 11 video games in all competitions since that Conti Cup remaining defeat, whereas Metropolis’s profitable streak stems even additional again than that. Actually, the final defeat each of those sides suffered was to one another. It is onerous to select a clear-cut winner, not to mention by a two-goal margin.

Lawson: Chelsea, and notably Hayes, have a little bit of a, “idiot me as soon as …” mentality — and for the best way Man Metropolis fought again in what’s, mainly, Chelsea’s again backyard, I simply cannot see the Blues not on the lookout for some extent of revenge. On the very least, I can simply think about Hayes sticking Sophie Ingle on Weir to nullify the Scot’s capacity to dictate Metropolis’s assault.


Which facet wants the win essentially the most?

Hamilton: For Metropolis, a victory right here will full a home cup Double and add a lighter shade of blue to the English season. It’s going to be an announcement victory and an indication of intent forward of subsequent season if Metropolis are to assert the FA Cup remaining on Sunday, for what could be their third triumph in 4 years.

For Chelsea, it could cement their dominance, finishing a back-to-back league and FA Cup Double. They’d head into subsequent season because the crew to beat, with eyes on transferring that home sweep into type on the European stage. Simply three different groups have completed the WSL/FA Cup Double, exhibiting simply how onerous it’s. You must say that Metropolis have to win this Cup greater than Chelsea to bloody their nostril forward of subsequent time period.

McNamee: A win for Chelsea would assert their dominance within the English sport, whereas a win for Metropolis would present that they’ve recovered from their early season difficulties. A Metropolis win would additionally seemingly present extra of a development for that crew after two defeats to Chelsea within the league and display that the Conti Cup win wasn’t only a one-off big-event win for the facet.

O’Halloran: When the speak of legacy comes up, it is onerous to look previous Chelsea. After a disappointing group stage exit of this yr’s Champions League, a home Double would maintain the nice occasions rolling in West London. Hayes’ Chelsea are right here to construct a dynasty, so two cup remaining defeats to Metropolis in a single season would actually sting.

Lawson: It is shut however it’s received to be Metropolis who want this extra. Chelsea have simply claimed their third successive league title and have been the higher crew within the Champions League during the last couple of seasons; throughout the board, since their lone league title (in 2016) Metropolis have misplaced floor.

With three FA Cup remaining wins every and Man Metropolis by no means having misplaced within the remaining, if Metropolis can declare their fourth earlier than Chelsea do, will probably be an enormous psychological enhance for them going into subsequent season.


Each side have skilled ups-and-downs – will that be an element?

Hamilton: Each groups have suffered spells of upheaval throughout this time period. Emma Hayes illustrated this earlier than their remaining WSL match of the season by itemizing those that had been absent by way of damage or sickness. Whereas a turbulent spell in January noticed their Champions League marketing campaign finish abruptly within the group stage on head-to-head aim distinction, they managed to maintain their hand in with the league and that endurance can be key on Sunday.

For Metropolis, their dodgy spell got here earlier than Christmas as they dropped 11 factors in six matches with the likes of Steph Houghton, Ellie Roebuck, Bronze and Chloe Kelly all absent. They, too, weathered that spell to complete the season with 13 straight wins and after a season the place squad depth was examined, count on each groups to go all-out on Sunday.

McNamee: I do not suppose the turbulence for both facet will issue massively as Metropolis have recovered from their damage patch extremely nicely whereas Chelsea have proven they’ve the psychological power to grind out wins regardless of happenings within the boardroom. Arguably, Chelsea have had a tougher time as of late however their depth on the bench ought to assist them.

O’Halloran: I am undecided it would. Hayes has spoken many occasions about rising into the season and peaking on the enterprise finish, whereas Metropolis’s early season woes got here amid a flurry of accidents. Each side are taking part in at a excessive degree and appear to have put any previous points behind them.

Lawson: With the tailspin Manchester Metropolis have been in in the beginning of the beginning of the season, which included conceding seven unanswered objectives at residence to Chelsea over two fixtures within the area of a fortnight, the crew can be decided to point out they’re nonetheless among the finest sides in England and whereas Chelsea will need revenge for the Conti Cup remaining, Metropolis will really feel they’ve a rating to settle, too.


Let’s speak MVPs: Which participant is essential for every crew?

Hamilton: After her exceptional goal-scoring double on the weekend, all Chelsea eyes can be on famous person Sam Kerr. Her two strikes in opposition to Manchester United have been simply exceptional objectives and bolstered why she is among the world’s greatest gamers. However Ji modified that match for Chelsea on Sunday — her introduction at half-time allowed the Blues to push up increased, and her to dictate the tempo. She might not begin — however she’s indispensable as a part of the squad.

For Metropolis, Weir has loved one other very good season, and scored twice of their Conti Cup win in March. She’s important to every little thing they do and can should be on hearth in the event that they’re to see off Chelsea.

McNamee: Hemp has been completely essential to Man Metropolis’s success this season, notably after they have been going by way of a tough patch. For Chelsea, Ji modified the sport when she got here onto the pitch on the WSL’s remaining day and created area for them to flourish in opposition to Man United. Chelsea can even be hoping Kerr can repeat a few of her large sport magic.

O’Halloran: Weir arrives in large matches repeatedly for Metropolis, and she or he might want to do the identical on Sunday. Her brace within the Conti Cup helped Gareth Taylor’s facet to victory, and she or he ought to have netted a gilt-edge likelihood in opposition to Chelsea a few weeks previous to equalise there. If she brings her taking pictures boots, Chelsea might want to look ahead to her as she pops up within the field.

Lawson: The cliché is that good defences win you titles however, for me at the very least, cup finals are all in regards to the attackers, particularly when you may have two of one of the best within the nation within the match. So it is received to be Kerr, she’s a giant participant for a giant event and never solely is she in good goal-scoring type proper now however she naturally does plenty of off the ball defensive work that would nicely be important.


So, remaining predictions: Who wins and who scores?

Hamilton: I am going for a Chelsea win. I can see it being far nearer than the earlier FA Cup remaining the place Chelsea swiped Arsenal apart 4-0, and I can see Kerr grabbing a pair and one other from a set piece. Whereas Weir and Shaw will get on the scoresheet for Metropolis it will not be sufficient to cease a 3-2 victory for Hayes’ facet.

McNamee: I feel will probably be shut between the edges, however I see Chelsea having the sting. Their wins as of late have not essentially been fairly, however Hayes and her squad know tips on how to step it up a gear when the going will get robust. I do not suppose will probably be a aim fest, in all probability across the 2-1 mark, with Kerr seemingly on the scoresheet and Hemp on the Man Metropolis facet.

O’Halloran: Chelsea can be slight favourites, however Metropolis have proven earlier than they’re as much as the duty. I am going to sit on the fence and say will probably be shut. Chelsea win 2-1, and Kerr gives the star energy to bag the winner.

Lawson: There’s often plenty of objectives on present when the 2 sides meet, so possibly the higher query is: who will not rating? Hemp, Ellen White, Kerr, Vivid getting a cheeky one and doubtless somebody with a worldie … infinite objectives, full chaos. It might be 3-0 or it might be a shoot-out and I can’t predict the way it will go, but when I’ve to, for instance, Metropolis to win … narrowly.



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