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Match Preview: Bristol City Women vs Chelsea

Bristol City Women face Chelsea FC at Vicarage Road on Sunday, March 14th in their first-ever FA Continental Tyres Cup final.

The Robins have found joy in the Conti Cup this season, with City winning every game they’ve played leading up to the final.

It will be a tough test for Matt Beard’s side against the current holders of the cup, however the Robins enter the fixture in high spirits as they look for their first taste of silverware since 2007.

Last time out:

The Robins moved off the foot of the Barclays FAWSL table for the first time since September following a dramatic 3-2 victory over Reading at Ashton Gate Stadium. 

Goals from Charlie Wellings and Jemma Purfield either side of half-time cancelled out Emma Harries’s early opener for the Royals.

Rachel Rowe equalised for Reading with just under 20 minutes remaining, but the lead lasted a mere six minutes as Ebony Salmon found the winner in some style to top off a thrilling encounter in BS3.

 


Form: 

Bristol City Women

Last five games: WWDLW

After defeat in the Robins’ last game meeting with Chelsea, City managed to bounce back with the 3-2 win over Reading. The win against the Royals meant that the Robins moved off bottom spot and into 11th in the league table to put them three points behind 8th place, Tottenham Hotspur.

Wins against Aston Villa and Leicester City in the knockout stages of the Conti Cup earned Beard’s side their spot in Sunday’s final. 

City have only lost two of their last seven – a run of form which has provided a boost in confidence ahead of their visit to Vicarage Road.

Chelsea:

Last five games: WWWWD

Chelsea have played more games than Bristol City since the last meeting between the two sides, including their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie vs Atletico Madrid, with the Blues winning 3-1 over the two legs.

Emma Hayes's side haven’t dropped points in the league since their shock 2-1 loss to Brighton earlier in the season. Their most recent result in the league being a 2-0 win over relegation fighting West Ham United.

The Conti Cup Final falls just four days after their second leg tie against Atletico Madrid and three days before a tough league match against Everton as the Blues’ look to extent their lead at the top of the Barclays FAWSL.


Memory Lane:

  • Bristol City 1-0 Leicester City
  • February 3rd, 2021
  • FA Continental Cup
  • Twerton Park

Bristol City’s last leg in the Conti Cup journey was a 1-0 semi-final win over Leicester City, where a debut goal from Kiera Skeels was enough to send the Robins to the final.

Charlie Wellings had the best chance of a tense first-half when her thunderous half-volley was pushed onto the bar.

The first – and only goal - came with 20 minutes remaining as Salmon’s cross from a short-corner routine was flicked on by Skeels at the near post and into the far corner.

The goal was a real wake-up call for the Foxes, but they found no luck in their search for an equaliser as City defended valiantly until the full-time whistle.

 


One to watch: Millie Bright

The England international has cemented her place as one of the best defenders in the league since her arrival in West-London, and she has taken even bigger strides this season as her side look to win back-to-back league titles.

Bright is a big reason Chelsea have only conceded eight goals in the league this season, and the 27-year-old has also chipped in with a goal and assist to help her side at the other end of the pitch.

The Robins have one of the most in-form strikers in the league in Salmon, and Beard will be hoping his side can breakdown Chelsea’s stubborn defence on Sunday.


Word from the camp: Matt Beard

Beard knows his side will be the underdogs going into the final, however the boss reiterates that cup finals can throw up some interesting results and that his side are getting better every single day.

“We know the challenge of Chelsea is huge with all the international players they have,” said Beard.

“It’s like playing a world’s best XI at times but it’s a cup final and anything can happen…it’s huge but it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to and we’re getting better with every training session, with every game and we’re moving in the right direction. This is another opportunity for us to do that.

“We go into this game as the underdog, and we need to go into it expressing ourselves to give ourselves the best opportunity to come away with the silverware.”


Where to watch:

Bristol City Women take on Chelsea Women in the FA Continental Tyres Cup final on Sunday afternoon live on BT Sport at 14:30 (GMT).

Robins TV will be providing a matchday show on Sunday afternoon as Bristol City Women take on Chelsea in the FA Continental Tyres Cup Final. 
Fans can enjoy pre-match build up which includes an interview with owner Steve Lansdown, while Lisa Knights will be joined by Dan White for audio commentary and insight, and special guest Megan Wynne will be live from Vicarage Road across APP, mobile and desktop.

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