With the Women's FA Cup Final on the horizon, the GiveMeSport Women team make their predictions.
Arsenal and Chelsea will walk out at Wembley this afternoon for the 50th edition of the Women's FA Cup Final.
Which London team will win, what will the score be, and who will be the key player?
Georgia's winner: Arsenal
Just one point separates these two sides in the Women’s Super League, meaning it’s going to be a spectacle of a final.
Arsenal have been reborn from the ashes of last season and are in pure domination mode once again. They made a statement in their opening league fixture against the Blues by coming out on top of the 3-2 thriller at the Emirates.
So having already proven they can topple the reigning champions, they’ll be eager to do it all over again.
After a disappointing 2020/21 campaign, the Gunners brought in new players, a new manager, and seemingly, a new hunger to win.
Chelsea will almost certainly put up a strong fight and Jonas Eidevall will be fully prepared for this. Particularly with Leah Williamson being out of action, the new boss will surely be adapting his defensive tactics to ensure her absence is not detrimental to the team.
However, with Chelsea’s world-class attack, it won’t be an easy feat with so much at stake. We may be looking at another big scoreline due to the sheer calibre of attackers on either side.
Everything about Arsenal this season suggests they are destined to get their hands on some silverware. A repeated grand scoreline of the WSL fixture between these two teams could be on the cards as they battle it out under the lights of Wembley.
Key player: Beth Mead
Beth Mead is arguably in the form of her life right now and has produced some sensational goals for both club and country since the start of the new season.
Fresh off the back of scoring a hat-trick for England in a record-breaking 20-0 win over Latvia, the winger will be hungry to keep adding to her already impressive tally.
Mead also bagged a brace against Chelsea in the 3-2 victory at the start of the WSL campaign — proving integral to the full-time result which could be the difference between these two sides come the end of the season.
With a trophy to play for, the Lioness could prove to be crucial once again for Arsenal and the Chelsea defence will no doubt be working on how to contain her explosive attacking play.
Olly's winner: Chelsea
This is a mouth-watering final on paper and features the two best teams in England by a considerable distance.
Arsenal won the bragging rights at the Emirates when the sides met earlier this season but Chelsea have looked unstoppable ever since.
Arguably the Blues have looked even more impressive than last year and forward’s Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby are in scintillating form of late. When you consider neither started the opening game of the season against Arsenal, it puts that result more into perspective.
That’s not to say that the Gunners record this season should be dismissed. Jonas Eidevall has done an exceptional job since taking over and has helped transform the likes of Beth Mead into a truly world-class player.
But the Gunners have suffered injuries at an unfortunate time and the absence of Leah Williamson could prove to be huge.
Not to mention, Emma Hayes was livid after losing to Eidevall’s side earlier this year, particularly because of a contentious offside decision. Chelsea will therefore be on the hunt for revenge and with Kerr, Kirby and Co in red hot form, I fancy them to get it.
Key players: Sam Kerr and Kim Little
With nine league goals already, Sam Kerr is in the form of her life. The Australian also finished third in this year’s Ballon d’Or and will fancy her chances against an Arsenal defence that is depleted because of injuries.
Kim Little came off in Arsenal’s most recent game against Man United but Eidevall stressed this was just precautionary.
The Scot has been in fantastic form this season and has 10 goals in all competitions.
This year’s final may be won and lost depending on who wins the midfield battle and Little could help the Gunners wrestle the upper hand.
Nancy's winner: Arsenal
The FA could not have hoped for a better match-up for the 50th edition of the Women’s FA Cup Final. Arsenal and Chelsea are both in scintillating form, with the Blues just one point behind the Gunners in the Women’s Super League.
Both teams will be able to field a world-class attack, with Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead set to star for Arsenal, and Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby expected to be a threat for Chelsea. But the match could be decided by which team has the better defence.
Arsenal are missing key defender Leah Williamson through injury, but Jen Beattie and Lotte Wubben-Moy are still excellent centre-backs. Chelsea have sometimes looked shaky in defence this season, and this ultimately could be their downfall during the FA Cup Final.
Key players: Lotte Wubben-Moy
If it comes down to which team has the better defence, then Lotte Wubben-Moy will be the player to watch. She will be deputising for the excellent Leah Williamson, and against players such as Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby, she will not be able to put a foot wrong.
Jack's winner: Chelsea
Whilst unbeaten at the top of the WSL, Arsenal’s busy fixture list looks set to be an issue. The Gunner’s draw against Tottenham was a tired performance, with an injury to Leah Williamson also a massive blow to hopes of a first trophy under Jonas Eidevall.
In the opposite dugout, Emma Hayes has been here before. Her last final didn't exactly go to plan, but I expect Chelsea to be back stronger thanks to their humbling at the hands of Barcelona.
Without Williamson, Arsenal will struggle to deal with Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby, who combined have hit 15 goals in just eight WSL matches. Sure Beth Mead may grab another Wembley goal, but the issue is how many 'Kerrby' could get. I hate it, but Chelsea to win – and I think in style.
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