A general view of inside the stadium Chelsea Women vs Tottenham Hotspur Ladies, WSL football match, Stamford Bridge Stadium, London, UK - 08 Sep 2019 Photo: Chloe Knott for The FA

Chelsea’s FA Cup fixture clash could cloud over historic FAWSL debut

Chelsea fans have faced a dilemma ahead of this weekend’s action with both the men’s and women’s sides set to go into action on Sunday afternoon.

The Blues men’s side take on Sky Bet Championship club Nottingham Forest in the Emirates FA Cup third round at Stamford Bridge while Emma Hayes’ women’s side face Reading in the FA Women’s Super League.

A fixture clash is not all that uncommon, however, this weekend could be different than those when both Chelsea sides have been in action before with the women’s side set to make history in the FA Women’s Super League.

Australian international forward Sam Kerr, Chelsea’s recent marquee signing, could make her historic debut for the club against Reading at Kingsmeadow on Sunday. The player is being tipped to be one of the biggest signings of all time in the FA Women’s Super League and after linking up with The Blues squad following the winter break, Kerr is fit and ready to face The Royals if called upon.

The 26-year-old is the record scorer in both America’s National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and the Australian W-League and she will now have her sights on breaking new records in the English game.

A sell-out crowd at Kingsmeadow would have been the perfect welcome to English soil for Kerr, however, Chelsea’s men’s fixture against Nottingham Forest a little over seven miles away could put the chances of a large attendance in doubt.

Fans of both the men’s and women’s sides have been made to pledge their loyalties to one team this weekend. Given the fact that all standard matchday seats have been sold for this weekend’s fixture at Stamford Bridge, some fans may have opted for the Emirates FA Cup tie rather than a trip to Kingsmeadow to see Kerr pull on a blue shirt for the first time.

Chelsea are the only club in the FA Women’s Super League to be affected by parallel home fixture scheduling this weekend. Fans of the women’s game have long been critical of regular fixture clashes with their men’s sides which have prevented them from watching both teams in action.

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