Chelsea manager Emma Hayes has hinted that she expects a tight encounter when her side make their first-ever appearance in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup final against Arsenal at The City Ground in Nottingham this afternoon.
The Blues come up against a side who are searching for a sixth FA Women’s Continental League Cup final in just nine years and with both sides in good form, it is virtually impossible to pick a winner of the tie.
Chelsea could have a psychological advantage going into the match with The Blues having beaten The Gunners in both of their FA Women’s Super League meetings this season, although Joe Montemurro’s side will be keen for revenge following their latest defeat to their rivals from South West London, a 4-1 thrashing at Meadow Park in January.
When speaking to Chelsea’s official media sources in her pre-match press conference, Chelsea boss Hayes has admitted that it could be a close affair in Nottingham this afternoon.
“They (Arsenal) have had the trophy the most amount of times” She said.
“For them, they have got history of winning trophies and they’ve got a history of winning that trophy and they will feel that way too.
“This is two top teams, both have got match-winners in their own right, we’ve just played well enough the last two games to be victors, but Arsenal playing well can do the same too.
“We have to realise there is a team that will come full-throttle and will want to prove themselves after the last two games we’ve played them this season.”
Chelsea are the current favourites to win this season’s FA Women’s Super League title. The Blues trail league leaders Manchester City by just a point but Emma Hayes’ side have a game in hand. The South West Londoners also boast a better goal difference than City. Current champions and fellow FA Women’s Continental League Cup finalists Arsenal are three points behind Chelsea in third and look to have it all to do to retain their crown.
The last time in which Chelsea and Arsenal met in a major domestic cup final was in 2018. On that occasion, Chelsea were 3-1 winners in the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley, a match which was played out in-front of a record crowd of 45,423.