London City Lionesses head coach Melissa Phillips - Image from London City Lionesses

London City Lionesses boss Phillips excited to take on one of the world’s best in Chelsea

London City Lionesses head coach Melissa Phillips says that she is looking forward to facing one of the best teams in world football when her side travel to Kingsmeadow to take on Chelsea tomorrow night.

The second tier Lionesses take on the reigning Barclays FA Women’s Super League champions in a Vitality Women’s FA Cup fourth round tie.

The two sides are currently separated by 18 places in the footballing pyramid with Chelsea top of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and London City Lionesses currently occupying sixth place in the FA Women’s Championship.

Speaking to FAWSL Full-Time ahead of The Pride’s trip to Kingsmeadow, London City Lionesses boss Phillips says that her side are excited at the prospect of facing one of the best teams in the world in Chelsea.

“Chelsea are probably one of the best teams in the world right now, we are extremely excited for the challenge,” said Phillips.

“Everyone wanted that game back that got cancelled because of COVID back in November when we had them in the Conti Cup so we are excited to face them this Friday and for the challenge that it will present to us.”

Many teams have come away from Kingsmeadow after being subjected to a heavy defeat by Emma Hayes’ side and Phillips says that her team will go there with the aim of being difficult to beat.

“We take a lot of pride in being difficult to play against,” Phillips said. “We have been all year with that, we have not given up many goals in the run of play and that is just due to preparation, everyone understanding their roles and being on the same page but most importantly, competing. That is something that we’ve talked a lot about through the new year that it is our goal, to be competitive in every game that we play in regardless of the opponent.

“The mission and the goals are the same this week, it is just going to test us against much higher quality.”

Chelsea boss Hayes could opt to make several changes to her side tomorrow night but regardless of who The Pride come up against, Phillips knows that her side will face an incredibly tough test.

“Regardless of which line-up Chelsea put out due to the international break and players being away, they are going to be a strong opposition,” said the Lionesses boss. “It is going to test us in ways that we have not yet been tested so far this year.

“I think the exciting part to the end of our season is that we’ve got Leicester who are the champions of our league, we’ve got Chelsea, we’ve got Liverpool who are a former Super League team, how lucky are we to finish off our season that way and learn so much about ourselves moving into a new year. They are a couple of exciting opportunities to end the year.”

London City Lionesses’ Vitality Women’s FA Cup fourth round tie against Chelsea at Kingsmeadow kicks-off at 7pm on Friday evening. The match will be available for fans to stream live on Chelsea’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

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