Chelsea Ladies are back in action this weekend against Sunderland, kicking off a run of four games in 12 days.
The Blues got off to the perfect start to the season with a 6-0 win over Bristol City last weekend and they’ll hope to take a good result into next Wednesday’s crucial Champions League match against Bayern Munich.
It’s been all change off-the-field for Sunderland over the summer, as the club downgraded its set-up from professional to semi-professional and also recently announced that they are no longer allowed to train at the club’s main training ground.
Especially after the FA’s recent announcement about plans for a fully professional league, things aren’t looking great for the Lady Black Cats – but that’s not stopping them getting their heads down and grafting on the pitch.
Last weekend they probably surprised a few people with their win against Reading. Although the stats show they might have been a little fortunate, you cannot underestimate the importance of a tireless and organised defence, which Sunderland showed.
Last time out
The last meeting between the two sides was a pretty one-sided affair, as the Blues hit five past the hosts in the first half, before Fran Kirby added a second half double to end the game 7-0 in Chelsea’s favour.
Ramona Bachmann scored in that game, and she also scored twice against Sunderland in the FA Cup meeting earlier that year as Chelsea came out on top 5-1 at home.
Previous encounters (WSL era)
The teams first met in 2015, and the Blues were stunned when newly-promoted Sunderland came out 4-0 victors that day; however Chelsea went on to win the title that year, reversing the scoreline to secure the trophy on the final day.
Since 2015 the matchup has been a pretty one-sided affair, with the Blues winning all five meetings since that 4-0 loss – and scoring 23 in those matches, conceding just twice.
Wore both shirts
None of Chelsea’s current players have ever played for Sunderland, but Black Cats defender Tori Williams did have a short stint with the Blues back in 2012.
The game will be played at Sunderland’s new ground at South Shields FC, at the slightly later kick off time of 7:30pm. If you can’t attend the game you can follow live Twitter updates on @clfcfans.