Chelsea’s end-of-season gauntlet continues on Sunday with a trip to Aston Villa in the WSL.
Emma Hayes has been left to count the cost of competing on three fronts, with the Blues dealing with several injury problems ahead of this weekend’s trip to the West Midlands.
The west Londoners had to go the distance in their Champions League quarter-final with Lyon on Thursday, winning via a penalty shootout but being forced into several injury-related substitutions over the 127 or so minutes of football.
Carla Ward’s side head into this one in superb form and can make a real statement with a victory against one of the WSL’s leading title contenders.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of their clash.
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Aston Villa team news
In a press conference on Friday, Ward revealed that full-back Sarah Mayling is likely to sit out again after picking up an injury in their recent FA Cup quarter-final win against Manchester City.
Remi Allen, Simone Magill, Meaghan Sargeant and Natasha Harding remain out, but Ruesha Littlejohn is set to return to the matchday squad having sat out Aston Villa’s last two games.
Hayes revealed following Thursday’s dramatic win that Melanie Leupolz, Eve Perisset, Guro Reiten and Erin Cuthbert were all withdrawn due to various injuries, and it is unclear whether they will be fit in time to go again on Sunday.
One player definitely out of contention is Millie Bright, who has withdrawn from the England squad for the Lionesses’ April internationals.
Aston Villa vs Chelsea score prediction
Chelsea are fighting tooth and nail to maintain their dreams of winning the treble, though they have faltered in their defence of the WSL title as of late.
They fell to third place following a defeat to Manchester City last week, but while they are now a point behind them and league leaders Manchester United, the Blues also have a game in hand.
Aston Villa are in fine form and most recently dismantled Leicester City 5-0 at Villa Park. The hosts are hoping to bring in a record attendance at Walsall’s Bescot Stadium as they look to bridge the WSL’s gap to the big four.
Though Hayes’ side are running on fumes, they should – should – have just enough quality to return to London with the points. But don’t be surprised if Aston Villa upset the apple cart.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea
Source : 90min.com