Chelsea Women at Bristol City, WSL preview, predicted XI

Without a win in its last two matches, Chelsea Women look to keep their spot atop the Women's Super League against Bristol City.

Chelsea FC Women v BK Häcken FF: Group D - UEFA Women's Champions League 2023/24
Chelsea FC Women v BK Häcken FF: Group D - UEFA Women's Champions League 2023/24 / Warren Little/GettyImages
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In terms of the Women's Super League, this is it for Chelsea Women in the 2023 calendar year. For the second successive league fixture, the west London outfit head on the road. Despite the Wednesday match probably being more of a priority, three points at Ashton Gate against the newly-promoted Bristol City is needed to maintain that place at the top of the table. The last time Emma Hayes' side lost in the league, it followed it up with three goals and a clean sheet on the road at Aston Villa.

In the post-game press conference following the BK Hacken UEFA Women's Champions League mid-week match, Emma Hayes expressed how her side lacked quality from start to finish. With so much quality in the frontline, a repeat of the explosion like we all saw in the west Midlands in early November is only a matter of time.

The last meeting of these two sides was in February 2021 when Fran Kirby was at the double. In the past two WSL fixtures between the sides, the west London outfit has outscored BCFC 14-0. If you count the Conti Cup final in that season campaign, make it 20-0.

Maika Hamano, the young Japanese striker is expected to make an appearance on the bench according to Hayes. Whether she plays remains to be seen, but there is no question that the 19-year-old can bring an offensive spark. It'll be a return to Bristol for Aggie Beever-Jones who spent the 2021–22 FA Women's Championship season with the Robins. The young English forward played a key role in that side's third-place finish, scoring five goals in over 1500 league minutes.

You're probably looking at the WSL table and thinking this is a runaway match for the four-time defending champions. Not so fast though. This isn't the Bristol of past years. Lauren Smith has her eyes on keeping this club in the first-tier for consecutive campaigns. The number of points the outfit has at the moment is a little deceiving, especially given the improvement as the has season went along. Since the Robins 5-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City, they have played some of the league's giants pretty tough.