Skinner's team lead the WSL in tackles in the attacking third and fewest passes allowed per defensive action. One, two touch football in the defensive third for CFCW. That's what it's going to take. Brazilian Geyse and English midfielder Katie Zelem are incredibly active in anticipating the opponent's next action in their own half. Ella Toone and Zelem are the main orchestrators for the Red Devils in the middle of the park. Given the way Erin Cuthbert has been playing, it's going to be far from a walk in the park to create goal-scoring chances.
Over the past two campaigns, this fixture has delivered and then some on the entertainment spectrum. Whether it was the FA Cup final last May, the show-stopping Lauren James to Sam Kerr link-up play, or the contest up in northern England last fall, CFCW vs. United always lives up to the build-up. The last time these two met was last March in south west London, possession failed to equal results for the away side.
The rust should be shaken off from last Sunday. If the Blues start the match slow out the gate, it'll be quite the challenge to come from behind. Expect a few changes, and a switch up top with Mia Fishel getting the starting nod in her second Stamford Bridge match this season. Skinner will be keen to stop James, the "queen of the Bridge" who executed a stunning hattrick in the SW6 back in November.
Chelsea Women vs. Manchester United predicted starting XI
Goalkeeper: Zecira Musovic
Defenders: Jess Carter, Eve Perisset, Niamh Charles, Nathalie Björn
Midfielders: Erin Cuthbert, Sjoeke Nusken, Lauren James
Forwards: Mia Fishel, Guro Reiten, Johanna Rytting Kaneryd
Chelsea Women vs. Manchester United match info
Date: Sunday, January 21
Time: 12:30 GMT, 7:30 a.m. EST
TV Broadcast: Paramount Plus, BBC Two
Listen to JRK, go out and support Chelsea Women this Sunday afternoon. Tickets to the match can be found here.