West Ham Women turn their attention back to the Women’s Super League as they host Chelsea on Thursday evening.
The Hammers go into this fixture with renewed confidence after their victory over Reading in the Women’s FA Cup. Dagny Brynjarsdottir will be hoping to continue her good from in front of goal. The Icelandic international has scored two goals in her last three matches for club and country.
West Ham Women manager, Olli Harder, will know that his team will have to be at their best against a Chelsea team that is challenging for the WSL title.
The West Ham Women squad has recently been boosted by the return of Adriana Leon and Lisa Evans from injury. Leon’s appearance last weekend was her first since the 1-1 draw with Birmingham City in October. Olli Harder spoke to whufc.com about his delight at the return of both players in the last match against Reading.
"“They add a lot of dynamism and pace to our team which is always helpful. It’s been a long road for Dri, so we’re really pleased for her to be back out there and making her 50th appearance for the Club, which is a fantastic achievement. Lisa was able to contribute a lot for the team out there today, so again, it’s very pleasing to have them both back and healthy.”"
Chelsea Women manager, Emma Hayes, is one of the most respected figures in the women’s game. Since she was appointed to the role in 2012, Hayes has developed Chelsea into one of the best teams in Europe. The Blues were unquestionably the best team in England last season as they won every available domestic trophy. Chelsea would have won a historic quadruple if they hadn’t lost to Barcelona in the Champions League final in May.
The West Londoners have struggled to perform at quite the same level this season. The Blues had a poor run of form either side of Christmas in which they were knocked out of the Champions League by Wolfsburg and dropped points in the WSL to Reading and Brighton, respectively. Chelsea have since improved and are eight points behind league leaders Arsenal with three games in hand.
Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from Saturday’s League Cup defeat to Manchester City. The Blues were 1-0 up at half-time thanks to Sam Kerr’s goal but City regrouped at the break and mounted a devastating comeback. Gareth Taylor’s team blew Chelsea away in the second half as Caroline Weir and Lauren Hemp tormented Emma Hayes’ side. Weir scored twice to put City ahead and Ellen White added another to deny any chance of a Chelsea comeback.
Last match between the two teams
Chelsea won the reverse fixture 2-0 in January. Hayes’ side ran out convincing winners thanks to two goals from midfielder Erin Cuthbert. The fact that The Hammers were unable to muster a shot on target during the 90 minutes only underlined Chelsea’s dominance.
Player to Watch – Pernille Harder
Chelsea signed Pernille Harder from Wolfsburg in September 2020 for a world-record fee for a female footballer – in excess of £250,000. Harder’s seemingly effortless ability to glide past opposition players with ease makes her one of the most exciting payers to watch in the English game.
Harder scored a hat-trick on her Denmark debut when she was just 16-years-old. She has gone on to become the country’s all-time top scorer having scored 66 goals in 129 games. Harder was captain of the Denmark team that lost to the Netherlands in the final of the 2017 UEFA European Women’s Championships. She will be looking to go one better during the 2022 tournament that is held in England, this summer.
Harder has been named Danish women’s footballer of the year on six occasions.
Predicted West Ham XI
Arnold, Fisk, Flaherty, Parker, Svitkova, Hasegawa. Snerle, Bryjarsdottir, Longhurst, Leon, Walker
How to Watch
West Ham Women vs Chelsea Women
Date: Thursday 10th March
Venue: Chigwell Construction Stadium
Kick-off Time: 19:45 PM (GMT)
TV: Sky Sports Premier League
Streaming: FA Player