Continental League Cup Final Sees Bristol City Take on Chelsea

Continental League Cup
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The Continental League Cup Final sees Bristol City take on Chelsea on March 14, with a 2.30 pm kick-off at Watford’s Vicarage Road stadium.

Bristol City Face Chelsea in the Continental League Cup Final

Chelsea the Overwhelming Favourites in the Continental League Cup Final

Chelsea head into the contest as the overwhelming favourites and could still win the Champions League, Women’s Super League and Continental League Cup treble this season.

The Blues progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals with a 3-1 aggregate victory over Atletico Madrid in the round of 16 and still lead the WSL by two points.

They are the current Continental League Cup holders after overcoming Arsenal in last year’s final and few would be betting against the west Londoners from retaining the trophy.

The last meeting between the two sides also saw Emma Hayes’ side run out emphatic 5-0 winners in a WSL encounter at Twerton Park on February 14.

But Bristol City head into this showpiece match on a high following a vital 3-2 win over Reading that moved the Vixens off the foot of the table.

Interim head coach Matt Beard has reinvigorated the team since arriving in the West Country, and City have lost just once in his first five games in charge.

Beard said: “Anything can happen. I said to the players yesterday about the men’s cup final between Wigan and Manchester City many years ago – things happen in football.

“There are some shock results on some days and if we manage to pull that off, what an achievement it would be.”

Players to Watch

Bristol City: Ebony Salmon

Salmon has been the shining light in a difficult season for City, after scoring six goals in 15 WSL appearances which has helped to propel the Robins off the bottom spot.

She most recently found the winner in that thrilling 3-2 win over Reading on March 8 and her exploits were rewarded with a first call-up to the England senior squad last month.

The 20-year-old came off the bench to make her senior international debut in a 6-0 friendly victory over Northern Ireland on February 23 and will need to be on form again if the Robins want to pull off a big upset.

Chelsea: Fran Kirby

Kirby has continued her excellent progress for the Blues this season and has 15 goals in 21 appearances across all competitions this season.

She was also on target in the 6-0 semi-final victory over West Ham United and is a key cog in the Chelsea attacking machine.

The forward is part of a formidable Blues forward line that includes Sam Kerr and Pernille Harder, and City will be wary of Kirby’s constant movement between the lines on Sunday.

Her importance to the squad was emphasised when she signed a new two-year contract at Chelsea, committing her future to the Blues until the summer of 2023.

Prediction: Bristol City 0-4 Chelsea

While an upset is not completely out of the question, it is hard to bet against Chelsea here. They appear to be back to their free-flowing best after that shock defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion and should have too much quality for Matt Beard’s side.

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