...By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.
Chelsea and Manchester United are set to face off in the Women’s FA Cup Final.
Chelsea, who suffered disappointments in previous finals this season, will be eager to secure silverware after their narrow defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals.
They aim to become the first team since Arsenal in 2008 to win the trophy three times in a row.
However, Manchester United, who have never beaten Chelsea before, are determined to challenge the favorites and secure their first major trophy since the team’s formation in 2018.
Chelsea’s Perspective and Manager’s Outlook:
Chelsea’s manager, Emma Hayes, recognizes that previous success does not guarantee future success.
She acknowledges the strength of their opponents, highlighting Manchester United’s impressive league performance this season.
Hayes emphasizes that being in past finals provides experience but does not offer an advantage.
Despite being written off by some, Chelsea considers themselves favorites in their own eyes, maintaining confidence in their abilities.
Team News and Lineups:
Chelsea has made three changes to the team that secured a 6-0 victory over Leicester City.
Fleming, Mjelde, and Kerr return to the starting lineup, while Harder is on the bench.
Manchester United’s captain, Zelem, returns from suspension, representing the only change from their 3-0 win against Tottenham.
Head-to-Head Record and Manager’s Perspective:
Manchester United has struggled against Chelsea in their previous encounters, having secured just one draw and suffering eight defeats in nine meetings across all competitions, including their only two losses in the Women’s Super League this season.
However, United’s manager, Marc Skinner, does not focus too much on the past results.
He acknowledges the difficulty of beating Chelsea but believes in his team’s ability to achieve the unexpected, emphasizing their determination to challenge the favorites.
United’s Pursuit of a First Major Trophy:
Manchester United stands on the cusp of claiming their first major trophy since reforming the women’s team in 2018.
While Chelsea has emerged victorious in both WSL meetings between the two sides this season, United has closed the gap and showcased their strength with seven consecutive wins since their defeat to Chelsea in March.
With four Lionesses in their ranks, including Ella Toone, Alessia Russo, Nikita Parris, and Mary Earps, United enters the final with determination.
VAR and Goalline Technology:
The Women’s FA Cup Final will witness the use of VAR (Video Assistant Referee) and goalline technology for the first time in the competition’s history.
This decision marks a significant development in women’s domestic football in England, as these technologies have previously been utilized in international tournaments and the later stages of the Women’s Champions League.
The Women’s FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United promises an exciting clash between two formidable teams.
Chelsea’s experience and recent successes make them the favorites, but Manchester United’s resilience and hunger for their first major trophy create an intriguing challenge.
The match represents an opportunity for both teams to make their mark and demonstrate the progress and competitiveness of women’s football.
The inclusion of VAR and goalline technology further highlights the commitment to advancing the sport and ensuring fair play in high-stakes matches.