Arsenal and Chelsea’s fans are in for a treat tomorrow afternoon. With Arsenal hosting Everton on Monday night and Chelsea hosting West Ham at lunchtime today, the FA Cup Final between the two top women’s teams in the country will take place on Sunday afternoon.
This is the 50th Women’s FA Cup Final, and while it is running late owing to last season’s delayed schedule, it is crucial for both teams.
Before the Game
Arsenal are now unbeaten at the top of the Women’s Super League, one point ahead of Chelsea, who have only lost once this season, to Arsenal on an opening day. Chelsea is looking for a domestic trifecta with a win tomorrow, considering this is the 20/21 Final, and they only lost in the 20/21 Champions League Final to Barcelona.
Arsenal’s only defeat this season came against Barcelona in the 21/22 Champions League, and the Gunners are looking to repeat their League triumph against our main rivals. Arsenal has won the FA Cup Final a record-breaking 13 times, while Chelsea has only won it once, in 2018, and Arsenal were the beaten finalists that day.
This game promises to be a fascinating matchup between two of the country’s largest and finest teams, and with over 40,000 tickets already sold, there will undoubtedly be a fantastic atmosphere. It should be a great game, and tickets are reasonably priced if you want to watch it. Alternatively, you can watch it live on BT Sport or the BBC iPlayer.
6 Players to look out for
These are the important players of the contest before the encounter between the two London rivals and WSL heavyweights:
Beth Mead: Arsenal
Beth Mead is a force to be reckoned with, with Wembley providing the perfect stage for a player who has excelled for both club and country this season. Mead has been a key part of Jonas Eidevall’s Arsenal revolution, scoring four goals and assisting four times in the WSL so far. He’s also had time to shine for his country.
Make no mistake: she will play a key role in Eidevall’s set-up once again on Sunday, as Arsenal attempt to break swiftly and successfully.
Chelsea’s dangerous combo has combined for 15 goals in just eight WSL games. They’ve also combined for eight assists. With such a dangerous pairing, Arsenal’s defense will have to be at their best to keep the Chelsea forwards out, even without the injured Leah Williamson.
The key to Kerr and Kirby’s success is a mutual understanding that manifests itself naturally on the field. The two’s rapid connections, combined with their natural skill in front of goal, make it quite unlikely that ‘Kerrby’ will be left out on Sunday.
Vivianne Miedema – Arsenal
This player is the embodiment of his or her class. Stopping the Dutch striker will be crucial to Chelsea’s game plan, with Millie Bright likely to be at the heart of Emma Hayes’ attempts to counteract her aerial dominance.
Miedema has also made an impression in Europe, scoring against HB Køge and a hat-trick against Slavia Praha in qualification. However, Wembley is a different platform, one that Miedema deserves and will no doubt feel at ease on.
Ann-Katrin Berger – Chelsea
Chelsea will be safe in the knowledge that they have a good goalkeeper between the sticks, even if they don’t want her to be busy. Berger may not have been the busiest, but Chelsea has preserved nine clean sheets across all competitions this season.
Despite making the equalizer for Wolfsburg, she produced a succession of crucial saves as Chelsea drew a point from the German champions and subsequently overcame Juventus. Berger will have to be at her best against Arsenal, and if the game is well contested and cannot be decided until penalty kicks, she might emerge as Chelsea’s hero.
Jordan Nobbs – Arsenal
Nobbs, who was recently recalled to the England squad, will be crucial if Arsenal are to win the FA Cup for the first time since beating Chelsea 1-0 in the 2016 FA Cup Final. Nobbs is a key member of Arsenal’s midfield. She has complete control of the game, and her duel with Chelsea’s midfield could decide the match.
Arsenal has developed a midfield capable of playing practically any side off the pitch with Kim Little, who has six WSL goals already, and Frida Maanum, who has shone since signing in the summer.
Erin Cuthbert – Chelsea
Cuthbert, a winger for Chelsea, tends to score in important games. The Scottish winger’s matchup against Mead on Sunday will likely be her most important duty.
Cuthbert, indeed, possesses all of the qualities necessary to keep her opponent quiet, and the duel down Arsenal’s left flank will be one of the final’s most exciting. Nonetheless, don’t be surprised if Cuthbert takes the initiative throughout the game and finds herself on the scoresheet when it matters most.