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Women's Super League - Football: Chelsea Women v West Ham Women preview

Reigning champions Chelsea Women will face a stern test of their credentials when they take on London rivals West Ham Women in the Women's Super League on Wednesday.

Emma Hayes' side have won the title in each of the last three years and despite suffering defeat on the opening weekend of the new season, they are priced at 10/11 to defend their crown this term.

West Ham, under new manager Paul Konchesky, will be the visitors to Kingsmeadow this midweek and they are 40/1 to spring a surprise, with the Chelsea win available at 1/25 and the draw 14/1.

What:Chelsea Women v West Ham Women
Where:Kingsmeadow, Kingston upon Thames, London
When:19:05, Wednesday 28th September 2022
How to watch:BBC Two and iPlayer
Odds:Chelsea Women 1/25, Draw 14/1, West Ham Women 40/1

Chelsea bouncing back

The season did not start how Chelsea would have expected, as a 2-1 defeat at newly-promoted Liverpool on the opening weekend left manager Hayes with plenty of questions to ponder.

However, Chelsea have not won three Super League titles on the spin for nothing and they bounced back with a convincing 2-0 victory over Manchester City at Kingsmeadow last time out - Fran Kirby and Maren Mjelde with the goals.

That win extended what is a remarkable home record for the Blues, as they are unbeaten in their last 16 league matches on their own patch since losing to Brighton in February 2021, with 15 of those subsequent fixtures ending in victory.

Chelsea also boast an imperious recent record when facing West Ham, as they have won the last nine meetings between the two sides home or away, including a 2-0 victory in last season's corresponding fixture - a repeat scoreline on Wednesday can be backed at 13/2.

Kerr hoping to get off the mark

In her two full seasons with Chelsea, Australia international forward Sam Kerr has finished as the WSL's leading scorer, surpassing 20 goals on each occasion.

The 29-year-old has a particularly impressive record against West Ham, as she has found the back of the net five times when facing the Hammers in the league, a tally that includes a hat-trick in Chelsea's 3-2 victory over their London rivals in December 2020.

Kerr is 13/8 to score three or more goals against the Hammers once again on Wednesday, and that return would be timely considering the former Chicago Red Stars player is yet to notch this season.

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Konchesky leading Hammers into action

After finishing sixth in the WSL last season and recording their highest ever points total in the top tier, West Ham were hit by the resignation of manager Olli Harder, who opted to return to his native Norway.

Former West Ham, Liverpool and England defender Konchesky, who had been working as Harder's assistant, was chosen as the Norwegian's replacement and he led the Hammers to a 1-0 victory over Everton on the opening weekend of the season.

However, Konchesky and co were brought back down to earth following a 2-0 home reverse against Manchester United last time out and they now head into their first away fixture of the new season looking to end a run of five defeats on the bounce when visiting Chelsea.

That sequence of defeats includes both a 6-0 and an 8-0 loss, with the Hammers priced at 40/1 to earn a first ever win at the home of their prestigious rivals.

Hayes expected to stick with XI

Chelsea are expected to stick with the same starting XI that beat Man City last time out, with Jessie Fleming and Mjelde set to retain their places after coming into the team for that 2-0 success.

Denmark international Pernille Harder remains the Blues only injury concern and this match is expected to come too soon for the attacking midfielder, who is still nursing a hamstring injury.

Konchesky has stuck with the same line-up for West Ham's opening two matches of the new season, but he could be tempted to throw midfielder Abbey-Leigh Stringer into the XI after she impressed from the bench in the defeat to Man Utd.

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