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Women's FA Cup final: Chelsea Women v Manchester United Women preview

Having gone toe-to-toe in the title race in this season's Women's Super League, Chelsea and Manchester United lock horns in the Women's FA Cup final on Sunday at Wembley.

The highly anticipated match-up pits the top two teams in this season's WSL against one another, with Chelsea targeting a fifth FA Cup title under Emma Hayes and United featuring in the showpiece event for the first time in their history.

WhatChelsea Women v Manchester United Women
WhereWembley Stadium, London
When14.30pm, Sunday 14th May 2023
How to watchBBC One
OddsChelsea Women 20/21, Draw 5/2, Man Utd Women 9/4

Blues targeting domestic double

Although Manchester United lead the way in this season's WSL, it is Chelsea who are in the driving seat in the title race with a game in hand.

Both managers have emphasised the importance of putting the WSL to one side for this game but that should surely boost the confidence of the Blues, who could finish the season with a domestic double.

Their Champions League semi-final exit at the hands of Barcelona will have frustrated manager Emma Hayes, but she can have no complaints about the domestic form of her side, who are fresh from 7-0 and 6-0 maulings of Everton and Leicester City.

In this season's Women's FA Cup, meanwhile, they have taken down four WSL sides to make the final, beating Liverpool, Arsenal, Reading and Aston Villa.

This is a competition they love, having won each of the last two FA Cups with victories over Arsenal and Manchester City in the previous two finals and that does not bode well for a United side with significantly less experience.

Cup final caps remarkable season for Red Devils

While this is Chelsea's third Women's FA Cup final on the spin, this is the first time United have even gone beyond the competition's quarter-finals and Sunday is a huge occasion for the club.

Playing at Wembley will be massive for Manchester United, but they are in the final on merit and it caps off what has been a remarkable campaign.

Last season, United finished fourth in the WSL, 14 points adrift of champions Chelsea, but this year they have gone from strength to strength under Marc Skinner, pushing the Blues all the way in the title race.

Having picked up the WSL Manager of the Month award for April, Skinner has stressed the importance of his team taking the emotion out of Sunday's final and urged his team to treat it as a "business-like event".

They go into the final on a seven-game winning run in all competitions, although the last match they lost was against Chelsea back in March when Sam Kerr grabbed the only goal in a 1-0 win for the Londoners.

Kerr will be key for Chelsea

Although it is Pernille Harder who has hit a rich vein of form for Chelsea recently, Sam Kerr is still the one to keep an eye on in the Blues camp.

Kerr came off with cramp in her calf against Everton recently and Hayes made the decision to leave the Australian ace out of the team for the game against Leicester, likely with the aim of reinstating her for this final.

Kerr has ten goals and four assists to her name in this season's WSL, but it is her ability to show up on the big occasions which makes her key for this contest.

The 29-year-old striker scored the winner for Chelsea against Aston Villa in the Women's FA Cup semi-finals and has also found the net in each of the last two Women's FA Cup finals.

She thrives in these kinds of matches and can also draw confidence from the fact she netted in both meetings with Manchester United in the WSL this season.

At 15/4, she could be a fine bet to score first at Wembley.

Added experience gives Blues the edge

Competing for the WSL title and making the Women's FA Cup final in the same season shows how far United have come under Skinner.

Their most recent meeting with Chelsea back in March was also proof that the gap between the sides has narrowed significantly, with United having had two strong penalty appeals turned down in the clash at Kingsmeadow.

But big occasions like this often boil down to game management and experience and Chelsea trump United in both of those departments.

They have been there and done it before in each of the last two Women's FA Cup finals and, with matchwinners like Kerr in their ranks, they look a solid bet at 20/21 to win this encounter.

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