Chelsea and Manchester United face off at Wembley Stadium on Sunday in front of a sold out Wembley crowd.
Following the success of the Lionesses at the Euros, attendance figures for women’s football have skyrocketed. New research by Two Circles revealed attendances in the Barclays Women’s Super League has gone by by 267%.
This will be the first fixture between Manchester United and Chelsea in a Vitality Women’s FA Cup Final, and is also the first time Manchester United has reached the final – a huge landmark for the club.
Despite the lack of experience at the club when it comes to reaching finals, many of the Manchester United players have experience in playing in high-pressure games. Mary Earps, Ella Toone, Alessia Russo and Nikita Parris all featured in the UEFA Women’s Euro’s Lionesses successful campaign.
On the other hand, Chelsea has vast experience in this competition. The Blues have appeared in six Women’s FA Cup finals including five of the eight finals that have been played at Wembley Stadium.
They also completed the domestic double for the fourth time last season, beating Manchester City 3-2 in a tightly contested final last year.
Both clubs are battling to come out on top in the Women’s Super League. With one game in hand, if Chelsea win all their remaining WSL fixtures they would win the league and surpass the WSL record of 57 points (set when they won the title in 2020/21) by one point.
In that scenario, even if current table-toppers Manchester United won all of their remaining WSL matches they would finish two points behind Chelsea.
One player who can be a gamechanger is Chelsea striker Sam Kerr. The Australian international has just been announced as a back-to-back winner of the Football Writers Association Footballer of the Year Award.
Kerr has scored in five consecutive cup finals for Chelsea – a hat-trick in their 2021 League Cup final victory, a brace to help win both the 2021 and 2022 Women’s FA Cup finals and the only goal for Chelsea in successive League Cup final defeats, to Manchester City in 2022 and Arsenal earlier this year.
United will look to Alessia Russo to be their gamechanger. With doubts surrounding her future at the club, she will surely want to achieve every success she can at Manchester United. The England star has already scored 10 goals this year in the WSL.
Chelsea midfielder Fran Kirby remains on the sidelines with a long-term knee problem which has put her out of contention to play for the Lionesses at the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Manchester United captain Katie Zelem is back from suspension but Maria Thorisdottir will miss out due to a long term foot injury.