Chelsea can move to within one win of the WSL title with victory against relegation threatened Birmingham on Sunday, as the Blues play their penultimate league fixture of the season.
Emma Hayes’ side are guaranteed to be crowned champions of England for a third successive season if they win their two remaining league fixtures, but have a pair of tricky encounters standing between themselves and the title.
Birmingham have everything to play for with their top flight status on the line. The Blues recorded just their second win of the season against Brighton last time out, and have already had a say in the title race this term after beating Arsenal in January.
When is kick off? Sunday May 1, 18:45 (BST)
Where is the match being played? St Andrew’s
TV channel/live stream? Sky Sports Main Event (UK), FA Player (international)
highlights? Sky Sports Football YouTube
Referee? Emily Heaslip
Sarah Ewens was included in the squad on Saturday for the first time since February following her comeback from a shoulder injury. The forward was an unused sub against Brighton, but she could feature from the bench against Chelsea, with Birmingham likely to remain unchanged.
Louise Quinn and Veatriki Sarri have both been instrumental for Birmingham this season, and fittingly were key during their victory over Brighton last time out. The pair will be pivotal if Darren Carter’s side are to spring a surprise on Sunday.
Emma Hayes confirmed that her squad availability should largely be the same as it was for Thursday evening’s win over Tottenham, although Ji So-Yun could return having sat out the victory over Spurs.
Goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger is available after serving her one-game suspension following her red card last Sunday but may not return straightaway, while Fran Kirby remains absent due to fatigue.
Birmingham (5-2-3): Ramsay; Cowie, Scott, Quinn, Lawley, Robertson; Finn, Murray; Pennock, Quinn, Sarri
Chelsea (4-4-2): Musović; Carter, Bright, Eriksson, Andersson; Harder, Groin, Cuthbert, Reiten; England, Kerr
Chelsea are deep in title winning mode, and have a very consistent habit of being able to do whatever it takes to get the job done, as demonstrated by their two hard fought victories over Spurs in the past week.
Birmingham will likely turn into a tenacious display and could take advantage of the visitors from set pieces. But Chelsea should have too much quality, and even if not at their best, they just have a way of constantly churning out results.
Score prediction: Birmingham 0-2 Chelsea