Women's Team

City v Chelsea: Taylor on team news

City v Chelsea: Taylor on team news
City have received a major boost for Sunday’s Women’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea with the news Vicky Losada and Hayley Raso could be back in contention.

The pair have missed large chunks of the 2021/22 campaign – Champions League winner Losada absent since her goalscoring display over Leicester City and Australian international Raso last in action in our opening FA Women’s Super League win over Everton.

Previewing this weekend’s eagerly-awaited last four clash, Taylor revealed the pair are nearing a return and could feature.

CITY V CHELSEA: GET YOUR TICKETS

However, there were disappointing updates on Alanna Kennedy and Ruby Mace, who will remain cup-tied, while teenage goalkeeper Khiara Keating has also suffered a fractured elbow.

Vicky Losada and Hayley Raso are back on the pitch so hopefully we could see some involvement from those players over the weekend,” he said. “They are a big boost to the squad.”

“It's been fairly successful so far from previous international camps. We only lost one: Khiara, who sustained a fractured elbow, so we’re not heavily stacked in the goalkeeping department but outside of that, we’re not too bad.

“We’ve put a plan in place. One of the girls has come up from the Development Squad. She’s been with us today and will be again tomorrow and for the game on Sunday. We’ve had to make the best of the situation but there’s cover there.

“It will be a fantastic experience for her. You want to see young players getting that opportunity.”

WATCH: City inspired for Chelsea Cup clash by lure of Wembley fans, says Taylor

On Kennedy and Mace’s situation, Taylor added: “They are not available. We've been told they're not able to play.

“We were under the impression they could come back in because their previous teams were eliminated in the last round. It’s massively disappointing.

“What an opportunity for them to play in this game and that’s been taken away. We move on and make the best of it.

“It is a big challenge, we are fully aware of the situation but we have resolve. The players are determined and still fully competitive on the pitch.

“When you analyse performances, they've been there but it's been about taking chances and keeping the ball out. There have been some positives in negative results.

“It’s a good opportunity for us in this competition - one we've been in previously. We got the good fortune of being at home and we want to use that as much as we possibly can.

“We just need to win, simple as that. I don’t think it would be a ‘statement.’ In a semi-final, we want to be in the Final and we’ll do everything in our capacity to do that.

“We understand where we are at with injuries. We have some players who are unavailable for crazy reasons but we’re making the best of it and it’s about winning.”

WATCH: Classic highlights: City 2-0 Chelsea Women 2016

Taylor also shared an update on long-term absentees Lucy Bronze and Ellie Roebuck.

“They are progressing well, both of them,” he added, “We had a slight setback with Ellie but we might start to see her in the next period – after the next international break, mid-November.

“I don't like to put time frames on injuries, especially ours, as you can be disappointed if you don’t make them.

“Lucy is in good shape and has had good progression to her rehab. We’re starting to see some progress.”

City and Chelsea have met five times in the competition and four times in the semi-finals.

Our last FA Cup encounter was decided by Magdalena Eriksson’s injury-time own-goal, as City triumphed on home soil before going on to beat West Ham 3-0 in the 2019 Final, although the London outfit have edged recent encounters.

As the current holders, Taylor asserts his side will do all they can to retain the trophy – the first piece of silverware he won as Head Coach – as they lock horns with a ‘very strong’ Chelsea.

“Hopefully, it will be a good game and a successful game for us,” he continued, “and a result we’re looking for to take us to a third final in four years.

“We’re fully aware of our opponent. They’re really strong and when you get down to this level, you’re going to get that.

WATCH: City v Chelsea: FA Women's Cup match highlights

“They're another season on and Emma [Hayes] has done great in terms of having a settled squad. She’s been at the helm at the top for a number of years. You would hope you’re given time to work with players.

“Every season, they're there and she's in charge and they can retain those players, they'll go from strength to strength.

“You know you have to stay in the game against these types of teams. They’re very strong with good energy and strength in depth.

“In some competitions, the semi-final can be harder than the Final – I’m not saying that's the case here. We’re focused on getting to the final for us and our objectives.

“We know we’re playing a decent team with a good manager but I also know the players are excited for the challenge.

“It’s great for women’s football that you're getting two good teams going up against each other, both wanting to be successful.

“We’ve shown success in this competition – it’s the same with any team who has had success. You don't want to give it up. You want to get to the Final to give yourself the best chance.

“We know it's going to be difficult against Chelsea but we have home advantage and we will try to use it.

“Home advantage gives you familiar surroundings – being on your home patch, playing in front of home fans and everything that goes with it: the familiarity of the dressing room, warm-up, the pitch.

“It’s an opportunity for fans to view the game on TV, we have supporters back in, and it’s a great incentive we're doing at Hallowe’en with activities and kids for £1.

“It’s a great opportunity for fans to come and support us as they have done all season.”

WOMEN'S FA CUP | CITY V CHELSEA TICKETS

Sunday's semi-final clash is a 12:45pm kick-off at the Academy Stadium.

Tickets are available from just £1 for Under-16s and as the game falls on Hallowe'en, we have tonnes of activities and competitions planned to celebrate.

Secure your seat now and cheer us on to the Women's FA Cup Final!

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