Bristol Academy v Chelsea
The FA WSL
Thursday 16 May 2013
Stoke Gifford Stadium
Bristol Academy Women will travel to the Keepmoat Stadium for The FA Women's Cup Final on Sunday 26 May, but manager Mark Sampson has urged his side to focus on their League campaign.
The Vixens host League leaders Chelsea on Thursday evening when victory will see them leapfrog their opponents in The FA WSL.
Sampson said: “This is another FA Cup Final, we’re playing a massive club.
“We’re at home in front of our supporters and it’s a chance to go top of the League.”
Bristol have been criticised for relying on the fire-power of their Spanish strikers, but last week’s victory against Doncaster featured Sampson’s team scoring three from varying quarters.
He added: “Whether it’s a central defender, forward, wide, or midfield player. It’s great to now know that whoever our chance comes to we will have a great chance of putting it away.”
Sampson’s team face a strong Chelsea side who have reinforced their options this season, in a bid to challenge above their previous best-placed finish of sixth.
“They are a different prospect this term, you don’t bring in the calibre of players that Chelsea have brought in and not expect to be competing right at the top of the division.”
Meanwhile Blues forward Helen Ward has heaped praise on her new team-mates ahead of Thursday’s game, hailing the impact of Sofia Jakobsson following her close-season move from Russia.
Ward said: “She’s come in and scored five goals in her first five games. You can’t ask for any more from a striker.
“We’re a new squad and we’ve got a lot of new players. I think talk of the League title might be a bit premature but ultimately that is what we’re aiming for.”