Chelsea manager Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes says return of Ji So-yun is critical for Chelsea ahead of derby against Arsenal

One of the biggest games in the Women’s Super League this season takes place tonight as rivals and holders Chelsea take on Arsenal.

The Blues head into this one off the back of an important 1-0 victory over Manchester City last weekend.

They sit only two points behind league leaders the Gunners, and can go above them with victory at Kingsmeadow.

One of the positives for Chelsea will be the return of Ji So-yun following the conclusion of the Asian Cup.

Ahead of the fixture, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes highlighted the importance of the South Korean midfielder.

“Ji has been a massive player for us over the years she has been instrumental in this fixture many times over, she will be critical to tomorrow nights game”

She hasn’t played for Chelsea yet this year and will hope to bring her international form back to London.

Hayes also downplayed the importance of the fixture in deciding this season’s WSL title.

She said: “As I’ve said every week I think the league will go down to the last game of the season.

“Regardless of the outcome it’s a game that Arsenal don’t need to win and I don’t think a draw or even a loss in either direction is necessarily defining.”

The last time the two sides faced each other in the league was on the opening day at the Emirates.

Arsenal clinched all three points then, and ever since the reigning champions have been chasing them.

Tonight’s fixture is a chance for Chelsea to set their own path to yet another title.

Coverage of the game is on Sky Sports starting at 7pm.

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