Chelseas manager, Emma Hayes, is no stranger to pressure. She led the club to the WSL1 and FA Cup double in 2015 and won the 2017 Spring Series. Yet this season the pressure has mounted in a very different way and that is not a reference to her pregnancy with twins. Making the switch from a summer to a winter season has taken its toll.

With Chelsea fighting for trophies on three fronts, the business end of the season has become brutally congested. The switch was designed to fit better with the international calendar and help teams to maintain momentum in the Champions League. Yet slotting matches around the clustered calendars of the womens and mens games, coupled with a Orlando Cepeda Youth jersey swath of postponements because of the cold winter, has wreaked havoc on the two teams still battling in Europe: Chelsea and Manchester City.

Hayes, not known for being shy in voicing her opinion, has been brutal in her criticism of her teams scheduling nightmare in recent weeks, this Sunday labelling Champions League success a tall order for Corey Crawford Youth jersey an English side as a result.
She is not repeating herself for the sake of it, because the extent of the problem was clear in Sundays FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and City, who are separated by three points in the league (second-placed City having a game in hand) and vying for the WSL1 title.
Such was Chelseas difficulty that the late sickness of the forward Ramona Bachmann forced Hayes, who arguably has the strongest squad in the league, to name only four substitutes. Hayes described it as a challenging week with players suffering personal difficulties, injuries and sickness.
The crisis was compounded in the buildup to this Sundays Champions League semi-final against Wolfsburg (and Wednesdays trip to Everton beforehand) by Maria Thorisdottir being taken off on a stretcher with an ankle problem. Meanwhile, Chelseas two‑goal match winner against City, Fran Kirby, having been sent home before Englands match against Bosnia-Herzegovina to look after a niggle, had a thigh wrapped up with ice as soon as the whistle blew. She insists she feels good but it is clear they are sailing close to the wind with her fitness.
City have similar problems. Having lost a host of players to injury after Christmas, derailing their league domination, they had eight call-ups to Phil Nevilles squad for the Lionesses recent World Cup qualifiers. To put that in context, Reading, not competing on three fronts as City were at the time, provided the next highest James Develin Youth jersey number: three players.
In some ways City are a victim of their own success but most teams have had players rested and training together at a crucial and busy juncture of the season while Nick Cushing has been without the core of his squad and had them at full pelt against Wales and then Bosnia‑Herzegovina in key internationals.
At the seasons close, Chelsea will have played 12 midweek fixtures (with two games still to be scheduled) and City 13 (with one still to be slotted in). That is approximately one-third of their matches. The latest for City comes on Wednesday at home to Sunderland. Their Champions League opponents, Lyon, who beat City at the same stage last season, will have played seven midweek Jon Bostic Youth jersey fixtures come the end of the season, with two pairs of those coming consecutively with week-long breaks in between.
When Lyon, the four-times Champions League winners, arrive at the Academy Stadium they will not have played for a week. While City were digging deep at Chelsea, Lyon put 11 past the second division side Arras FC away in the French Cup, with six different goalscorers (including an Ada Hegerberg hat-trick).