A Guide to the FA Cup Final 2023
Saturday, 13 May 2023
All you need to know ahead of the record breaking Vitality Women's FA Cup 2023
The 2023 Women’s FA Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United takes place at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 14th May (kick off 2:30pm BST). Chelsea have won the last two FA Cups and will be looking to win it for the fifth time in total. This will be Manchester United’s first appearance in the final. These sides are currently the top two in the Women’s Super League (WSL). The match has sold-out and will set a new attendance record for the final and cup.
How they got to the final
Both sides entered the cup in the fourth round. In that round, Chelsea beat Liverpool 3-2 at Kingsmeadow with Sam Kerr scoring a hat-trick. The Blues took on London rivals Arsenal in the fourth round. They won that match 2-0 with Sophie Ingles and Kerr scoring the goals. In the quarter-finals, Chelsea overcame Reading, beating them 3-1. The goals were scored by Jess Carter, Maren Mjelde and Guro Reiten. Kerr scored the only goal in the semi-final as they beat Aston Villa 1-0 to reach their third consecutive final.
Manchester United started their FA Cup campaign with a 2-1 win away at Sunderland with Nikita Parris scoring both goals. In the fourth round, they beat Durham 5-0. Vilde Boe Risa, Leah Galton, Hannah Blundell, Alessia Russo and Parris scored the goals. They travelled to The Dripping Pan in the quarter-finals where they beat Lewes 3-1. The goals were scored by Russo, Boe Risa and Parris. Galton, Russo and Rachel Williams scored as they reached Wembley for the first time by beating Brighton 3-2 in the semi-finals.
In the WSL meetings this season, Chelsea won the meeting at Leigh Sports Village in November 3-1. Kerr, Lauren James, and Erin Cuthbert scored for the Blues whilst Russo scored United’s consolation goal. In the return fixture at Kingsmeadow in March, Chelsea won 1-0. Kerr scored the only goal of the game during the first half. Manchester United have never beaten Chelsea in any competition.
Chelsea are currently second in the WSL. Emma Hayes normally lines them up in a 4-2-3-1 formation but has also recently also used a 3-4-1-2 formation, even swapping between them during matches. Starting in goal will either be Ann-Katrin Berger or Zecira Musovic.
In defence, Eve Perisset, captain Magdalena Eriksson, Kadeisha Buchanan, Jess Carter, Maren Mjelde and Niamh Charles have been regular starters throughout the season. Alsu Abdullina is another defensive option whilst Millie Bright will miss the final with a knee injury.
Erin Cuthbert, Sophie Ingle, Melanie Leupolz, Jessie Fleming and Jelena Cankovic could be used in the midfield. In the attacking midfield positions, Lauren James, Guro Reiten, Johanna Rytting Kaneryd and Katerina Svitkova have been used. In the number 10 role, Fran Kirby is out injured for the rest of the season so Pernille Harder, Fleming or Cankovic could start there.
Sam Kerr will probably start up front with Harder, James and Reiten as a back-up in this position.
Marc Skinner’s side currently sit top of the WSL. He normally sets United up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and has kept a fairly settled starting line-up throughout the season. Mary Earps will probably start in goal with Sophie Baggaley as back-up.
In defence, Ona Batlle normally starts as right-back, Maya Le Tissier and Millie Turner in the centre, and Hannah Blundell on the left side. Aoife Mannion has started some recent games as a centre-back. Other defensive options include Jayde Riviere, Aissatou Tounkara and Estelle Cascarino. Maria Thorisdottir is out injured for the rest of the season.
Captain Katie Zelem and Hayley Ladd have been regular starters in midfield, with Nikita Parris, Ella Toone and Leah Galton playing in more attacking roles. Other players who can play in midfield include Vilde Boe Risa, Lisa Naalsund and Lucia Garcia.
Alessia Russo is the normal starter in forward position with Rachel Williams and Martha Thomas as other options in attack.
Stadium and transport information
The final, as it has done since 2015, will take place at Wembley Stadium.
Following national rail strikes on Friday and Saturday, there may still be some disruption on Sunday.
NO TRAINS WILL BE STOPPING AT WEMBLEY STADIUM STATION.
The closest stations to the stadium that will be open are Wembley Park (Jubilee and Metropolitan Underground lines) and Wembley Central (Overground from Euston station in London and Bakerloo Underground line).
A number of TfL buses stop close to the stadium including the numbers 83, 92, 182, 223, 440, 483.
National Express coaches have direct event day services to Wembley.
Car Parking has to be pre-booked and is limited. Blue badge parking is available but again has to be pre-booked.
General admission turnstiles open at 12:30pm (BST) with hospitality turnstiles opening an hour earlier at 11:30am (BST).
Wembley has a restricted bag policy with each person allowed to take in one small bag no bigger than A4 size. All bags will be searched before entering the stadium as well as security checks and searches on supporters.
Wembley Stadium is a cashless venue with only card/contactless payments accepted throughout.
Wembley Stadium has a no-street-drinking zone on Olympic Way and surrounding streets. Fans found drinking alcohol in this area will be asked to hand it over. There are bars and restaurants in the local area or alcohol will be available in the east fan zone.
There will be two fan zones to the east and west of the stadium. They will be unsegregated but you must have a match ticket to enter and they have limited capacities.
The west fan zone will have things such as table football and football darts as well as food and soft drinks. The east fan zone will have a resident DJ as well as food, soft and alcoholic drinks (alcoholic ones will stop being served at 1:30pm (BST).
Both fan zones will be open from 10:30am to 2pm (BST).
The referee for the final is Emily Heaslip and she will be assisted by Georgia Ball and Chloe-Ann Small. The fourth official will be Abigail Byrne and the reserve assistant referee is Sophie Dennington. For the first time in a Women’s FA Cup final, VAR will be used. Michael Salisbury and Sian Massey-Ellis will be the officials in charge of that.
In the UK, the final will be shown live on BBC One/Sport Website/iPlayer with coverage starting at 1:50pm (BST). There is live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra (coverage starting at 2:15pm (BST)) and coverage on talkSport from 2pm (BST).
Outside of the UK, in countries without broadcast deals for the final, it will be shown on the FA Player (check local listings).