Explained: Why Emma Hayes could miss Chelsea's HUGE Women's Super League clash with Man Utd

Emma Hayes Chelsea Women 2022
Chelsea manager Emma Hayes may be forced to miss the crunch game against Manchester United at Kingsmeadow on Sunday.
  • Blockbuster game on Sunday between top two
  • Hayes is a doubt because of illness
  • Club hopeful she will recover in time

WHAT HAPPENED? The Blues host United in a top-of-the-table game in the Women's Super League on Sunday but may be without their manager due to illness. United head to Kingsmeadow on top of the table but just a point above Sunday's hosts. The Red Devils can take a giant step towards a first title with a victory but have never managed to beat the Blues in six WSL meetings - and their only defeat this season came in a 3-1 reverse against Chelsea in November.

WHY COULD HAYES MISS THE GAME? Hayes missed the pre-match press conference ahead of the crunch game due to illness which meant that general manager Paul Green took over media duties. Green told reporters he is hopeful Hayes will be back shortly and able to take her place on the touchline.

WHAT THEY SAID: "We’re hoping she is going to be back tomorrow. It’s just a viral illness so hopefully she can shrug it off," he said. "She wasn’t feeling the best during the second half of the Brighton game. She still felt a little bit under the weather yesterday. Hopefully she’ll recover today and be back in for training tomorrow."

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Emma Hayes Chelsea 2022-23

Man Utd Chelsea Women

THE BIGGER PICTURE: If Hayes is absent then Green will take charge of the team along with Denise Reddy. Green filled in temporarily earlier in the season when Hayes underwent surgery and explained how the manager will still be involved even if she does not make it to the match.

"She’s still got access to the training footage," he added. "There’ll be a regular communication if she wasn’t to make it on Sunday as we did earlier in the season where she’ll have a direct ear-piece to Denise on the sideline. We’re hoping she’ll be back if not tomorrow then certainly on Sunday."

WHAT'S NEXT: Chelsea are in the midst of a critical run at home and abroad. The Blues take on Reading in an FA Cup quarter-final after facing United on Sunday and then travel to Lyon in the last eight of the Champions League.