Emma Hayes admits she doesn’t know which players will be fit for the FA Cup against Arsenal on Sunday

Emma Hayes admits she doesn’t know which players will be eligible for Sunday’s FA Women’s Cup tie against Arsenal, with 15 INTERNATIONALS on duty… and two Canadians who still haven’t returned from North America 48 hours before the game

  • Emma Hayes doesn’t know who will be fit for Chelsea’s FA Cup game on Sunday
  • The Blues had 15 caps, and two Canadians had yet to return to the club
  • They face a London derby with title rivals Arsenal in the FA Women’s Cup

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes has admitted she is still unsure which players she will have fit and available for the women’s FA Cup fifth round match against Arsenal on Sunday.

The Blues had 15 internationals representing their countries last week, with top scorer Sam Kerr facing the longest round trip after helping Australia clinch the Nations Cup title in his homeland.

Canadian duo Jessie Fleming and Kadeisha Buchanan were also in action and still hadn’t returned home from their trip when Hayes spoke to the media on Friday afternoon.

“They should be back by now, but that just goes to show the challenges (of the international break),” Hayes said. ‘They’re all flying in from everywhere and I see them as human beings. (After) long-haul flights, they will not be at their best immediately and will have to report two days later. You have to give them as much time as possible to recover.

‘That’s why you prepare teams that will be ready for the whole season. There will be times like this where you have to make decisions based on these factors and that’s why I always defend a team.’

Emma Hayes doesn’t know which players will be available for Chelsea’s clash with Arsenal

Jessie Fleming was one of two Canadians still to return from international duty.

Kadeisha Buchanan had not returned to London 48 hours before the FA Cup clash

Jessie Fleming and Kadeisha Buchanan had not returned 48 hours before the FA Cup game

Hayes urged consistency after Eveliina Summanen and Ella Toone incident

Hayes urged consistency after Eveliina Summanen and Ella Toone incident

The Chelsea boss was also keen to stress the need for consistency over disciplinary incidents following the decision to ban Tottenham midfielder Eveliina Summanen for two matches for “successfully misleading a referee” this week.

Summanen faced Manchester United’s Ella Toone in the closing stages of their 2–1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Toone receiving a straight red card for his involvement.

The drama did not end there, however, with the FA ruling this week that Toone’s red card should be rescinded and that Summanen should face punishment – a decision Hayes says sets a precedent for the rest of the season.

“All teams ask for is consistency,” Hayes said. ‘I’m not on the panel, but I think there would be a lot of decisions where maybe we could all have a case for that over the course of a season. All we want is consistency and let’s hope that’s the case.

‘Everyone could argue a case for many situations. I’m sure there were incidents in that game that some might think deserved more and in other games there may be situations where you are heavily penalized. This is football. But I guess this sets a precedent? Yes.’

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