Chelsea Women under the spotlight as they face Tottenham in WSL at Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea Women take centre stage again this weekend as they return from their international break to resume their tilt at retaining their WSL title.

While many of the Chelsea men are in Qatar preparing for their World Cup adventures, the women face Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Emma Hayes is expected to resume head coaching duties from the dugout following a recent operation.

Chelsea have always been susceptible to a bad performance following a break for national duties.

This is partly due to the high numbers of players travelling around the globe compared to the relatively few of their opposition.

But as the general quality of the sides improve then they too will increase their international numbers and that obvious disparity will be eliminated.

However the coaching staff are experienced enough now not to overload the training of returning players.

Hayes will assess the condition of her key players – already out is forward Pernille Harder, injured while playing for Norway. Doubts continue on the fitness of Fran Kirby.

Chelsea’s behind the scenes transformation under the new owners took a significant step forward this week with the appointment of Paul Winstanley as director of global talent and transfers.

He was, like the senior football coaching staff, poached from Brighton

Winstanley said : “I’m thrilled to continue working with Graham Potter and his team. There is a real sense of excitement and momentum around the new ownership and this project.”

Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly and co-controlling owner Behdad Eghbali added: “He’s highly respected and is a key senior addition as we continue to build a world class sporting team with a huge depth of talent, ambition and commitment who will work closely with us to drive Chelsea forward.

“Paul shares our philosophy and will fit seamlessly into the organisation.”

Chelsea favourite Gary Cahill has retired from football.

The centre-back, 36, was signed in 2012 from Bolton Wanderers and promptly won the Champions League and a host of other titles as well as 61 England caps.

He played 191 times for the Blues, scoring 13 times, before moving to Crystal Palace and more recently Bournemouth.

Of his retirement he said: “I’ve achieved things I once dreamt of, creating some incredible memories. From amazing heights like winning the Champions League and Premier League, to the privilege of captaining my country and Chelsea in an FA Cup final winning team will remain with me forever.”

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