Chelsea Women boss Emma Hayes compares Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby to Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole

Emma Hayes has likened the strength of Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby's partnership to former Manchester United duo Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole; Hayes: "A brilliant partnership. Yorke and Cole, I think about those two, Kerr and Kirby, in terms of the spaces they fill."

Sam Kerr, Fran Kirby, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole
Image: Emma Hayes has compared her front two the Manchester United pair

Chelsea Women boss Emma Hayes says strike duo Sam Kerr and Fran Kirby are her Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole.

Manchester United pair Yorke and Cole terrorised defences as United completed the Treble in 1999 with victory in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, having already claimed the Premier League and FA Cup trophies.

Hayes will be hoping Kerr and Kirby, who have scored 31 goals between them this season, can have the same impact as they head into Wednesday night's Women's Champions League quarter-final second leg against Wolfsburg.

PA - Sam Kerr (right) in action against Aston Villa
Image: Sam Kerr (right) has been in excellent form for Chelsea
Chelsea women's manager Emma Hayes (PA) 0:43
Chelsea Women beat Aston Villa 2-0 on Sunday but Hayes says her side must improve on that performance if they are defend their Women’s Super League title

"You don't come across these types of partnerships easily and sometimes they are formed over many, many years," said Hayes.

"They just get each other. That's not coached, that's just trying to put them in the right spaces and they figure the rest out. They are talented, world-class players and I think all the praise is fully justified.

"A brilliant partnership. Yorke and Cole, I think about those two, Kerr and Kirby, in terms of the spaces they fill.

"The thing that stands out is the selflessness. Making runs or making decisions for someone else. They are the hardest things to get across to players and they understand it in droves."

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PA - Fran Kirby
Image: Fran Kirby's partnership with Kerr has been praised by Hayes

Chelsea head to Budapest leading 2-1 on aggregate, but - although the venue is the same as the first leg - Wolfsburg have the advantage of an away goal.

It was the Blues' first win in seven attempts against the German champions, who knocked them out three times between 2016 and 2018.

"Our concentration and focus need to be extremely high because I expect even more relentless pressure from Wolfsburg," added Hayes.

"They are multiple finalists.

"Yes, we are winning the game at the halfway point but they have the experience of being in this position and so I expect the game and the challenges they throw at us will be even bigger than in the first game."

Plans for women's Europa League-style tournament

A Europa League-style tournament is among the proposals in the European Club Association's (ECA) first women's football strategy, which was released on Monday.

The Women's Champions League is currently the only European club competition in women's football.

The ECA, whose members include all of Europe's biggest clubs, has launched a 'Be a Changemaker' strategy for the women's game.

The plan is committed to "driving sustainability within the game, identifying new commercial opportunities and creating new women's football clubs across Europe", the ECA said.

WSL live on Sky Sports from 2021/22 season

WSL

Sky Sports has announced a three-year deal with the FA to become the primary broadcaster of the Barclays Women's Super League from September 2021.

As one of the most competitive leagues, with some of the most famous names and teams in the world, the WSL will be one of Sky Sports' flagship offerings.

The deal will see Sky Sports show at least 35 games exclusively live per season and further strengthens the broadcaster's commitment to women's sport.

The WSL will get the full Sky Sports treatment with lengthy build-ups and reaction to all live matches, plus daily news from the competition across Sky Sports News and Sky Sports' digital platforms.

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