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WSL: Arsenal look for cup lift against London Bees

PUBLISHED: 14:55 12 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:55 12 October 2017

A general view of the ground before an FA Women's Super League match (pic Mark Kerton/PA)

A general view of the ground before an FA Women's Super League match (pic Mark Kerton/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal will be looking to kickstart their season when they host London Bees in the FAWSL Continental Tyres Cup tonight (Thursday).

Both sides have endured frustrating starts to their WSL campaigns, but Arsenal have won the cup competition more than any other side, claiming the silverware four times in five years from 2011 to 2015.

They edged out Birmingham 3-2 on the opening day of the WSL season, but then suffered a 5-2 defeat at Manchester City and were held to a 1-1 home draw by Bristol City last weekend.

The female Gunners finished third in both the last FAWSL and Spring Series campaigns and have proved themselves among the most ruthless teams at the top table.

London Bees are yet to claim a point in FAWSL Two after three straight defeats, but produced one of the biggest shocks of last season as they dumped Chelsea out of the Continental Tyres Cup in the first round.

Arsenal had to come from behind to beat them in 2015, as Spanish substitutes Marta Corredera and Natalia Pablos Sanchon inspired a 3-1 win after Amber Gaylor’s early goal at the Hive.

Turid Knakk and Alex Scott had both hit doubles in Aresnal’s 7-0 win a year earlier.

Summer signing Beth Mead, who started against Birmingham after joining from Sunderland but has been a substitute in the last two matches, could be given a chance to impress against the Bees.

And the forward will be keen to make her mark to force her way into Pedro Martinez Losa’s starting line-up on a regular basis.

Midfielder Danielle Van de Donk said: “I find every opponent a nice challenge. It’s a chance to shine and we need to take that.

“We want prizes. The league is going to be hard to win, but the FA Cup and the Continental Tyres Cup are going to be great to go for, so everyone is positive about getting started against London Bees.

“I don’t know too much about London Bees, with them being in FA WSL 2, but I reckon it will be physical and they will give us a hard time.

“We need to be calm and get a bit sharper.”

*To buy tickets to an FA Women’s Super League match near you see fawsl.com/tickets.

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