FA Cup preview: Arsenal v Manchester City Women
- Credit: PA
Arsenal travel up north to take on Manchester City in the FA Women’s Cup semi-final this evening (Thursday) at the Academy Stadium.
The Gunners reached the last four with an impressive 4-0 win over north London rival’s Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday evening as Manchester City fought off FA Women’s Championship club Leicester City 2-1.
Manchester City have started the season with a 2-0 win over newly promoted Aston Villa and a 0-0 draw at home to Brighton and Hove Albion.
Arsenal will still be without Jill Roord as the Netherlands international has a knee injury that is set to rule her out for 2-3 weeks.
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Jennifer Beattie could also be set to feature after returning to full training but it is unlikely that she will start the game with Viktoria Schnaderbeck impressing alongside Leah Williamson at the heart of the Gunners defence.
After scoring a hat-trick against Tottenham Hotspur Lisa Evans could keep her spot in the side as could Caitlin Foord who also impressed on Saturday evening.
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Gareth Taylor’s Manchester City have played 4-3-3 in their games with Chloe Kelly, Georgia Stanway and Ellen White leading the line.
USA star Rose Lavelle could make her debut while Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood and Sam Mewis could all return to the starting eleven.
Megan Campbell, Lauren Hemp and Aoife Mannion are all ruled out with injury.
When they last met:
Arsenal played Manchester City three times during the 2019-20 season winning twice and losing once.
Arsenal won the first meeting in the WSL at Meadow Park 1-0 thanks to a Vivianne Miedema goal, they then met in the Continetal Cup semi-final with Joe Montemurro’s side winning 2-1 as Miedema and Danielle van de Donk scored the goals.
However City won the second league meeting between the sides back in Manchester in what was Nick Cushing’s last game in charge before departing to New York City.
Pauline Bremer and Lauren Hemp put City 2-0 ahead before van de Donk pulled a goal back but the Gunners just couldn’t grab an equaliser as they went back to London empty handed.
Potential match winners:
Manuela Zinsberger - Arsenal have kept one clean-sheet in their three fixtures so far this season. Zinsberger will most likely be busy during this game due to the quality of Manchester City.
She will need to be alert for the full 90 minutes or Manchester City could punish the Gunners, Manchester City will have chances and Zinsberger needs to be on form.
Caitlin Foord - Foord has been extremely impressive so far this season when she has played.
She’s quick and direct and could use that to her advantage in getting in behind the City defence.
She has linked the play really well and scored against West Ham United to register her first ever WSL goal.
She was close to a goal against Spurs on Saturday but her header following a Leah Williamson cross crashed off the crossbar.
Ellen White - White should start as the number 9 for Manchester City on Thursday evening, she was the top goalscorer at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
White will be the real danger for Arsenal on Thursday as she hasn’t registered a goal so far this season but once the former Arsenal star gets her first of the season there is no doubt she will go on a good run.
Chloe Kelly - Kelly is another former Arsenal star and the Manchester City summer signing from Everton will be one that the Gunners need to keep their eye on.
Kelly scored 9 goals for the Toffees in 2019-20 including one against the Gunners in 3-1 defeat.
She scored her first goal for Manchester City in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Leicester City in the FA Cup.
Whats been said:
Chloe Kelly says she has a point to prove against her old side as she told the Manchester City website: “Arsenal are my old club so I’ve got a point to prove against them! Hopefully, I’ll get a goal!”
“We showed fight and we did the dirty work against Leicester City, It’s not all about pretty football. Sometimes you have to do the dirty work and we showed we’re capable of doing that.
“The football will do the talking when it needs to. It was a tough surface to play on but we should fight together to get into the next round.”
How to watch:
The match will be broadcast live on BBC Two this evening with a 7.15pm kick-off time.