Arsenal Women v Manchester United Women preview: Unai Emery sends good luck message ahead of clash saying ‘I want all our teams to win’
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Arsenal reporter Layth Yousif quizzed Unai Emery on his views of the club’s women’s side – who take on Manchester United Women at Meadow Park on Thursday evening. Read on for what he said.
With the Gunners set to host the Red Devils for the first time in the semi-finals of the Continental League Cup Emery responded to a question from the Gazette about Joe Montemurro’s highly-acclaimed side.
Arsenal sealed their place in the last four in dramatic fashion against Birmingham City at Boreham Wood after two late strikes from talented Dutch pair Danielle van de Donk and Vivianne Miedema to clinch a 2-1 victory in the quarter-finals.
With Manchester City waiting in the final Emery lent his suport to the women’s side sending them a good luck message, saying: “I follow each team in Arsenal.
“I want all off our teams to win when they are playing for Arsenal.”
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The victory over the Blues ensured Montemurro’s impressive side contimued their perfect run in the competition, after beating West Ham (3-1), Lewes (9-0), Charlton (5-0) and Millwall (3-1) in the group stage.
The Gunners have netted 22 goals over the course of competition so far, averaging 4.4 per game with only Chelsea – who lost to City in the other semi-final scoring more.
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Emma Mitchell, Dominique Bloodworth and Miedema were rested during the 4-0 victory at Crawley Wasps in the SSE Women’s FA Cup but it is expected they will return to the squad to face the Red Devils.
Jordan Nobbs, Dan Carter, Lisa Evans, Lia Walti, Tabea Kemme, Viki Schanderbeck and Jess Samuelsson will all miss out through injury.
With their opponents surprisingly only being formed in May 2018, the eagerly-awaited clash will be the first match between the sides.
United play in the FA Women’s Championship, a tier below the Gunners but are handily placed in fourth with high opes of promotion.
The Red Devils will be a tough prospect after losing only one league game all season, winning nine and drawing once.
If they their two games in hand over table-toppers Spurs they will have a one-point advantage.
They’ve also made a good start to their Continental League Cup campaign, winning four of their opening five fixtures with their only loss coming at the hands of experienced WSL side Reading, as they topped their group before Casey Stoney’s side beat West Ham 2-0 in the quarter-finals.
For live updates from the match at Meadow Park follow Arsenal reporter Layth on Twitter @laythy29 and see the Gazette on the whistle for our match report and player ratings with post-match reaction to follow.