WSL: Arsenal seek Sunderland repeat
PUBLISHED: 08:20 16 December 2017 | UPDATED: 08:20 16 December 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal take on Sunderland in the quarter-finals of the FA Women's Super League Continental Tyres Cup on Sunday in the hope of replicating their 3-0 victory over the Black Cats in November.
The Gunners’ new manager Joe Montemurro will look to make his mark this weekend after his first scheduled game in charge, against Liverpool last weekend, was called off due to a frozen pitch last week.
Sunderland, who relied heavily on their keeper in the group stages, will look to continue their unbeaten run in the competition.
Arsenal dispatched London Bees, Oxford City and Millwall 7-0, 6-0 and 5-2 respectively in the group stage but suffered a defeat at the hands of Reading, losing 2-1.
That loss to the Royals meant they finished second in the group despite a sensational plus-15 goal difference.
The North London outfit have won their last two games and sit four places above their rivals in the FA WSL 1 table.
Sunderland go into the game having lost 5-1 away to Everton last week in the league, their second-heaviest defeat of the season.
Much of their success in the Cup is down to goalkeeper Rachael Laws, whose performances in penalty-shoot outs against Sheffield and Durham proved decisive.
A 3-1 and 1-0 victory against Aston Villa and Liverpool enabled them to finish top of the group with ten points, which should give Melanie Copeland’s side confidence for the weekend.
Before the 3-0 victory for Arsenal in November, the two sides had drawn on the last two occasions they had met, suggesting this match could be a close encounter.
Arsenal’s dominant performance last month however gives them the edge going into Sunday’s game.
Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs said: “For us not to have any game time in the last few weeks, obviously it has been crucial that we’ve had good training sessions and been able to spend a little bit longer with Joe on the training field.
“I think he’s a great asset to the club and hopefully the game on Sunday will show what we have been working on.
“We want to win every single game that we play and bring back trophies.
“I think it was a good draw for us but we don’t want to take anything for granted with any team in this league.
“We just have to go out there and win, and have a nice Christmas knowing we are in the semi-final.”
Sunderland midfielder Kasia Lipka said: “We were beaten 3-0 last time (against Arsenal in FA WSL 1 on November 12) but we were beaten 4-0 against Liverpool last time and we turned that around, beating 1-0 and playing really well in midweek.
“We know they like to keep the ball. They’ve got lots of good players but we have got plenty of quality in our squad to get something.”
Sunday’s game between Arsenal and Sunderland starts at Boreham Wood’s Meadow Park at 2pm.
*To buy tickets to an FA Women’s Super League match near you, see fawsl.com/tickets.