Pre-Match Report

Continental Cup: Arsenal v Chelsea - Preview

Laura Harvey

By Rob Kelly

When Arsenal Ladies step out onto the pitch at Boreham Wood FC on Sunday afternoon, one thought will be running through their minds: revenge.

Their opponents, Chelsea, beat them in the FA Cup semi final last month, a defeat that cut last year's treble winners to the quick. Now Arsenal have the chance to make amends in their final Continental Cup group match, and they are determined not to pass it up.

To add even more spice to the fixture, Laura Harvey's side need to win if they are to avoid another early cup exit and the manager insists she will have no trouble motivating her troops.

"If [gaining revenge] was not on our minds then you don't deserve to be at this Club," Harvey told "We pride ourselves on getting to FA Cup finals, and losing in the semi final really hurt us. Hopefully our performance on Sunday will show how much it hurt and how much we are determined to put it right.

"We beat them in the league [on April 26], but then lost to them in our most important game of the season so far, so that overshadowed the previous result. Chelsea played well in that game but we took our eye off things: now we have a score to settle.

"We are young and have belief that they can win, which is massive. Whenever we have setbacks we look ready to come back again straight away. We also have pace across the team and are gelling together well. We have to make sure that we perform on Sunday, and if we do then the result tends to take care of itself."

Harvey's side go into the match on the back of a run of four successive away games and she admits it will be a relief to return home to Boreham Wood FC.

"We're really looking forward to it," she said. "Going on the road is hard, some of the pitches aren't as good as we are used to. We love playing at Boreham Wood, we are used to it and feel comfortable there. We know teams have to work very hard to beat us there.

"This is a crucial period for us. With our disappointing result against Lincoln [in the Continental Cup on May 13] this game against Chelsea is now a must-win.

"Then we play Birmingham in the Super League, which is starting to look like it may be a two-horse race, so that could be massive too. After that we play Doncaster, and getting three home games in a row at such a crucial time in the season could be very important for us."

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