We have the opportunity to book our place in the quarter-finals of the SSE Women’s FA Cup on Sunday when we face Chelsea at Kingsmeadow.
THE STORY SO FAR
We entered the competition in the fourth round and kicked off our campaign in impressive style, defeating Crawley Wasps 4-0 with a youthful side.
Kim Little opened the scoring with a low drive for her ninth goal of the season, before 16-year-old Ruby Grant fired three past the Wasps in the space of 40 minutes. Her first, a thumping strike into the top corner, was undoubtedly the best of the bunch.
Outside of the FA Cup, we currently find ourselves in second place in the WSL table, having slipped to defeat just twice all season.
We currently trail league leaders Manchester City by two points, but if we’re able to win both of our games in hand, we’ll have a four-point advantage over the Cityzens.
We’ve averaged 3.8 goals per game over the course of the WSL season so far. No other side has scored more than us (50).
Sunday’s clash will of course be a repeat of last year’s FA Cup final, when Chelsea ran out 3-1 winners at Wembley thanks to a brace from Fran Kirby.
However, the Blues have failed to replicate last season’s form in the WSL, as they find themselves in third place on 29 points. That’s four fewer than our current points tally, despite playing two games extra.
Up until gameweek 13, the only goals Chelsea had conceded in the WSL were from our 5-0 thrashing in October and our 2-1 defeat in January.
Since then they’ve lost 3-2 against Birmingham City and drawn 2-2 with Manchester City, meaning we’ve now conceded the same amount of WSL goals (11).
Emma Hayes’ side kicked off their FA Cup campaign with a 2-0 win over Everton in the fourth round. Drew Spence and Hannah Blundell were the names on the scoresheet.
THE MANAGER’S NOTES
“They’re a powerful team and they have world-class players all around the pitch,” Montemurro told Arsenal.com
“I think they’re a team that have strengths everywhere, so we need to show respect. I’ve got some ideas on how we can unlock them and hopefully we go about it the right way."
ONE TO WATCH
Having kept 11 clean sheets in 15 WSL fixtures this season, we’ll be needing Beth Mead’s movement in the final third on Sunday to unlock the Blues defence.
Under the guidance of Montemurro, the England international has discovered a creative side to her game, which has seen her deliver some stunning whipped deliveries and intelligent cutbacks.
As a result, Mead has recorded more assists than any other player in the WSL this season (9).
Vivianne Miedema (7) is the only other player who’s keeping pace with the 23-year-old’s tally.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
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