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Conti Cup Preview: Arsenal Women v Bristol City

Arsenal Women v Bristol City. November 9, 2023. Meadow Park. FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup

The FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup is back.

As the most successful side in the competition's history and the current reigning champions, all eyes will be on Jonas Eidevall’s side to see if we can replicate our previous success.

Tickets for tonight are still available 

Here's everything you need to know before we begin our Conti Cup defence on Thursday evening against the Robins. 

Last time around

You don't need to cast your mind too far back for the last time we faced Bristol City. Less than three weeks ago at Ashton Gate Stadium, two goals from Katie McCabe secured back-to-back wins for our Gunners in the Women's Super League.

The Robins' form has improved since and they earned their first three points since promotion last weekend in a 3-2 win away at West Ham United. 

In last year's competition, Bristol topped their group and progressed to the knockout stages before suffering a 6-0 defeat to Manchester City. 

Conti Cup Champions

Arsenal lift the Conti Cup trophy

It took a magnificent display against Chelsea at Selhurst Park to lift the trophy last season and provide Jonas Eidevall with his first piece of silverware as Arsenal manager. 

Our cup run is longer this time around as we enter at the group stage. We’ll play fixtures against Bristol City, Southampton, Reading and old rivals Tottenham, with the top team automatically qualifying for the knockouts. All teams that finish second in their group will be ranked to decide the eighth side in the quarter finals.

Draws do not exist in the Conti Cup group stage and if the deadlock is unbroken after 90 minutes, the two teams will head straight to penalties. The side who wins the penalty shootout earns two points. 

So far in Group D, Southampton sit top of the table after a win over Reading and a penalty shootout win over Bristol City. Spurs, meanwhile, hit six past Reading back in October. 

Team news

Kyra Cooney-Cross on her Arsenal debut

With three fixtures in the space of eight days, our Conti Cup opener could well provide Eidevall with an opportunity for squad rotation.

"I think it's a great opportunity tomorrow for me to test new things, to see different players as well," said our head coach. "Of course, we need to take that opportunity and I really look forward to that."

Laia Codina has been ruled out of Thursday's game with a "little muscular injury" picked up on international duty but Eidevall did not reveal any further injuries to the squad.

Leah Williamson, Laura Wienroither and Teyah Goldie continue their ACL rehabilitation at London Colney. 

What Eidevall says

Jonas Eidevall in training

Eidevall on Bristol: "I expect for them to be very well organised. The player-defending formation with a lot of pressing, a lot of intensity. I think it's the team in the league that presses the most and we need to expect that again on Thursday.

"We didn't have any other expectations when we went to Bristol a couple of weeks ago as well. We know it's a very competitive side and we need to be very good in our attacking play and our positioning and decision-making in order to create the situations we want."

How to watch

Meadow Park, Boreham Wood

The clash against Bristol City will be streamed globally on and the app, free of charge.

Pitchside coverage will start at 6.45pm (UK) with Nicole Holliday alongside Emma Byrne, who still holds our club record for most appearances with 459. Another Irish and Arsenal legend, Louise Quinn, will be joining Max Jones in the commentary booth for the tie. Kick-off is at 7pm.

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