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Conti Cup Preview: Arsenal Women v Man City

Arsenal Women v Man City. February 6, 2023. Meadow Park

Tonight, we host Manchester City for the semi-final of the FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup in the first of two clashes with City this week.

It's been over a year since our Gunners last met Gareth Taylor's side and the stakes for this fixture are high, with a place in next month's Conti Cup final just within reach. 

Last time around

We have yet to face Manchester City this season after our WSL opener was postponed due to the passing of Her Majesty the Queen. Our last home game against City came back in September 2021, as we stormed to a 5-0 win thanks to a brace from Kim Little and goals from Vivianne Miedema, Katie McCabe and Leah Williamson.

In the return leg at the Academy Stadium, Tobin Heath scored a last-gasp equaliser after Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw had put the hosts ahead in the second half. 

Cup's defending champions

Manchester City lift the 2022 Conti Cup trophy

2022 saw Manchester City defeat Chelsea 3-1 to secure the Conti Cup and prevent the Blues from achieving the domestic triple. Since that trophy lift, City are a much-changed side, having lost the likes of Ellen White, Lucy Bronze, Keira Walsh, Georgia Stanway and Caroline Weir from their ranks at the end of the season.

However, this year's squad is hardly short on talent. WSL top scorer Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw has already kicked off her Conti Cup campaign with a goal and two assists in their 6-0 win over Bristol City in the quarter-finals and former Gunner Laura Coombs is enjoying a standout season for City in midfield.

They also boast a number of players from England's Euro 2022-winning side, including Chloe Kelly, Lauren Hemp and Alex Greenwood. 

What the managers say

Gareth Taylor

Eidevall on City: "I think they’re really playing well at the moment and you can see that their underlying numbers are really strong as well. Our preference is to control the game with the ball, but I think the reality is when you’re playing against a team like City, both teams will have spells with the ball and both teams will have spells without the ball.

Taylor on us: "We’re the holders, we’ve drawn an interesting fixture but you have to play and beat the so-called best to get to finals and then in the final. It’s a game we’re looking forward to."

Team news

Lia Walti in training

In his pre-match press conference, Eidevall confirmed that Lia Walti will be back in our matchday squad after the Swiss midfielder missed the last three fixtures through a minor knock. "There are no concerns there for Wednesday," he said. 

Elsewhere, Teyah Goldie is still recovering from her ACL injury: "On Teyah, she has still not been able to fully come back after the ACL injury, and we had a minor complication in the later stages of her rehab process, which forced her to wear a boot. But, as far as I’m aware of now, that boot is no longer used so it was not a long-term thing. Let’s hope she can be back on the pitch with us soon."

How to watch

Arsenal Women celebrate at Meadow Park

We kick off at Meadow Park at 7.15pm (UK) this evening. Supporters in the UK will be able to watch live on BBC iPlayer and the match is available to stream on the FA Player wherever you are in the world. 

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