Last season’s Women’s FA Cup runners-up West Ham United will need to cause an early upset in this season’s competition with a fourth round tie against Arsenal coming up at Rush Green this weekend.
The East Londoners lost 3-0 to Manchester City in last season’s final at Wembley and they will be keen to go one better this term.
The Hammers have lost all four of their meetings with Sunday’s fourth round opponents Arsenal over the last 18 months, however, they can take some confidence from their impressive attacking record against The Gunners with Beard’s side having scored in all four defeats.
Arsenal are 20 points ahead of West Ham United in the FA Women’s Super League table but The Hammers go into Sunday’s Women’s FA Cup tie on the back of a first league victory in three matches after seeing off Brighton & Hove Albion at Rush Green last weekend.
The two sides met in the FA Women’s Super League at Meadow Park on the opening day of the season with the champions winning the match 2-1. Goals from Beth Mead and Jill Roord put Arsenal 2-0 up before Martha Thomas pulled one back for The Hammers in the second half.
Arsenal suffered one of their most embarrassing defeats of recent times when they were defeated 4-1 by Chelsea in Boreham Wood last weekend and West Ham United may smell blood ahead of what could be a fascinating cup tie.
The match is scheduled to kick-off at 1pm on Sunday afternoon with admission available on the gate.