Vitality Women’s FA Cup holders Manchester City’s latest defence of their trophy comes on Thursday evening when they take on Arsenal in a 2019/2020 semi-final tie at The Academy Stadium.
City defeated West Ham United 3-0 in the 2018/2019 final and they find themselves just one step away from Wembley again with Birmingham City or Everton awaiting the winners of Thursday night’s tie in Manchester.
The home side go into the tie fresh from a 2-1 victory at second tier club Leicester City in the quarter-finals. Head coach Gareth Taylor will again be without injured trio Megan Campbell, Aoife Mannion and Lauren Hemp, although there could be returns for Lucy Bronze, Alex Greenwood and Sam Mewis. City could also hand a long-awaited debut to United States international Rose Lavelle.
Prior to that 2-1 win over Leicester City in the last eight, City held their nerve to record a gutsy 3-2 victory over neighbours Manchester United in the fourth round before netting 10 goals without reply against Ipswich Town in the fifth round.
Arsenal will travel to the North West without Dutch midfielder Jill Roord who will be sidelined for the next couple of weeks nursing a knock sustained whilst away on international duty. Goalkeeper Lydia Williams is still out while head coach Joe Montemurro will wait until the time is right to bring back centre-back Jen Beattie. England international Leah Williamson came through Saturday’s 4-0 quarter-final victory over Tottenham Hotspur with no new issues after recently withdrawing from the national team with a knock.
The Gunners had to hold their nerve to see off West Ham United 2-0 at Rush Green in the fourth round of the 2019/2020 Vitality Women’s FA Cup before overcoming a brave Lewes side by the same scoreline at Meadow Park. Arsenal were made to work hard by Spurs in the last eight but eventually ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.
The Vitality Women’s FA Cup semi-final tie between Manchester City and Arsenal will kick-off at 7.15pm on Thursday evening and will be screened live on BBC Four.