FA Cup Preview: Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

Photo: @ArsenalWFC
Arsenal host north London rival’s Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Women’s Cup on Saturday evening with a 5.15 kick-off at Meadow Park.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic the 2019-20 FA Cup was suspended due to the UK Lockdown at the quarter-final stage.
Arsenal have beaten West Ham United Women and Lewes on their way to the last eight as Tottenham Hotspur have beaten Coventry United and Barnsley.
In the Women’s Super League the Gunners have started the season with a 6-1 win over Reading and a 9-1 thumping of West Ham United as for Karen Hills and Juan Amoro’s Spurs side they’ve drawn against West Ham United and lost 1-0 to Everton.
Team News
Joe Montemurro gave several updates during the week on several members of his squad after the international break.
Jill Roord who has scored two consecutive hat-tricks for the Gunners came off with a knee injury after scoring the only goal in the Netherlands 1-0 win at Russia.
The Australian said “With Jill we’re just waiting on confirmation to find out what happened, and then we can let you know. We’re just waiting on the medical staff to come back to us.”
As for Leah Williamson who pulled out of England’s training camp Montemurro added “Leah was a precaution but she’ll be alright for Saturday’s game, we’re expecting her in for training on Friday and ready to go.”
Summer signing Lydia Williams has yet to make her Arsenal debut due to an ankle injury but she should be back in action very soon “Lydia is on the park and working well, so hopefully over the next 10 days we’ll have a little bit more information to give on Lydia.”
Defender Jennifer Beattie could also be set to a return to the pitch soon after a back injury and Montemurro went on to say” Jen is doing very, very well. She hasn’t had any reaction to her back issue so we expect her in full training over the next three or four days.”
Against West Ham Arsenal played in a 4-3-3 formation switching from a 4-1-4-1 against Reading on the opening weekend.
Tottenham have played 4-2-3-1 in both their opening fixtures against the Hammers and the Toffees.
USA striker Alex Morgan could be set to make her debut for the Lilywhites after joining from NWSL side Orlando Pride on loan.
Photo: @SpursWomen
When They Last Met
Due to the ongoing health crisis, the two sides only met once last season in the Women’s Super League with Arsenal coming out 2-0 winners at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in front of a record-breaking WSL crowd of 38,262. 
Scotland star Kim Little and Netherlands striker Vivianne Miedema’s second-half goals won the division’s first derby between the two sides. 
They also met in March 2017 in the FA Cup with Spurs not fully professional at the time with Arsenal winning 10-0 as Danielle van de Donk netted a hat-trick, Danielle Carter hit a brace with goals from Chloe Kelly, Kim Little, Katie McCabe and Dominique Janssen adding to the score. 
Photo: @ArsenalWFC
Potential Match Winners
Jill Roord – Roord is fresh off two hat-tricks against Reading and West Ham United so will be coming into this game with so much confidence. She has already bettered her goal scoring record in the WSL from her first season at the club.
Beth Mead- Mead was exceptional against West Ham United involved in everything positive that the Gunners had to offer. She scored a well taken goal and was a constant threat with her work rate, she looks to be back at her very best and should go into Saturday’s clash full of confidence. 
Kit Graham- Graham was arguably Spurs best player in November’s north London derby, she had the best chance for the Lilywhites in the game but her effort from close range was well saved by Manuela Zinsberger from a one on one situation. 
Last season Graham played 14 WSL games starting 12 of those she scored 3 goals and claimed 1 assist and created 62 chances.
Alanna Kennedy – Alex Morgan was undoubtedly the most talked about summer transfer at Spurs but Kennedy was a signing of the highest quality. 
The Australian international could feature against fellow Aussies Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord. 
Kennedy can play either in defence or midfield began her career at W-League side Sydney FC in 2010, where she spent a total of six seasons during four separate stints, winning the W-League Premiership in 2011 and the W-League Championship in 2013 and 2019.
She was also named the clubs player of the Year in 2016.
The 25-year-old also had spells with Newcastle Jets and Western Syndey Wanderers before going on to lift the Premiership title with Perth Glory and won Championship titles with Western New York Flash and Melbourne City.
Kennedy has been capped 77 times by Australia and joined her parent club Orlando Pride in 2017 where she has made 60 appearances and scored eight goals.
Photo: @SpursWomen
Joe Montemurro’s Thoughts

My team’s reaction has always been great, the level’s going to be amazing, we get to test ourselves against the best.” 

“We’ve got to go out and play our football and see if these exciting new players adhere to our levels.”

“I’m loving the little local rivalry we’re developing with Tottenham, they’re a good team and the added emotion of the derby will make it very tough. It’s a big game.”

“Perfection is what we try to strive for, but perfection doesn’t really exist”.

“We always know that there are things we can fix, things we can get better at.”

“The very clear message from me is to keep our feet on the ground, keep working hard, keep our standards very high and we know that there is a lot of football to be played. With the strength of the league and the strength of the players coming into the league, we know that we need to be ready and prepared for every challenge.

“Reading and West Ham are very strong teams, and in the three years I’ve been here it’s been one of the toughest starts in terms of the quality of opposition that we’ve played against.”

How To Watch?
The match will be broadcast live on BBC Two on Saturday evening with a 5.15 kick-off time. 

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