After Storm Dennis put paid to the Gunners’ home tie against Lewes in the FA Cup 5th Round last weekend, the two teams will try once again to do battle with the elements and one another. An extra week’s rest will have been welcome for Joe Montemurro to rest some aches and strains in his stretched squad, he will also have new signing Caitlin Foord available.
The Australian arrived in London last weekend and has trained with the team during this week. Her arrival is timely with news of Beth Mead’s injury and with Vivianne Miedema telling me last week that she had been playing with a sore back.
Joe Montemurro doesn’t have much wiggle room when it comes to rotation with the injury situation as it is, but Danielle van de Donk and Katie McCabe are both a booking away from a suspension ahead of next weekend’s Conti Cup Final against Chelsea. Arsenal have won the Cup a record 14 times but have not won it since 2016. If they win this tie, a home match against Spurs in March awaits.
? BEHIND THE SCENES | @CaitlinFoord’s first training session ?
Sit back, relax and enjoy, Gooners ? pic.twitter.com/Pgm9xGiFjU
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) February 18, 2020
Arsenal will be without Beth Mead after she sustained a knee injury in the 3-2 win over Liverpool last week; she joins Katrine Veje [foot], Danielle Carter [knee], Kim Little [foot] and Lia Wälti [hamstring]. Caitlin Foord is available and in line for her debut. Dan Carter has graduated to training outside again, Ruby Mace misses out as she is on duty with the England U-17s.
What a sight ?@DanielleCarter ♥️ pic.twitter.com/Pxqytr6hW6
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) February 20, 2020
LAST TIME OUT
The teams met at Lewes’ wonderfully named Dripping Pan stadium in the Conti Cup group stages last September and Arsenal ran out 9-0 winners thanks to hat-tricks from Vivianne Miedema and Kim Little and further strikes from Lisa Evans, Katie McCabe and Danielle van de Donk.
Arsenal have won the FA Cup times 14 times, more than any other team. Southampton are the second most frequent winners with 8 FA Cups.
Katie McCabe and Danielle van de Donk are one booking away from a suspension for 5 yellow cards.
Vivianne Miedema is one goal away from reaching the 30-goal mark in all competitions this season.
Jen Beattie, Leah Williamson, Danielle van de Donk, Jordan Nobbs, Danielle Carter, Kim Little and Katie McCabe are all past FA Cup winners with Arsenal.
Lewes goalkeeper Sophie Harris- currently on loan from Brighton- came through Arsenal’s academy.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Caitlin Foord is almost certain to start with Mead injured, Miedema nursing a sore back and Danielle van de Donk a booking away from a suspension. Foord can play on either flank as a winger or a full-back and can also play upfront. The Australian is slightly more physical than Arsenal’s other attacking players.
New: Joe Montemurro Delighted To Add ‘Explosive’ Caitlin Foord https://t.co/bhtNJKVJWu #arsenal #afc pic.twitter.com/HH2uyXeZTe
— arseblognews (@arseblognews) January 27, 2020
Foord is renowned for her ability to combine with teammates, if she plays upfront, there is good potential for her to move away from the front line and knit moves together in the way that Miedema does. Assuming she plays upfront, she will be looking for midfielders and wide players to run in behind her.
18.PEYRAUD-MAGNIN, 20.MAIER, 16.QUINN, 5.BEATTIE, 22.SCHNADERBECK, 6.WILLIAMSON, 26.GRANT, 14.ROORD, 17.EVANS, 27.FILIS, 19.FOORD. Subs; 1.Zinsberger, 7.van de Donk, 8.Nobbs, 11.Miedema, 15.McCabe, 29.Pearsie.
Lewes are one of the most interesting stories in women’s football. Based in Sussex, Lewes have taken a firm and overt pro-equality stance. They have anti-homophobia banners placed visibly inside their stadium, for instance and use images of inspiring women from history as part of their match day graphics.
In the previous round, Lewes used their tie against Billericay Town to highlight the difference in prize money between the women’s and men’s FA Cups. Lewes also don’t accept applications for children to be matchday mascots at home games, they simply ask anyone under 15 to make their way to the tunnel area just before kickoff and help to lead the teams out.
We spoke to Lewes General Manager Maggie Murphy ahead of this game about last week’s postponement, how the decision was arrived at, the impact on Lewes and why the FA should equalise the prize money between the men’s and women’s FA Cups and you can read that interview here.
HOW TO CATCH THE GAME
Tickets are available on the gate for £10 adults and £5 concessions and the game kicks off at 1pm on Sunday at Meadow Park. The match will be shown live on the BBC Red Button in the UK and on the FA Player app elsewhere.
Our #WomensFACup clash with Lewes will now be shown LIVE on @BBCRedButton ?
? Sunday, February 23
? Kick-off: 1pm (UK) #WeAreTheArsenal ? pic.twitter.com/HpRgeiWNSg
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) February 21, 2020
We will have exclusive player reaction from the game on the site on Sunday evening. We will also have all of the build-up to next week’s Conti Cup Final against Chelsea, where we will hear from coach Joe Montemurro and captain Jordan Nobbs.
Deja vu all over again! One week until Conti Cup final and it seems that a quarter of the squad will be out injured. Hopefully, Viv’s “sore back” has eased by next Saturday. On a positive note, no deja vu around Caitlin’s arrival and an eagle eyed Danish speaker noted Kat Veje’s “back soon” tweet.