Tomorrow evening Liverpool Ladies take on Arsenal in the FA Cup Semi Final, looking to reach the final for the first time ever. Anfield will host the tie as the FA’s choice of a ‘neutral’ venue. Tickets on the night will be £5 for adults, £2.50 concessions with the seating being unreserved on The Kop. The game is not televised so if you’re in Liverpool get yourself down to support the girls and if you are unable to for whatever reason the official twitter will be live tweeting the game here. I will try my best to update my twitter whilst there however I don’t hold much faith with the wifi at Anfield!
Our opposition Arsenal are the team to beat in Women’s football and are by far the biggest test we could face on route to a final. Since their foundation in 1987 they have won the FA Cup a record 11 times and for the past two season have been Women’s Super League Champions. Their team boasts a number of established internationals including Women’s Player of the Year Steph Houghton. Houghton is a remarkable attacking left back who you may remember from scoring 3 goals for Great Britain in last years Olympics. Striker Kelly Smith has not featured for Arsenal yet this season and so is a doubt to appear here. Other players to watch out for are attacking midfielder Jordan Nobbs and Rachel Yankey.
To reach the semi-final Arsenal beat Birmingham 6-0 however have lost both games since, both to Wolfsburg whilst crashing out of the Champions League. On the other hand Liverpool go into the clash unbeaten in all competitions despite a near-complete squad overhaul during the winter the team have won all but one of their games together. That game being the 1-1 at home to Everton in the Continental Cup. Liverpool acquired their place in the semi-final with two away wins, convincingly beating Aston Villa 5-0 and then a 2-1 win over current Premier League Champions Sunderland in the quarters. Despite Liverpool Ladies never reaching an FA Cup Final before there is experience within the team, Fara Williams, Becky Easton and Natasha Dowie all won the cup while they were with Everton, Dowie scoring a great goal in the final.
To play at Anfield will be brilliant for players and supporters alike and it promises to be a great occasion!
FA Cup Quarter Final, KO 2PM
Who are we playing? Sunderland Women’s Football Club
Where? Away, SWFC usually play their home games at Hetton Centre however due to this being unavailable this tie will be played at The Academy Of Light. Due to this change there will be no admission to the game on the day.
Injuries? Sunderland have 2 players out, midfielder Rachel Furness and striker Natalie Gutteridge.
Sunderland currently play in the Women’s Premier League which is a division below LLFC, however they are one of the teams hoping for a place in the revamped Women’s Super League from next season. Sunderland have won the Premier League the last two seasons, also winning the League Cup during this time. This season they sit 5 points clear at the top again having won 9 and drawn 3 of their 12 games. Both team progressed to the quarter finals with big wins, Liverpool won 5-0 away at Aston Villa while Sunderland beat Manchester City 4-0.
Random fact: Liverpool defender Lucy Bronze came through the academy at Sunderland and played for their senior team from 2007-2010.