FA Cup action returns to the fore as City continue defence against Ipswich

Yahoo Sport UK
Manchester City's Steph Houghton Action Images via Reuters/Craig Brough
Manchester City's Steph Houghton Action Images via Reuters/Craig Brough

We are down to the last 16 in this season’s Women’s FA Cup competition, and there will be a number of teams dreaming of success heading into this weekend’s action.

With just the two all-Barclays FA Women’s Super League ties, there will be plenty of chances for an upset, as the underdogs harbour dreams of making it to the quarter-finals.

The action kicks off on Sunday afternoon as Chelsea host Liverpool at Kingsmeadow. The Blues are still unbeaten in the Barclays WSL this season, and will be looking to carry that form into the FA Cup as they continue their hunt for silverware in all three domestic competitions.

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Emma Hayes’ side enjoyed a comfortable 4-0 victory over FA Women’s Championship side Charlton in the previous round, while Liverpool dealt out a goal glut of their own, as they downed Blackburn 8-1.

Goals have been hard to come by for Vicky Jepson’s side in league action this campaign, and they will be up against it when they make the trip to the capital for the lunchtime kick off.

The standout tie of the round pitches Manchester City with FA Women's Premier League South East Division One side Ipswich Town.

The fourth tier outfit will make the trip to Manchester after overcoming third-tier side Huddersfield Town 4-1 in the fourth round, and will be looking to make their mark as they face the reigning champions.

City overcame rivals Manchester United 3-2 in the previous round of the competition, and are aiming for a third Women’s FA Cup title in the last four seasons.

There used to be a time when Arsenal ruled supreme over the Women’s FA Cup, as the Gunners won the prize nine out of 13 years between 2004 and 2016.

But Joe Montemurro’s side are going through a relative drought in the competition by their lofty standards, with that success four years ago the last time they held the trophy aloft.

This weekend they host Championship side Lewes at Meadow Park as they look to progress into the last eight.

The visitors have won just two league games all season heading into this one, and made it through to the current stage after beating Billericay Town on penalties.

After making the trip to Liverpool on Thursday night in Barclays WSL action, Montemurro may take the chance to give a run out to some players in the squad who have featured less prominently this season.

Elsewhere on Sunday, there are two more clashes between first and second tier sides, as Brighton travel to Crystal Palace buoyed by a midweek point against Manchester United, while Reading will head into their clash with Leicester on the back of a 2-0 victory over West Ham.

Another side hopeful of causing an upset will be third-tier Sunderland when they host Birmingham at Eppleton Colliery Welfare Ground.

Mel Reay’s side are still unbeaten in the FA Women's National League North this season, as they lead the way by six points, and will fancy their chances as they welcome a Blues side who haven’t tasted league success since early December.

Onto Monday, and the other all-Barclays WSL clash sees bottom-side Bristol City host Everton at Stoke Gifford Stadium.

The Robins will be looking forward to casting their minds away from league action, after just one win all season, and will be hoping the old cliché about the formbook will ring true in this one.

Everton will be looking to make amends after blowing a two goal lead against Tottenham on Wednesday night, and in Chloe Kelly they have one of the form players in the country.

The 22-year-old netted twice when the Toffees met the Robins earlier in the season, and if she can produce the goods once again, Willie Kirk's side will be in good shape for a quarter-final berth.

The action comes to a close as Tottenham make the trip to Coventry United, with Spurs getting to this stage in the competition after a 5-0 trouncing of Barnsley.

United have just two wins in the Women’s Championship all season, but will be hoping home advantage will play into their hands as the two sides face off at Butts Park Arena.

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