Liverpool Women hoping to cause an FA Cup upset against Women’s Super League table-toppers Arsenal


Women’s Championship runaway leaders Liverpool will be hoping to cause an upset when they host Women’s Super League table-toppers Arsenal in the Women’s FA Cup.

Matt Beard’s side breezed through to the Fifth Round of the competition after winning comfortably against lower league opponents Burnley and Lincoln City, in which the Reds scored 10 goals without reply.

Under the reigns of Beard, who was named the Women’s Super League Manager of the Year in back-to-back seasons when in charge of the Reds during his first spell six years ago, Liverpool have been making strong progress in their task of ending a three-year absence from the WSL.

The Reds sit 10 points clear at the top of the table with only one defeat to their name. London City Lionesses, who are second in the table, are the only side that have beaten the Reds in the league with the victory coming on the opening day of the season at Prenton Park.

Liverpool have won their last seven Championship matches consecutively, with their most recent defeat coming late on away at Tottenham Hotspur in the Quarter-Final of the Continental League Cup in mid-January.

If the hosts are to stand a chance of causing an upset in front of the BBC cameras, they will need to transfer their league prowess into the cup. The Reds have scored the most goals in the Championship this season (33), conceded the least (5) and kept the most clean sheets (11).

Beard, who re-joined the club in the summer after previously managing West Ham, will be hoping key players Leanne Kiernan and Katie Stengel can inspire Liverpool to victory.

Republic of Ireland international Kiernan has been a stand-out performer in Liverpool’s promotion push. Despite not netting in the Reds’ rout of Lincoln in the last round, the forward is the Championship leading scorer after scoring 12 goals in 15 matches.

Alongside Kiernan in the attacking department is January arrival Stengel. In her six appearances for the Reds, the USWNT international, who has made an instant impact since signing from Norwegian side Valerenga, has recorded four goals and three assists.

However, overcoming the most successful side in the competition’s history would be a monumental achievement.

Despite winning 14 of their 17 FA Cup final showings, Arsenal have not lifted the trophy in five seasons. The Gunners had one hand on the trophy when they reached the final last season, however, a Sam Kerr double helped seal a 3-0 win for their title rivals Chelsea under the iconic Wembley arch.

Jonas Eidevall’s side sit two points clear at the top of the WSL as they aim to win their first title in three seasons. In their last outing, which came before an international break, Arsenal picked up a valuable point away at second-placed Chelsea, who have a game in hand on their London counterparts.

Like Liverpool in the Championship, Arsenal have scored the most goals (34) in the Super League. However, one bit of positivity for the lower league side is the Gunners’ goals per game difference at home and away.

At their Meadow Park home, the Gunners’ average goals per game stands at 3.14 after scoring 22 goals in seven games. However, on the road, Arsenal average 1.71 goals per game after scoring 12 in seven.

The Gunners’ Vivianne Miedema, who scored the only goal in Arsenal’s Fourth Round victory over London City Lionesses, has netted eight goals in the WSL so far. The Netherlands international is one goal behind Kerr as she aims to win her third Golden Boot since signing from German champions Bayern Munich.

The meeting between the two league leaders has not been seen since 2020 when Liverpool were last in the top division. Arsenal, as expected, have dominated recent fixtures between the two, winning the last six in a row.

The last time Liverpool picked up a point against Arsenal was in 2017 following a 4-4 draw, with the Reds’ last victory against the Gunners coming back in 2015.

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