Matildas Abroad Preview: Women's FA Cup fifth round starts; action continues in France

Just two months after the 2021-22 Women's FA Cup final, the Women's FA Cup is in full swing once again with the fifth round beginning on Sunday morning. 

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The international break is now over and it's back to club football for our Matildas Abroad with the Women's FA Cup returning and action continuing in France. Fans in Australia will be able to watch the Women's FA Cup live and free on the FA Player

Defending Women's FA Cup champions, Chelsea, host Leicester City in their fifth-round battle, with the latter knocked out in the 2020-21 quarter-finals when Manchester City defeating them 1-0. 

Chelsea knocked off Aston Villa 3-1 in round four; while City came from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 with goals to Shannon O’Brien, Sophie Howard and Esmee De Graaf - the last two scoring in extra time to send Leicester into the fifth round.

 Sam Kerr of Chelsea celebrates after scoring their team's third goal during the Vitality Women's FA Cup Final between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Wembley Stadium on December 05, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat - The FA/The FA via Getty Images)
Sam Kerr of Chelsea celebrates after scoring their team's third goal during the Vitality Women's FA Cup Final between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Wembley Stadium on December 05, 2021, in London, England. (Photo: Getty Images)

Blues manager Emma Hayes has claimed the Women's FA Cup trophy three times since taking the reins in 2012, with Sam Kerr scoring a double in their most recent trip to the finals in a 3-0 win over Arsenal. 

Both sides have had players away on international duty and have a quick turnaround before the game. A win for Chelsea will send them into the 2021-22 quarter-finals, due to be played at the end of March. 

This game will kick off on Sunday at 12:00 am AEDT on the FA Player. 

Over in Liverpool, the Reds host Arsenal as the Gunners attempt to redeem their final loss against the side from the FA Women's Championship, who are in a prime position to earn a promotion back to the FA WSL. 

After a blistering start to the FA WSL season, Jonas Eidevall's Arsenal side have hit a speed bump in recent games. The Gunners struggled to score against London City in their fourth-round Women's FA Cup tie, with Vivianne Miedema clinching the win in the 44th minute. 

Arsenal players exit a huddle on the pitch prior to the Vitality Women's FA Cup Final between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Wembley Stadium on December 05, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Arsenal players exit a huddle on the pitch before the Vitality Women's FA Cup Final between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Wembley Stadium on December 05, 2021, in London, England. (Photo: Getty Images)

On the other hand their opponents Liverpool will be coming into the game with confidence having beaten Lincoln City 6-0 in the fourth-round game. 

Arsenal's Aussie trio of Caitlin Foord, Steph Catley and Lydia Williams will perhaps be called upon by Eidevall, being a part of a handful of Gunners players that haven't been on international duty throughout the week. 

This game will kick off on Sunday at 11:00 pm AEDT on the FA Player. 

In Manchester, another derby is on the cards when United host Manchester City. 

The two sides met before the international break with City taking all bragging rights thanks to a late winner from Caroline Weir. 

Gareth Taylor's side comes into the clash in great form, having won nine of their last 11 matches across all competitions.

Having last won the Women's FA Cup trophy back in the 2019-20 season, City will be looking to continue their dominant FA Cup run against their rivals.

Alanna Kennedy of Manchester City is challenged by Hayley Ladd of Manchester United during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Manchester City Women and Manchester United Women at The Academy Stadium on February 13, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images)
Alanna Kennedy of Manchester City is challenged by Hayley Ladd of Manchester United during the Barclays FA Women's Super League match between Manchester City Women and Manchester United Women at The Academy Stadium on February 13, 2022, in Manchester, England. (Photo: Getty Images)

Taylor's side beat Nottingham Forest 8-0 in the fourth round, with a hat-trick for Georgia Stanway capping off the win. 

Alanna Kennedy started for City in their recent win over United; while Hayley Raso came off the bench in the 84th minute to see out the win. Both will surely be in action when the game kicks off on Sunday night at 11:30 pm AEDT on the FA Player. 

The final game of the Round of 16 will see Reading host West Ham United, both sides come into the game after facing defeat in the WSL before the international break. 

West Ham will be looking to go one better than their fifth round elimination in last season's competition against a Reading side that sits just one spot above them on the WSL ladder. 

West Ham's best-ever finish in the Women's FA Cup was a trip to the final in the 2018-19 season, where they went down 3-0 to Manchester City. 

Mackenzie Arnold and Tameka Yallop will be called upon for the Hammers to secure a spot in the quarter-finals on Monday morning at 1:00 am AEDT on the FA Player. 

Moving over to France, Mary Fowler's Montpellier have been out of action for almost a month and get back into the thick of the action when they host eighth-placed Dijon. 

When the two sides met earlier in the season, a late winner from Austrian Sarah Puntigam sealed all three points for Montpellier. 

 

Fowler picked up an assist in her last outing in the D1, coming back in December against ASJ Soyaux-Charente in a 1-0 win. 

This game will kick off on Sunday morning at 2:35 am AEDT. 

Over in Reims, Ellie Carpenter's Lyon is in search of their 15th consecutive win in Division 1 Féminine against a Reims side that sits in seventh on the ladder. 

Lyon will be without regular shot-stopper Christiane Endler who has been ruled out for two months following surgery on her right knee. 


Sonia Bompastor's side has only conceded six goals over their 14 games unbeaten streak, defeating ASJ Soyaux-Charente in their last game 8-0. 

This game will kick off on Monday morning at 12:45 am AEDT

Our final destination takes us to Italy, Aivi Luik and Ella Mastrantonio's Pomigliano C.F. host U.C. Sampdoria in a battle for sixth place.

Both sides are looking to get back to winning ways and come into the game after facing defeat in the previous round. 

This game will kick off Monday morning at 12:30 am AEDT.