Georgia Stanway believes Manchester City have the firepower to seek revenge on Arsenal in their huge Barclays FA Women’s Super League clash, writes Joe Leavey.
It’s been a long week with City advancing to the next round of the FA Cup with a 3-2 triumph over bitter rivals Manchester United, but their six-game winning streak came to an end mid-week with a 2-1 defeat.
Goals from Vivianne Miedema and Danielle van de Donk ensured Arsenal got the better of City in the Continental Tyres League Cup semi-final but now there’s the immediate chance for vengeance.
The second Arsenal clash represents the last time stalwart manager Nick Cushing will sit in the dugout at the Academy Stadium, with his departure to New York City FC now imminent.
And Stanway believes the in-depth strength of the squad can put them back onto the path of success.
“I think you can pick any starting 11 from our team that can go out and get the result that we want,” she said.
“We’ve got unbelievable players that are in form and you can’t argue against that. When you see people put it in the top corner, scoring goals and winning games – you can’t change a winning team.
“I think I’ve been lucky in the sense of the amount of minutes I’ve played. For me personally I had a bit of a rocky start to the season with playing time, injury and little things like that.
“I’m looking forward to kicking on to this second half of the season. With the fact that we’ve lost Janine (Beckie) and Lee (Geum-min), two of our key players, to their Olympic qualifiers, so it’s time for somebody else to come in and do their job just like everybody else has.”
The Citizens will certainly need to make the most of everyone available as they continue to battle having snuck to the top of the WSL standings seemingly without anyone noticing last time out.
Ahead of reigning champions Arsenal by virtue of just one goal, this weekend’s clash takes on an added dimension with the league shaping up to be one of the tightest in memory.
And what with Arsenal riding the pressures as reigning champions, and Chelsea bolstering their challenge with the headline signing of Sam Kerr, attention is perhaps elsewhere – but Stanway believes that City will always be front and centre in the women’s game.
“As City we’re always going to lead the way and we have done since first starting the team, with the signings that we’ve made, the players that have been a part of Manchester City as a whole – we still lead the way in that sense,” she continued.
“Obviously, it’s bold of Chelsea to make that signing and she’s an unbelievable player. Arsenal are leading the way in terms of they’ve won trophies and are winning games, but I think the more competitive the league is, the better it is for us.
“We’ve got to ensure that we kick on and are doing everything we possibly can to put ourselves in the right position at the weekend and put ourselves in a good position to hopefully lift trophies at the end of the season.”