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Women's FA Cup: Five things to watch as Arsenal take on Manchester City in fifth round

Yui Hasegawa of Man City and Alessia Russo or Arsenal

Women's FA Cup: Arsenal v Manchester City

Venue: Meadow Park, London Date: Sunday, 11 February Kick-off: 12:30 GMT

Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two from 12:15 GMT or follow on the BBC Sport website

The FA Cup is back this weekend and things are starting to heat up as Arsenal host Manchester City in a mouth-watering fifth-round fixture.

Both sides are still in contention for the Women's Super League title - City are second behind leaders Chelsea, with third-placed Arsenal a further three points behind.

But one could put a serious dent in the other's season on Sunday by ending their bid for more silverware.

Meanwhile, seven teams outside the WSL remain in the tournament but they must all beat top-flight opponents if they are to progress to the quarter-finals.

Will it be an all-WSL affair in the last eight? Or will the magic of the cup endure?

Here are five things to look out for.

'Everything cool' as Arsenal take on Man City in all-WSL clash

In what is the the only all-WSL fixture of the fifth round, Manchester City travel to Arsenal on Sunday, with the match live on BBC Two from 12:15 GMT.

It is the second year in a row the Gunners have been drawn against a top WSL team at this stage of the tournament. Chelsea knocked them out at the same point last year and Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall knows his side will have to be at their best to progress.

"It's always quite intense games, challenging games [against City]," he added. "Games have been won on small margins and we have to work as a collective to get results. We look forward to these games the most."

Both 14-time FA Cup winners Arsenal and City, who have won the trophy three times, are driving forces of the women's game and the last time the two managers met at their league match in November, things got heated.

City boss Gareth Taylor accused his Arsenal counterpart of "bullying" the fourth official in his side's 2-1 defeat, before Eidevall responded by saying such a comment was "borderline slander".

Eidevall said the row was water under the bridge and he "hadn't thought about it", with Taylor confirming "everything is cool" before they go head-to-head again.

Taylor 'confident' of keeping hold of Kelly

Arsenal-Manchester City fixtures have proved to be intriguing and exciting affairs over the years and perhaps more fitting of a greater occasion.

"It's a big game, no doubt," said Taylor. "This is kind of like a final tie. Sometimes they get thrown up so it's a good challenge for us. It's a shame it's not coming later in the competition."

Taylor is unlikely to rotate his squad for the tie and an integral part of City's season so far has been England winger Chloe Kelly, who has played in all 19 of their matches.

Reports this week suggest the 26-year-old is being targeted by Paris St-Germain but Taylor was keen to dismiss those rumours, saying he is "confident" the club can keep hold of the 2022 Euros final matchwinner.

"These things happen when players are doing well. These rumours come out, how true they are, who knows," he said.

"Chloe is playing well at the moment but there's more to come from her. She's a great personality and someone who is eager to learn.

"We're working so hard to retain our best players. It's about coming to an agreement, but life goes on. We continue in the same vein and we want people who are committed to being at the club and we have that at the moment.

"Even Lauren [Hemp], there's been a bit of speculation there but she's been brilliant for us, top class."

Chloe Kelly graphic: games - 19; goals - 8; assists - 6; chances created (WSL only) - 34; chances created per 90 (WSL only) - 2.62)
Chloe Kelly graphic: games - 19; goals - 8; assists - 6; chances created (WSL only) - 34; chances created per 90 (WSL only) - 2.62)

Sorensen serves touchline ban

Everton boss Brian Sorensen will be watching from the stands when his side take on Nottingham Forest on Sunday as he serves a one-match touchline ban after being sent off in last weekend's WSL defeat by Chelsea.

The 43-year-old said "it doesn't make sense" to appeal his two yellow cards for dissent, or the misconduct charge from the Football Association against him and his players.

"I get one [match] ban and that's fine," added Sorensen. "It was just frustration for an accumulation of things. I wanted to change my sub but I wasn't allowed to do that.

"Then I said they don't know what they're doing but said it in an aggressive way. I wasn't looking at them [the officials], I turned my back to them and said it to my staff. I shouldn't, but that's how it is sometimes. I take responsibility for it but I just wanted to protect my player in terms of an injury that was coming."

Sorensen said his absence on the touchline hasn't affected pre-match preparations and knows Everton are expected to beat the National League North side, who have reached the fifth round of the competition for the first time in 11 years.

Harris 'enjoying adventure' in 'intense' week

Brighton interim manager Mikey Harris has been in charge for just over a week but, having been drafted in from the men's academy to replace the sacked Melissa Phillips, it has been a tough start.

Harris oversaw a 2-0 defeat by Manchester United in the WSL before being knocked out of the League Cup by Aston Villa on Wednesday, and will cap off a busy week against National League North side Wolves on Sunday.

No update has yet been provided about a permanent manager but Harris said he is enjoying "the adventure" despite an "intense" week.

"I'm really enjoying myself so I'm happy to help the club for as long as they need me to do it. It's business as usual for us," he said.

"In some ways it feels like I've been doing this a lot longer than a week and in other ways it's flown by. It's been intense but very enjoyable."

While Harris has not managed to pick up any wins just yet, Wolves are the lowest-ranked side left in the FA Cup and he will see that as a perfect opportunity to boost Brighton's confidence.

"We're respectful of the opposition but the focus is on us and what we do and keep building on foundations laid in the first two games," he added.

Mikey Harris speaking to Carla Ward
Mikey Harris has taken charge of two Brighton matches in one week so far

Pitch perfect for Lionesses?

London City Lionesses had to postpone their League Cup match against Arsenal in midweek because of a waterlogged pitch, but must once again play host on Sunday when they face Liverpool.

In what was quite a bizarre turn of events, the Lionesses announced at 19:40 GMT on Wednesday - the time that, had it not been postponed, their match against Arsenal would have been taking place - that they had sacked manager Carolina Morace.

That led fans to speculate whether former Brighton boss Phillips could be reunited with the club where she spent two successful seasons from 2020, but no such announcement has yet been made.

They currently sit 10th in the Women's Championship, a position that contradicts their talented squad, and Liverpool boss Matt Beard is aware of the challenge.

"It's a bit of a surprise to see the players they have in their squad and where they are in the table," he said.

"There's normally a bounce when a manager goes. It makes our job a bit tougher but, saying that, we will be concentrating on ourselves and making sure we improve in areas we need to improve on."