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Manchester City vs Aston Villa Women Preview: Can Villa cause an FA Cup upset?

Aston Villa Women travel to face Manchester City in the fourth round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup on Saturday afternoon.

Manchester City Women v Aston Villa Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The international break is over and Aston Villa Women return to action with their fourth round FA Cup tie against Manchester City at the Academy Stadium.

The FA Cup will be a welcomed respite from the pressure mounting in the league and the fight for survival.

The Villans have five remaining league games to earn their spot in the top-flight next season, but tomorrow’s focus is on the FA Cup and progressing to the next round of the competition.

Previous meetings

The two sides have met twice already this season in the Women’s Super League, with Gareth Taylor’s side securing victories on both occasions.

Villa’s first game after they earned promotion was against the Manchester club, who came to Villa Park and walked away with all three points after two goals from Georgia Stanway.

The 7-0 back in January was a wake up call for Villa as Marcus Bignot’s appointment came only two weeks later and his side will be determined to keep this City side at bay.

Form

Saturday’s hosts have won their last 12 games in the WSL, but did succumb to a 4-2 aggregate defeat to Barcelona in the UEFA Women’s Champions League quarter-finals at the end of March.

Villa are looking for their first win since a 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur back in February, but it would be a huge upset should City not progress to the next round.

A welcomed distraction, but league survival the priority

Little pressure rides on this game, with the club’s focus on the run-in and their upcoming league fixtures.

Villa face West Ham away from home on Tuesday night in the WSL in what will be a crucial tie in the race to avoid relegation.

Speaking to Villa TV after the Everton defeat, Bignot said: “We’re really looking forward to when we go down to West Ham.

“Going into the run-in, it’s going to be about the team that makes the least mistakes.

“What’s pleasing in a way, is there hasn’t been bad performances but there have been mistakes.

“We’ve got to eradicate, or make the least, mistakes.”

Aston Villa Women v Arsenal Women - Barclays FA Women’s Super League Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

International break round-up

Two of Villa’s players were in action during the international break, not least Japan’s Mana Iwabuchi.

The forward featured in both of their friendlies against Paraguay and Panama and scored two in their 7-0 victory over the former.

Against Panama, the 28-year-old recorded two assists in another 7-0 thrashing.

Forward Stine Larsen featured in Denmark’s friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Wales.

The fifth round draw

The draw for the fifth round of the competition has already been made and the winner of Saturday’s fixture against Manchester City and Aston Villa will be facing either West Ham United or Chichester & Selsey.

Fifth round games are scheduled to take place on Sunday, 16th May, 2021.