Man City determined to put cup exit ‘right’ in league showdown with Arsenal

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Gareth Taylor challenged his Manchester City side to seek swift redemption when they face Arsenal for the second time in four days.

City will not defend their Continental Tyres League Cup title after the Gunners snatched a 1-0 extra-time win in Wednesday’s semi-final to book their place in the final on March 5 at Selhurst Park.

Taylor is aiming for the reverse result when City host Arsenal on Saturday in a key clash that could be critical for both sides’ Women’s Super League title and Champions League qualification hopes.

He said: “The players are really pleased with a lot of the things they did the other night but also disappointed that we didn’t quite finish it off when we had the game in our hand and determined to try and put that right tomorrow.

“I think both teams will have good knowledge, obviously played each other more recently, so I think what you’re probably likely to see is two teams going into it straight away and within the first 20 minutes having good knowledge and understanding of what they’re coming up against.

“Those individual player match-ups I think are going to be really key. I think they’re good games, and sometimes when you play a team repeatedly in the next fixture it can be a good thing because you don’t get too much time to think about it.”

City sit fourth in the WSL table, level on 26 points with the third-placed Gunners, who have the advantage on goal difference as well as a game in hand.

Chelsea, aiming for a fourth consecutive WSL title, lead the league with 31 points, two clear of second-placed Manchester United.

Arsenal are readying themselves for a deja-vu experience of their own after the international break, when they will take on the Blues in the FA Cup fifth round before facing Emma Hayes’ side again in the Continental Cup final.

Gunners boss Jonas Eidevall admitted meeting City twice in a week presented a tactical challenge for him, while the result could come down to who will emerge the better-recovered team at the Academy Stadium.

He told the club website:  “I don’t know yet what I’m going to do. It’s gonna be a good guessing game for them. I think that’s also part of the reason why it’s important to have two different systems to make it harder for opponents to prepare for us. Because if we know how we can use it, the opponents will never know for sure when we’ll decide to use one or the other.

“That makes their preparation much, much harder. So that’s part of the reason. But I think it’s mostly up to what the players do on an individual basis now to recover. Like who’s the best at eating? Who’s the best at sleeping? Who’s the best at taking ice baths? You have to be a world champion in those things here now, for Thursday and Friday. That’s what is going to make a big difference on Saturday.”

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