Arsenal Ladies - Sunderland Ladies Preview: Wembley and an FA Women's Cup final awaits the victor

Ninety minutes or so away from the big showpiece, who will be facing Chelsea or Manchester City?

Arsenal Ladies - Sunderland Ladies Preview: Wembley and an FA Women's Cup final awaits the victor
Arsenal vs Sunderland. | Photo: Jonny Walsh/VAVEL UK

Arsenal Ladies will take on Sunderland Ladies in Borehamwood in their FA Women's Cup semi-final on Saturday. The winner will face either, current FA Cup holders, Chelsea or Manchester City.

This could be an interesting match to watch for both the fans and the neutrals. 

Dominant Gunners

Arsenal have won the FA Cup the most times with a record 13 wins. Their first win came in 1993 when they beat Doncaster Belles 3-0 and their most recent triumph in this competition came in 2014 when they beat current WSL 2 team Everton 2-0 at Stadium MK. The latter also meant that Arsenal, as a club, completed a rare FA Cup double, with the men winning two weeks before.

In 2015, the Gunners were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Chelsea. The Blues would later go on to win their first ever FA Cup, and first ever trophy, at the first ever final held at Wembley, which was observed by a record crowd.

Arsenal will want to get through to the final and maybe even meet Chelsea there to avenge last season's loss.

Up-and-coming Sunderland

Sunderland haven't had the same success as Arsenal, but they were runners up in 2009. That match was against the Gunners too as they lost 2-1 at Pride Park Stadium in Derby. 

Sunderland were the surprise package in WSL 1 last season and will hope to enjoy success in this competition next. They managed to beat the champions Chelsea 4-0 in 2015, but lost on the final day with the scoreline reversed. Still, they managed a strong fourth place finish - one behind Arsenal in third.

Arsenal beat Sunderland to win the 2009 FA Women's Cup. | Photo: Arsenal FC
Arsenal beat Sunderland to win the 2009 FA Women's Cup. | Photo: Arsenal FC

Mead the one to watch

Someone who will be well observed and marked on Sunday will be PFA Young Player of The Year and PFA Player of The Year nominee, Beth Mead. She was the top goalscorer last season after netting 12 goals in 14 matches and has started this season by scoring two goals in three matches.

Mead has played for England from under-15 to under-23 level, however, she has not been capped at senior level despite being called up. This has not gone down well but hopefully she will debut sometime soon for her country, with her looking to continue her fine form to increase those chances.

A Euro 2017 spot is not out of reach and, with how young she is, she could be a future star up front for England as a lone striker, or maybe alongside Fran Kirby, another young English talent.

Big transfers for Arsenal

Mead is the one to watch for Sunderland, whereas Arsenal did well in the winter transfer window and have a few key new signings to keep an eye on.

Fara Williams was one of the biggest transfers after arriving from Liverpool and is likely to feature off the back of two appearances for her country over the international break.

The most recent signing has been Jodie Taylor from NWSL team Portland Thorns. It is unsure whether she will feature due to injury but, if so, that will be an interesting debut.