SSE Women’s FA Cup preview: Aston Villa v Cambridge United

Aston Villa make their first appearance in this year’s FA Cup this Sunday, when they will host Cambridge United at Tamworth FC’s Lamb Ground.

Cambridge, who are currently in second place in South East Division One of the WPL, have already made it through four rounds of the competition, beating Wymondham Town, Stevenage, QPR and Southampton Women to get this far – a far cry from last season when they were knocked out in the third qualifying round by Wymondham, who at the time were still a county league team.

In contrast to Cambridge’s rather flat cup run last season, Villa made it all the way to the quarter-finals, where they were WSL2’s only representatives. The Lady Villans impressive progress was halted by eventual runners-up Chelsea, who defeated them 6-0 at Wheatsheaf Park.

Cambridge have enjoyed home field advantage in all four of their FA Cup games so far this season, so this will be their first road trip. They will be hoping to replicate the form they have shown away from home in the league, where they have won four of their five games played so far.

Villa are used to playing their home games at Sutton Coldfield’s Central Ground, so the Lamb Ground in Lichfield may be unfamiliar surroundings to some of their players. The stadium has hosted Villa’s development team before though, so it’s not completely virgin territory for the club.

Cambridge are one of five WPL Division One teams left in the competition – all but one of whom are facing WSL opposition. Can they overcome the two division gap to their opponents? Only time will tell.

My prediction: Cambridge have already caused an upset during their current cup run, beating WSL Southern Division QPR 3-1, but Villa provide even tougher opposition. I don’t think we’ll be seeing the form book being thrown out the window, so I’m predicting a home win.

The match

  • Date: Sunday 5th February
  • Kick-off: 2pm
  • Venue: The Lamb Ground, Tamworth, B77 1AA
  • Admission: £5
  • Public transport
    • Train: Tamworth station (about 3/4 of a mile away)
    • Bus: Nearest stop is The Arches (services 4, 7, 7A, 48, 65, 766, 767, or 785)

The stats

Aston Villa (@AVLFCOfficial)

FA Women’s Super League 2 (level 2)
2016 final standings: w7 d3 l8 gd-1 = 6th place out of 10

2016/17 FA Cup
Entering at third round

2015/16 FA Cup
3R – Aston Villa 1-0 Portsmouth (level 3)
4R – Tottenham Hotspur (3) 2-3 Aston Villa (after extra time)
5R – Aston Villa 1-0 Everton (2)
QF – Chelsea (1) 6-0 Aston Villa

Cambridge United (@CambridgeUtdWFC)

WPL, South East Division One (level 4)
League form: w9 d0 l2 gd+16 = 2nd place out of 12

2016/17 FA Cup
3Q – Cambridge United 3-0 Wymondham Town (level 6)
4Q – Cambridge United 3-0 Stevenage (4)
1R – Cambridge United 3-1 Queens Park Rangers (3)
2R – Cambridge United 4-0 Southampton Women (5)

2015/16 FA Cup
3Q – Wymondham Town (7) 1-0 Cambridge United

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