England goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain believes Manchester City face an almighty battle if they want to down her former side Bristol City in the SSE Women’s FA Cup sixth round on Sunday.
The defending FA Women’s Super League champions progressed through to the last eight courtesy of a battling 1-0 against Reading on Saturday and if they can overcome Bristol then they will be just one game from a Wembley final.
They will be overwhelming favourites to get the job done too, as Bristol are newly promoted to the top division this year – but this week’s Champions League first-leg clash with Fortuna Hjorring will cut their preparation time.
Chamberlain (above right), who played for Bristol between 2005-2007 and 2010-2013 and now stars for Liverpool, was at the draw for the sixth round of the SSE Women’s FA Cup at Holly Lodge Girls’ College in Liverpool, where two pupils drew the numbered balls out of the iconic velvet bag.
She also took part in a question and answer sessions with students, and picked out her former side’s clash with Man City as one to look out for.
“I think they are all big ties, I think that every single game is difficult. When you get to this stage anyone can beat anyone, all the teams are in WSL 1 and they all have very good players,” the 33-year-old said.
“Bristol have got to two FA Cup finals before and I was lucky enough to be involved in both, they have a very good set up down there and I am sure they will be relishing the challenge to get back up to where they were a few years ago, and this is a great game.
“It will be an exciting game for them. I look out for their games and it is a good set up down there and I like to see them do well – not when they play us though.
“Manchester City will have played them before and it is a fantastic big pitch which I think they will enjoy playing on but it will be tough for them as they will have just got back from the Champions League.”
The sixth round ties will be played on Sunday March 26 and each winning club will receive £6,000 from The FA prize fund.
Holly Lodge Girls’ College was chosen to host the draw thanks to its partnership with Teach First, a charity supported by SSE that aims to address educational inequalities in English and Welsh schools.
And there were four cracking ties picked out, with holders Arsenal, fresh from a 10-0 victory against rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the fifth round, drawn to play Birmingham City – who have a new manager in Marc Skinner.
Elsewhere, former champions Chelsea will face Sunderland, while Chamberlain’s Liverpool are due to play Notts County.
“The SSE Women’s FA Cup final is always a magical day when you get there, it is the experience of the whole build up and the added spice at Wembley,” she said.
“Every kid has dreamt of walking up those stairs at Wembley and lifting the cup, and that will inspire every single player in the last eight.
“I think you need to not think about the fact Wembley is not far away, I know it can be difficult and you can but if you do that you can become unstuck.
“It is a tough quarter-final against a good Notts County side for us, but they are all great ties.”
Tickets are now on sale for the SSE Women’s FA Cup Final on Saturday May 13 at Wembley Stadium connected by EE. For the second consecutive year, kids go free to the final. Adult tickets cost £15 and can be purchased here: https://ticketing.thefa.com/