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2019 FA Cup preview: Manchester City take on West Ham in search of cup double

Manchester City Women go head-to-head with West Ham United on Saturday aiming to complete a double in cup competitions this season.

City have already claimed the League Cup and they are big favourites to add the FA Cup to their haul this weekend.

Magdalena Eriksson’s crazy own goal in stoppage time sent City to the final at the expense of holders Chelsea.

The tie looked to be heading towards extra-time, but Erikson inadvertently turned Demi Stokes’ cross past goalkeeper Ann-Katrin Berger to hand City the win.

City boss Nick Cushing should have a full squad to choose from for the final, with Jen Beattie and Jill Scott both returning after sitting out Sunday’s league victory over Yeovil.

The North West side dominated their two league meetings with West Ham this season, winning both by an aggregate score of 10-2.

The two sides met at City’s Academy Stadium back in October, with City running out comfortable 7-1 winners.

Nikita Parris (2), Georgia Stanway (2), Caroline Weir, Steph Houghton and Tessa Wullaert were on target for Cushing’s side.

West Ham put up a better fight on home soil during January, but goals by Weir, Lauren Hemp and Parris sealed a 3-1 victory for City.

Despite comfortably winning both those games City captain, Steph Houghton, insists the team won’t be taking West Ham lightly.

“For us, as players, we want to put on a show and play well – and you (the fans) drive us on every single game, home and away,” she told the club’s official website.

“We always hear you and on behalf of all of the squad, we’d like to say a massive thank you for this season.

“We hope to see you at Wembley and hope to lift the FA Cup.”

West Ham reached the final for the first time in their history with a sudden-death shoot-out victory over Reading.

Rachel Furness’ header gave Reading the lead in normal time, but Alisha Lehmann levelled for the Hammers.

Fara Williams missed two glorious opportunities to send Reading through, clipping a post with a penalty before firing wide when it was easier to score late in the game.

With extra-time producing no further goals, Cho So-hyun kept her nerve in the penalty shoot-out to fire West Ham to Wembley.

West Ham have won just seven of their 19 league matches this season, but they did manage to draw with high-flying Chelsea at the end of March.

The Hammers head into the game on the back of a 2-1 victory at Bristol City and defender Claire Rafferty told the club’s official website that the Hammers can’t wait to play in the final.

“It’s the first time at Wembley, in a cup final, for a lot of our players, but we can take a lot of positives from this win over Bristol into that match,” she said.

“We have a full week now to prepare. Hopefully, we will have some of our players back that missed out in this game. We’re all looking forward to it.”

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