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Pressure's off, but we need to perform says Powell

Head coach looks ahead to Sunday's Arsenal test.

By Bruce Talbot • 25 April 2021

By Kyle Hemsley
Head coach Hope Powell watches on against Bristol City.

Having taken points off three of the WSL's top four this season, Albion boss Hope Powell would love to complete the set against Arsenal on Sunday.

The Gunners have won all five of their previous meetings in the WSL and have scored 17 goals without reply in their last four league games, although they are still a long way off the top two Chelsea and Manchester City.

“We know it is going to be very difficult, but I don't think Arsenal will take us for granted,” said Powell.

“I think sometimes in the past the top sides have maybe rested one or two players but I expect them to be at full strength, they will have seen some of the results we've had.

“But the pressure is off for the last three games, except the pressure we put on ourselves to play well and make it as difficult as we can for Arsenal.”

The Gunners won 5-0 when the teams met in October, but Albion go into the game with five wins from their last six in league and cup.

“A lot of the focus this week has been on how we defend and stay organised, but also making sure that we use the ball well when we do have it. We know that to beat a side like Arsenal we'll need to be on it defensively, just as we where when we beat Chelsea.”

Meanwhile Powell has welcomed this week's decision to enable WSL referees to have the same access to training and facilities as those in the Premier League and EFL.

“The women's game has been crying out for that,” said Powell. “With the speed and development of the game we need full-time officials and they need the best support they can get so it's a big step forward.”

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