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Arsenal: A Season-Defining Month

Arsenal are synonymous with success in women's football and always have been. The only English club to win the Women's Champions League, the 2007 European Cup was one of just 58 trophies the club have lifted.

This season, the chance for success is still alive on four fronts, but rivals are keen to challenge the Gunners in all competitions, with one particular rival still fighting on the same four fronts.

Chelsea are not only five points ahead of Arsenal in the WSL, but also provide the opposition for Jonas Eidevall's side in the FA Cup 5th Round and Conti Cup Final.

The Blues are also in the Champions League quarter-finals, and whilst the two London rivals won't meet just yet, their paths could collide again in the final.

Chelsea snatched a late point at the Emirates earlier this season to draw the only meeting so far 1 - 1, but with at least three more games to go between the rivals this season, the story is far from over.

A mouthwatering double header will see the clubs meet at Kingsmeadow on Sunday in a blockbuster FA Cup tie.

Chelsea are arguably slight favourites given Arsenal's ongoing injury crisis, but it's worth remembering that this is the FA Cup. In a competition where non-league sides regularly knock out top-flight teams, Arsenal beating Chelsea certainly isn't off the cards.

That will apply even more so when the two sides meet again a week later for the Conti Cup final.

Chelsea thrashed West Ham 0 - 7 to reach the final, with Arsenal beating Manchester City at Meadow Park in extra time through Stina Blackstenius.

The game at Selhurst Park will offer up the first major trophy of the season, and it's one Jonas Eidevall will be keen to win.

Arsenal are six points off the pace in the WSL, not even in the Champions League places. A trophy would not only be an achievement in its own right but could also be a huge boost for a title push.

Once the Gunners are back in WSL action, with games at home to Liverpool (8th March) and Reading (12th March).

But their attention will soon be diverted away from the league once again, with a trip to Munich on the calendar in the Champions League.

Before the first leg of the tie, Eidevall's side could have a break with the Fifth Round of the FA Cup taking place on the weekend of the 18 and 19th March.

Should the Gunners knock Chelsea out though, they'll have two quarter-finals in a row, with the FA Cup tie just three days before they travel to Germany.

As if that isn't enough to focus on, the Gunners make a short trip to Tottenham for a North London Derby between the two legs of their Champions League quarter-final.

While their record is fantastic against Spurs, Arsenal wouldn't exactly have chosen such a high-profile fixture to play in the middle of their showdown with the German giants.

Then to top it all off, Manchester City will be at Meadow Park after the second leg against Bayern Munich, looking to repeat their 2 - 1 win from before the international break.

This is a season-defining spell for Arsenal. Jonas Eidevall could have his first trophy as manager, the Gunners could be in the semi-finals of the Champions League and top of the WSL.

Equally, they could be fourth, trophyless and out of every other competition.

The reality is that Arsenal will likely find themselves somewhere in between.

The two Chelsea games very much have a "win one, lose one" kind of feel to them, especially where neither can end level.

The WSL title is arguably already out of reach after poor travels in recent weeks, dropping points at both Manchester City and West Ham.

The big one for the Gunners is the Champions League tie.

Arsenal are the only English team to have won the Women's Champions League, and it would be an enormous statement to repeat the achievement this year.

It's difficult for any team to fire on all cylinders without top players and Arsenal are no exception, with Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema both out for the season.

But in Europe the Gunners have been prolific, hitting defending champions Lyon for five in France.

The next five weeks have a make-or-break feel for Arsenal. Jonas Eidevall faces arguably the most crucial spell of his tenure.

Their credentials in all four competitions will be put to the sword by the 2nd April.

It truly is a crucial month for Arsenal Women!

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