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Women's Football News
Arsenal make their return to European competition next week when they travel to Sweden for the Second Qualifying Round of the UEFA Women's Cup, to play hosts Djurgadens, Athletic Club of Spain and Greek Champions AE Aegina.
It will be the third time that the Gunners have entered the tournament and reached the semi finals two years ago, losing to Fortuna Hjorring of Denmark and star midfielder Jayne Ludlow told Women's Soccer Scene that they are aiming to go a step further this time around.
"Although the Premiership is the most important one to win, it's the best competition to be in," says Jayne. "It's always a big challenge to play against the best teams in Europe, where the teams play differently, with a lot more control.
"We have done well in the Cup in the past but we're aiming to go better than before and get to the Final this year. We've learnt how to break these teams down when playing against them before and hopefully we will make the most of that next week."
Arsenal began their league season with two draws against Charlton and Fulham having been without the likes of Faye White and Julie Fleeting in some matches, but showed signs of a return to form when beating Liverpool 4-0 last Sunday. "Last week was a good result for us," admits Jayne, "we were back to playing the way we know we can. We were playing the ball around the way we normally do against Liverpool and now we're all really positive. We've had problems with injuries, mainly in defence, but the youngsters who have stepped in have been doing a good job."
So how does Jayne feel the qualifying group will shape up? "It should be a good three games," she replies. "We played Athletic Club in a friendly last year and they are a decent side, although I must admit I know very little about AE Aegina. we play the Swedes last, which should make it interesting, hopefully things will go well by then.
"We're all looking forward to it, and we are confident about getting through."
Arsenal travel to Sweden on Monday and play their first match the following day, against Athletic Club. They take on AE Aegina two days later and finish up against hosts Djurgardens on Saturday. The top two teams from the group will qualify for the two-legged quarter finals, which are due to be
played in October.
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