Man City ace Stokes hopes fans flock to Euros and hails new deals for Hemp, Houghton and Morgan

DEMI STOKES is fired up for a fan-fuelled Women's Euros — but first, she wants to increase the title heat on Arsenal.

Tonight’s clash between Manchester City and the Gunners comes just under six months before the tournament in England, with the contest delayed by a year due to Covid.

More than 268,000 tickets had been snapped up from 118 countries in a public ballot by last October. This is in addition to 162,000 sold last year.

Stokes, who has 64 senior caps and made her Lionesses debut in 2014, said: “It’s amazing to have the tournament here.

“With the last two years affected by Covid it’s not been great for people, so it will be good to have stadiums filled and give opportunities for people to see international games.

“People have missed out on these matches, and they can mean a lot to them mentally.

“It would be good to see supporters coming out with friends and families and filling grounds.  

“It will elevate the women’s game even more.”

This evening, Stokes and her Man City colleagues aim to avenge a 5-0 loss they endured away to the league leaders back in September.

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A home victory would see the Citizens cut the gap between the sides to just three points.

The WSL clash comes in a month that saw Steph Houghton, 33, Lauren Hemp and Esme Morgan — both 21 — sign new contracts with City.

And earlier in January, central defender Houghton made her return to action after four months out with an ankle injury.

Full-back Stokes, 30, added: “It’s good to have Steph back.

"We need to keep young players like Esme Morgan and Lauren Hemp who have heaps of talent. They’re the future.”

After a storming start to their season Arsenal have faltered of late with three successive losses in all competitions.

But Jonas Eidevall  is confident his side can bounce back

The Gunners boss, said: “I wouldn’t say that I have experienced any problem with the spirit of the team. We know what we need to do better.”

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