Arsenal Women kick off their WSL campaign with a home game against a refurbished Liverpool side. The Gunners will certainly hope to do better than the 3rd place they managed last season (for a full season preview, go here). The Gunners started their domestic campaign with a 3-1 home win over West Ham in the Conti Cup a fortnight ago, but now league points are up for grabs.
Title rivals Chelsea and Manchester City play one another later in the day, so Arsenal will look to lay an early marker down. The girls endured mixed fortunes during the international break; Kim Little, Lisa Evans and Emma Mitchell finished their World Cup qualification euphorically, with Scotland unexpectedly qualifying without the need for a playoff. Little scored in both of Scotland’s matches.
WATCH | Kim Little opens the scoring for Scotland.
(? via @bbcalba)pic.twitter.com/mNHkN5ZXnZ
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) September 4, 2018
Meanwhile, Beth Mead scored twice and missed a penalty in her first England start against Kazakhstan- Leah Williamson also made her full England debut in that game. However, Sari van Veenendaal, Dominique Bloodworth, Danielle van de Donk and Vivianne Miedema slipped to an unexpected 2-1 defeat to Norway in Oslo and now face a playoff. Miedema scored in that defeat.
??????? & ??#noopponents pic.twitter.com/VJHs2Wr5ar
— Lia Wälti (@liawaelti) August 31, 2018
Lia Wälti played for Switzerland in a 2-1 defeat to Scotland, but was suspended for the 0-0 draw with Poland that sees the Scots leapfrog Switzerland into the automatic qualification spots. Meanwhile, Louise Quinn and Katie McCabe played for the Republic of Ireland against Northern Ireland, McCabe scoring twice in a 4-0 win.
What a fantastic performance from the skipper @_KatieMcCabe9! ?
Two goals for the #IRLWNT?? captain with Ireland in full control heading into the final stages of the game! ?? (4-0)#COYGIG pic.twitter.com/zNppW9uP4c
— FAIreland ⚽️?? (@FAIreland) August 31, 2018
Liverpool have undergone a revolution this summer, with former manager Scott Rogers leaving to be replaced by Neil Redfearn. Caroline Weir (Manchester City), Alex Greenwood and Siobhan Chamberlain (Manchester United), Kate Longhurst (West Ham), Sophie Ingle (Chelsea) and Gemma Bonner (Manchester City) have all departed, while Kirsty Linnett, Courtney Sweetman-Kirk, Leighanne Robe and ex-Gunners Niamh Fahey and Christie Murray have joined.
Chris Kirkland has also come on board as goalkeeping coach. Liverpool lost 1-0 to the newly formed Manchester United Women in the Conti Cup three weeks ago and were also soundly beaten 4-1 in a friendly by third tier Blackburn Rovers a fortnight ago.
Arsenal are without Dan Carter (knee), Viki Schnaderbeck (knee) and Tabea Kemme (knee). Danielle van de Donk has recovered from a small issue which kept her out of the 3-1 win over West Ham. Jess Samuelsson steps up her recovery from a foot injury.
LAST TIME OUT
Arsenal ran out comfortable 3-0 winners when the teams met at Boreham Wood back in April. Katie McCabe grabbed one and Jordan Nobbs helped herself to her 50th and 51st Arsenal goals.
That 50th GOAL feeling! ?#FridayFeeling pic.twitter.com/To4R23y8dJ
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) April 27, 2018
Arsenal defeated West Ham in their most recent game by three goals to one, Katie McCabe (2) and Beth Mead on target.
The goals from our Continental Tyres Cup opener at @ArsenalWFC on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/Sz8IwON91U
— West Ham United Women (@westhamladies) August 20, 2018
PLAYER TO WATCH
Lia Wälti has immediately added to the Arsenal midfield. The Swiss defensive midfielder is economical in possession with both feet, firm but fair in the challenge and has a sixth sense for when to speed the game up and when to slow it down.
“Lia’s important in build-up and every phase of the game. When she needs to break play and organise the press, she’s a very, very important player to us and she’s a big player. She’s got an amazing personality,” manager Joe Montemurro purred after the West Ham match.
1.VAN VEENENDAAL, 20.BLOODWORTH, 16.QUINN, 6.WILLIAMSON, 3.MITCHELL, 19.WALTI, 10.LITTLE (c), 8.NOBBS, 7.VAN DE DONK, 15.McCABE, 11.MIEDEMA. Subs; 12.Samuelsson, 17.Evans, 18.Peyraud-Magnin, 23.Mead, 24.Kuyken, 26.Grant.
HOW TO CATCH THE GAME
The match is being broadcast live on the BBC Red Button and BBC Online. The match kicks off at 1230pm. Tickets are available here at £6 adults and £3 concessions, or else you can buy on the gate for £10 adults and £5 concessions. For more information on how to get to games and what to expect, check out our Beginners Guide.
There will be match reaction from a player on the site on Sunday evening. Also check out my interview with right-back Jessica Samuelsson from earlier this week. There will also be a full match preview and match reaction for next weekend’s Conti Cup group phase match against Lewes Town.
Interesting stuff! Thanks for the heads-up about the game being online on the BBC especially, they don’t always highlight these things on there (in fact the BBC’s coverage in the build up to this season has been disappointingly focussed on Man U’s new team, but that’s another matter) so it can be possible to miss them.
I am very happy to read these posts about the Arsenal women team as it shows how our club is bigger than just the men first team(same about the youngsters). I wish I would still live in London to be able to go catch some game from time to time. Living in Paris, I just hear about the PSG and the OL team(who seemed to be very good), but as an Arsenal fan, I pray for silverware for any team we have. I hope we will be part of the CL next season.