Arsenal Women are aiming to make it 9 consecutive wins in the WSL as they entertain Brighton & Hove Albion Women for the first time. Brighton successfully applied for the top flight during the recent restructure of the WSL and the Seagulls have found life difficult swimming with the sharks. They have taken 4 points from their first 8 games. Even given their injury crisis, Arsenal are hot favourites for this match.
The Gunners travel to 2nd place Manchester City next Sunday and they must be careful not to take their eye off the ball against Hope Powell’s Brighton. Montemurro’s side have started their last two games relatively slowly against Birmingham and Everton recently, before eventually finding their groove. An early goal here would be hugely advantageous.
Of course, Arsenal are struggling for fit players at the moment as a small squad has been decimated by injury. Jordan Nobbs’ season has almost certainly been ended by a cruciate ligament injury during the second half of the 4-0 win over Everton last week. Jordan was in the form of her life, having scored 8 goals in her last 6 games.
📺WATCH LATEST: Joe Montemurro on @JordanNobbs8 ACL Injury – "Jordan's a tough girl, we're all dampened by the news. She'll come back stronger & better."
— Sportswomen (@SportswomenSky) November 21, 2018
With Kim Little still a month away from fitness, Arsenal are missing two of the world’s finest attacking midfielders. However, with the likes of Vivianne Miedema and Danielle van de Donk in top form and a defence that has only conceded 4 goals in 10 games this season, they should have enough to beat Brighton and maintain their 6 point lead over Manchester City at the top of the WSL.
Jordan joins Dan Carter and Viki Schanderbeck on the sidelines with long term knee injuries, Kim Little is still recovering from a broken tibia. Jess Samuelsson and Tabea Kemme have suffered setbacks in their respective recoveries from long term injuries, which means the Gunners are running very low on players. But Lisa Evans ought to be fit for this game.
LAST TIME OUT
Arsenal and Brighton have never met in a competitive game. Last weekend, the Gunners thrashed Everton 4-0 with goals from Danielle van de Donk, Jordan Nobbs and a brace from Vivianne Miedema. Brighton were beaten 4-1 at home by Reading on Sunday and it looks as though they will fight relegation alongside Yeovil and Everton.
Arsenal Women maintained their 100% record with a 4-0 victory over Everton in Southport
Posted by The FA Women's Super League on Monday, 19 November 2018
PLAYER TO WATCH
With Kim Little and Jordan Nobbs unavailable, there is a big onus on Danielle van de Donk to continue her excellent form. Nobbs and Little are the heartbeat of the Gunners team and without them, much of the creative and attacking thrust from midfield will fall to van de Donk, who has 7 goals in her last 8 games.
🏹 13 shots
💯 per cent on target
🔥 7 goals in 8 matches
— The FA Women's Super League (@FAWSL) November 19, 2018
Without Nobbs and Little, van de Donk will attract more attention and two of Arsenal’s main creators are sitting on the treatment table. DvD does have a very good on pitch relationship with international teammate Vivianne Miedema however and the partnership between these two will be the team’s focal point until Little returns next month.
HOW TO CATCH THE GAME
The match kicks off at 1230pm and will be screened live on BBC Online and the red button. If you want to go along to Meadow Park, tickets will cost £10 adults and £5 concessions on the turnstile.
Due to the clash with the men playing at Bournemouth, we won’t have player reaction on the site from this one. However, there will be a bonus post next week shining a spotlight on new signing Janni Arnth from someone that knows her well. There will also be the usual Weekly Round Up on the site on Monday afternoon.
In case you missed it earlier this week, here is our November feature interview with Danielle van de Donk, where she talks about a typical week for an Arsenal Women player in terms of nutrition, training, strength and conditioning and video analysis.