London City Lionesses v Arsenal
Sunday, 22nd September, 2019. 2pm.
Princes Park, Dartford.
Tickets: £10 adults, £5 concessions, £20 family ticket (2 adults + 2 children), £30 large family ticket 2 adults + up to 5 children)
— London City Lionesses (@LCLionessesFC) September 17, 2019
Arsenal begin their Conti Cup campaign with a group phase match against the newly formed London City Lionesses at Dartford FC’s Princes Park. The Gunners group is comprised of London City Lionesses, Charlton, Brighton and Bristol City, whom they will play once each, with the top two teams qualifying for the quarter-finals in January.
Joe Montemurro will use the game to give opportunities to young players such as Ruby Grant, Mel Filis and Silvana Flores, while the likes of Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, Louise Quinn and Emma Mitchell- who have yet to start a match this season- should also start in Kent. Arsenal played Millwall Lionesses, whom London City Lionesses were formed from this summer, at Princes Park in last season’s Conti Cup group stage.
Arsenal was on top shots, possession and pass (accuracy) wise, but were long unable to find the back of the net.https://t.co/K6Tp1Yy2QN
— WSLStats.org (@wslstats) September 18, 2019
They ran out 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Leah Williamson, Ruby Grant and Vivianne Miedema. With the addition of the Champions League to this year’s schedule, the Conti Cup group stage becomes even less of a priority, but a compact squad probably prevents total rotation. Young players such as Shauna Vassell and Hannah Dawbarn may also form part of the squad.
Katrine Veje (ankle), Danielle Carter (knee) and Tabea Kemme (knee) are all unavailable. Joe Montemurro will take a decision as to whether Swiss midfielder Lia Wälti is fit enough to form part of the squad after 8 months out with a knee injury. Lia warmed up with the team in Manchester on Monday evening and could be on the bench.
Vivianne Miedema is likely to be rested after complaining of a tight hamstring earlier in the season, Emma Mitchell, Louise Quinn and Pauline Peyraud-Magnin should make their first starts of the season, while youngsters Ruby Grant, Mel Filis and Silvana Flores are pushing for inclusion.
LAST TIME OUT
Technically London City Lionesses are a new club, they decided to declare independence from Millwall Lionesses over the summer and took out their own license. In practice, the staff and the squad are almost exactly the same and they play at Dartford’s Princes Park. Arsenal were 3-1 winners over Millwall Lionesses in December.
The Lionesses defeated Charlton 2-0 in the WSL Championship on Sunday with goals from former Arsenal trainees Flo Fyfe and Evie Clarke. They have won 3 of their first 4 games this season in the Championship. Arsenal won their last game 1-0 at Manchester United on Monday night thanks to an 89th minute winner from Danielle van de Donk.
⏱ It’s the 89th minute…
? It’s United 0-0 Arsenal…
? Our perfect start is on the line…
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) September 17, 2019
PLAYER TO WATCH
Having started from the bench on Monday night, Danielle van de Donk will almost certainly start against the Lionesses. When everyone is fit, at least one big ticket attacker will have to start on the bench, but van de Donk proved her worth by scoring a precious last gasp winner as a substitute in Leigh.
In her typical, affable style, the Dutch international joked that the role was perfect for her because, “they [her teammates] did all the work and I got all the glory.” But she may be charged with guiding younger teammates against the Lionesses and she may even be asked to do it from a slightly deeper midfield position if Leah Williamson is rested.
WHAT A RECORD! ?
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) September 17, 2019
18.PEYRAUD-MAGNIN, 17.EVANS, 22.SCHNADERBECK, 16.QUINN, 3.MITCHELL, 7.VAN DE DONK, 28.FLORES, 26.GRANT, 27.FILIS, 15.McCABE, 23.MEAD.
Subs; 1.Zinsberger, 5.Beattie, 6.Williamson, 8.Nobbs, 13.Wälti, 14.Roord, 31.Dawbarn.
London City Lionesses opted to separate from Millwall over the summer, maintaining their spot in the WSL Championship. They are managed by former Arsenal Women U-21 coach Chris Phillips and boast a clutch of Arsenal youth products in their young squad. Lucy Thomas, Freda Ayisi, Gabby Ravenscroft, Evie Clarke, Vyan Sampson, Lilly Agg and Flo Fyle all came through the ranks at Arsenal.
Ex-Arsenal boss Pedro Losa was their Director of Football last season when they were known as Millwall Lionesses, but he has left for a position at Bordeaux. The Lionesses broke away from Millwall over the summer due to concerns over their relationship with the men’s side. Manager Chris Phillips was laconic in his assessment of the relationship when he spoke to the Guardian’s Suzy Wrack in August.
“We want to show people that the time is now right that a women’s football club can be a women’s football club and it doesn’t have to be – and I use this term whether it’s politically correct or not – the annoying sister of a men’s club. If you speak to about 80% of clubs out there, they’re not happy with the relationship with the men’s team.”
HOW TO CATCH THE GAME
This game is not being broadcast or streamed live anywhere, with the FA Player app disappointingly opting not to show any Conti Cup games this weekend. I assume highlights will be made available on the FA Player latterly, but the WSL twitter feed and site is being ominously hush hush about this weekend’s games.
We’ll have the usual match reaction from a player courtesy of Art de Roche. I won’t be at the game due to the clash with the men’s fixture, but we will have a special feature article for you on the site on Monday. As well as that, we’ll have the usual match preview and exclusive match reaction from the Fiorentina game on Thursday and a new Arsenal Women Arsecast will be out just after the Brighton game on the 29th September.