Arsenal Women play the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie at home to Slavia Praha with a 5-2 lead from the first leg in Czech Republic a fortnight ago. Four goals from Vivianne Miedema and a Kim Little penalty gave the Gunners a commanding 5-0 lead in Prague, before conceding two late goals to reduce the arrears.
A touch of complacency crept it on that evening but playing Jordan Nobbs and Lia Wälti for 90 minutes for the first time was a part of it, as the team tired. Necessary substitutions were made in defence in the interests of rotation were also part of the reason. In any case, Slavia still need to win 4-0 or 5-1 to qualify and that seems unlikely.
Montemurro’s side were slightly cagey in similar circumstances in the Round of 32 against Fiorentina, where they weren’t their fluent selves but still won 2-0. So far Kim Little and Vivianne Miedema have scored in all three Champions League matches, however, Miedema might well be given the evening off on this occasion as she nurses a bruised calf.
Anyone fancy some @UWCL highlights? ?
We’ve got you covered, Gooners ? https://t.co/rhv6qc0QUF
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) October 18, 2019
Arsenal will welcome back Leonie Maier and Viki Schnaderbeck from injury and both may well start this game. Danielle Carter (knee) and Tabea Kemme (knee) are definitely out and Joe Montemurro will consider whether to rest Vivianne Miedema, who has a slight calf issue. Leah Williamson is still nursing a slight hamstring issue and will also be assessed. The likes of Katrine Veje, Emma Mitchell, Jill Roord, Louise Quinn and Pauline Peyraud-Magnin are in line to start.
LAST TIME OUT
The Gunners won the first leg 5-2 thanks to a first half Vivianne Miedema hattrick. The Dutch striker added another early in the second half, before Kim Little’s penalty made it 5-0. Katerina Svitkova and Mia Persson scored late on for the home side to reduce the deficit to three goals.
Arsenal come into the game on a high after Sunday’s 1-0 win over Manchester City. Slavia had a similarly energising result, beating neighbours and title rivals Sparta Praha 3-2 on Sunday, a result which gives them a six point lead at the top of the table over Sparta.
There's only one outcome when @VivianneMiedema's through on goal ?
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) October 27, 2019
PLAYER TO WATCH
Arsenal’s midfield of Lia Wälti, Jordan Nobbs and Kim Little is starting to feel established, while Danielle van de Donk has carved out a niche for herself on the right-hand side of the forward line. New signing Jill Roord was a 92nd minute substitute on Sunday having not really established herself in the Arsenal midfield yet.
Glorious debut goal for Jill Roord! ?
Arsenal 2-0 West Ham pic.twitter.com/fzHfUgcPHT
— Women's Football News (@WFRumour) September 8, 2019
Roord is a powerful off the ball runner and an accurate finisher, but she just hasn’t quite made her qualities mesh with the rest of the Arsenal team yet. She will start this game and she will view it as a valuable opportunity to make her mark with the Gunners having recently won a place in the starting line-up for her country.
18.PEYRAUD-MAGNIN, 20.MAIER, 5.BEATTIE, 16.QUINN, 3.MITCHELL, 22.SCHNADERBECK, 14.ROORD, 10.LITTLE, 7.VAN DE DONK, 2.VEJE, 23.MEAD. Subs; 1.Zinsberger, 6.Williamson, 8.Nobbs, 11.Miedema, 13.Wälti, 15.McCabe, 17.Evans.
HOW TO CATCH THE GAME
The match will be streamed live on Arsenal.com.
The game takes place at Meadow Park on Thursday evening at 7.30pm and tickets are available on the gate.
Good news, Gooners…
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) October 30, 2019
We will have exclusive reaction from Joe Montemurro on the site immediately after the match, as well as a full match preview and exclusive player reaction for Sunday’s Conti Cup tie away at Brighton on Sunday. The next episode of the Arsenal Women Arsecast will be available during the international break.