Thursday, February 29, 2024

Slavia Praha Ženy v Arsenal Match Preview


Arsenal Women are back in Champions League action on Wednesday evening with a trip to the Czech Republic to play Slavia Praha. Joe Montemurro was furious after Sunday’s damaging 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, lamenting that his side, “didn’t play well and couldn’t keep the ball.” His Gunners side will want to get straight back on the horse in Prague.

In the wake of Sunday’s game, Lisa Evans told, “As a player there’s nothing better than having a game so soon after a game like [Sunday’s].” Montemurro’s side probably got the most generous draw possible in the round of 16 and they will be hot favourites to progress. With the second leg immediately following a must win WSL game with Manchester City, they will want the deed done in the first leg.

There are unlikely to be sweeping changes for the match because Arsenal’s squad is not really staffed for it, but there is the option of returning Jordan Nobbs to the starting line-up, while either one of Emma Mitchell and Katrine Veje might have their eye on left-back. The Gunners lacked natural width at Kingsmeadow and played in congested areas, playing with a little more width could be an attractive option for Joe Montemurro.

Leonie Maier will be checked after missing the Chelsea game and the most recent international fixtures for Germany. Katrine Veje was an unused substitute on Sunday after returning from a foot injury. Viki Schnaderbeck was not in the squad, but, in truth, I didn’t find out why! Lia Wälti is unlikely to start having played 60 minutes in Switzerland and Arsenal’s most recent games.

Jordan Nobbs may well come back in however after starting on the bench on Sunday. Danielle Carter (knee) and Tabea Kemme (knee) are out, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin may be reinstated in goal after Manuela Zinsberger’s error for Chelsea’s winning goal this weekend.

These two teams have never met, but Slavia warmed up for this encounter by thrashing Dukla 13-0 in the Czech Liga Women. Slavia have won all 7 of their opening games and currently boast a goal difference of +52. They also thumped Hibernian 9-2 on aggregate in the round of 32. Arsenal will present them with a stiffer challenge compared to what they are used to. Arsenal, meanwhile, qualified from the round of 32 with a 6-0 aggregate victory over Fiorentina.

Danielle van de Donk has recently been played on the right-hand side of the attack but with plenty of license to drift in-field. We saw the best and worst of such a tactic against Chelsea. On 9 minutes, she ghosted into the penalty area to pick up a Miedema through ball and smash the ball into the bottom corner to give the Gunners the lead.

Yet van de Donk’s brief was to drift inside and often, this meant that Arsenal were constantly funnelling the ball into central areas and into Chelsea pressure. With Nobbs returning, Jill Roord and joining and Kim Little in good form, van de Donk has not been able to play in her favoured number 10 position yet this campaign.

18.PEYRAUD-MAGNIN, 17.EVANS, 5.BEATTIE, 6.WILLIAMSON, 2.VEJE, 14.ROORD, 8.NOBBS, 10.LITTLE (c), 15.McCABE, 23.MEAD, 11.MIEDEMA. Subs: 1.Zinsberger, 3.Mitchell, 7.van de Donk, 13.Wälti, 16.Quinn, 26.Grant, 27.Filis.

Runners-up in the last two editions of the Czech Liga Women, Slavia look serious about regaining the title they won on four consecutive occasions between 2014 and 2017. The squad has a heavily domestic feel, comprised of mainly Czech players, with the exception of Swedish midfielder Mia Persson, Jamaican left-back Deneisha Blackwood and Canadian defender Kylla Sjoman.

Slavia are coached by Michal Kolomazník who was only appointed in the summer after coaching fellow Czech Liga Women side Dupla. Slavia have been to three Champions League quarter-finals, where they have been beaten heavily by Lyon (2016), Wolfsburg (2018) and Bayern Munich (2019). Manuela Zinsberger and Jill Roord played in both of those ties, with Roord on the score sheet in the second leg in Germany.

Coverage of Champions League games tends not to be announced until around 24 hours before kickoff- sometimes sooner. There are no details other than the fact that the game will be shown on Czech television as yet.

We will have exclusive player reaction from the game on site on Wednesday evening, as well as a transcript of Joe Montemurro’s post-match press conference. There will be the usual match preview for the Charlton match on site on Friday afternoon and we will have exclusive player reaction on the site from that one on Sunday evening.

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Javier Flores

after Manuela Zinsberger’s error for Chelsea’s winning goal this weekend. REALLY??


I like Manu as a GK but that was an error, she absolutely should’ve saved that.

Peter Story Teller

Manu got a hand to it so you might feel she could have done a wee bit more but credit to the Chelsea player (I’m not even attempting to spell her name!) it was a decent shot and I doubt if Pauline or even Sari in her World Cup form would have kept it out.
The main issue with the winning goal was continuously giving the ball to the opposition well into our own half and hanging on to what we had. It was only a matter of time before one of their attempts went in.

Eduardo Fleck

I was like “Wich error? ?”


Since Slavia is my favorite hometown club I don’t know who to cheer for. But I might actually go see the game in Prague 🙂


Concerning Viki Schnaderbeck I can report that she suffered a slight muscle injury in the final training session before the game of Austria away to Serbia on Oct. 8. This was reported in the respective live TV broadcast of said game on ORF Sport+ TV as reason for the non-appearance of our captain and can be verified on the website of the Austrian FA (see link if you click on my name here – in German language though).

Peter Story Teller

Bloody internationals! They aught to play international games outside of the main European season especially friendlies as our players are always getting knocks and niggles when representing their country and not the Gunners! Don’t they know that we have the WSL, Champions League, FA Cup, Continental Cup to win…..? Just glad that Beth, Jordan and Leah returned from the pointless England games unscathed. What did Neville learn from those apart from the best right back in the world is not a mid-fielder which I could have told him without playing a game. If you want to see goal keeping error… Read more »

Chris Humphrey

…….or indeed the Portuguese goalies goolie agains England!

Peter Story Teller

Yeah but that was acceptable because Beth buried the ball into the net! lol

Chris Humphrey

Wow. What a sensitive lot we Gooners can be! One defeat and Holy Joe no longer walks on water. Selection wrong, tactics wrong. Well, for this game, maybe. Not forgetting that Chelski are by far and away the best team Joe has had to face in competition in his 2 year tenure (including MankC) and Emma Hayes knows her onions and got her tactics right and her players to execute those tactics to the letter. The facts are that (excluding the shoot out loss to MankC in the league cup final) our 3 defeats in 2019 have all been to… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

Let’s hope so when they come to Meadow Park in January!

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