Arsenal v Tottenham Hotsp*r Women Preview

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THE LOWDOWN
Arsenal Women face Tottenham at Meadow Park on Wednesday evening in, confusingly, the quarter-final of last season’s FA Cup. The Women’s FA Cup has a lagged timeline this season because the suspension of “non-elite” football during the winter meant halting the competition at a stage when most of the teams involved were amateur.

As a result, the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final of the 2020-21 FA Cup will be held during the winter. The Gunners have drawn Spurs at home, having also drawn them at home in both of last season’s domestic competitions too. Tottenham Women have yet to record a victory over Arsenal in their history but Rehanne Skinner’s side have started the season with three straight wins in the WSL.

Jonas Eidevall’s side are riding a high following Sunday’s comprehensive 5-0 victory over Manchester City in the WSL on Sunday. This is a heavy period of games for Arsenal, who will play Aston Villa away on Saturday before travelling to Barcelona next week to play in the Champions League. That will mean that the Swede will have to use the full extent of his squad, which is almost showing a clean bill of health.

Spurs will present a very different challenge compared to Manchester City, City dominated possession at Meadow Park but Arsenal allowed them sterile domination before hitting them in transitions. Spurs won’t dominate the ball on this occasion, they will be compact and Arsenal will need to be patient to break down a Tottenham defence that has only been breached once so far this season.

TEAM NEWS
Simone Boye Sorensen and Malin Gut are the only players unavailable for Arsenal due to knee injuries. Viki Schnaderbeck and Jordan Nobbs were unused subs against City after returning from knee and ankle injuries respectively and they will be angling for some minutes in this one. Otherwise, the likes of Nikita Parris, Tobin Heath, Mana Iwabuchi, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Anna Patten, Caitlin Foord and Lydia Williams, who were all on the bench on Sunday, will be angling for starts.

Clubs are allowed to register summer signings for this game so long as they didn’t play in this edition of the FA Cup for another one of the quarter-finalists, none of Arsenal’s summer signings are in that situation and all are available to be registered.

Available squad
GOALKEEPERS: 1.Zinsberger, 18.Williams, 28.Cull
DEFENDERS: 3.Wubben-Moy, 4.Patten, 5.Beattie, 6.Williamson, 7.Catley, 16.Maritz, 22.Schnaderbeck, 29.Goldie
MIDFIELDERS: 8.Nobbs, 10.Little, 12.Maanum, 13.Wälti, 23.Iwabuchi
FORWARDS: 9.Mead, 11.Miedema, 14.Parris, 15.McCabe, 19.Foord, 77.Heath

LAST TIME OUT
The teams met at Meadow Park at this stage of the FA Cup last season and were 4-0 winners after a sensational lob from Jordan Nobbs and a late Lisa Evans hat-trick. In the league encounter between the teams last season, the Gunners were 6-1 winners with a hat-trick from Vivianne Miedema and goals from Katie McCabe and a brace from Caitlin Foord.

THE OPPOSITION
Tottenham finished 8th in last season’s WSL and only managed a paltry 18 goals in 22 league games. Current coach Rehanne Skinner took the side over half way through last season and she has them very well organised but creating consistent threat was a big issue for them. This summer, however, they have recruited well in the forward positions with former Arsenal winger Chiomu Ubogagu and Australian forward Kyah Simon.

Spurs have moved to a back three this season with Zadorsky, Bartrip and Ale at centre-half and it’s given them a solid platform. Now they also carry a bit more threat on the counter-attack as they showed in their historic 2-1 win away at Manchester City a fortnight ago. Like a lot of teams in the middle rung of the WSL like Brighton, Aston Villa and West Ham, Spurs have looked to improve this summer.

They were well beaten 4-0 by Arsenal during pre-season and the closest they have ever come to beating their North London neighbours was a penalty shootout defeat in last season’s Conti Cup group stage. However, Tottenham are building slowly and will not be easy opponents- they have won all three of their WSL games so far this season.

PLAYER TO WATCH
Nikita Parris has been kept out of the team of late thanks to the scintillating form of Beth Mead and the likewise impressive form of Katie McCabe. Parris has been on the score sheet for the Gunners in their Champions League qualifiers earlier this summer but she will be keen to really get her Arsenal career going against Tottenham.

Jonas Eidevall has already indicated that he will rotate his wide forwards plenty given the high-intensity pressing game he wants to execute and this game will represent an excellent chance for Parris to make her case to the coach and create an even bigger headache for him in the wide positions, not least because Tobin Heath probably won’t be considered quite fit enough to start this game.

PREDICTED LINE-UP

Subs: 1.Zinsberger, 5.Beattie, 8.Nobbs, 9.Mead, 10.Little, 15.McCabe, 16.Maritz, 22.Schnaderbeck, 77.Heath.

HOW TO CATCH THE GAME
The game takes place at Meadow Park on Wednesday with a 7.15pm kickoff, tickets are available on the gate or online at £8 adults and £4 concessions. The match will be screened live on BBC Four, otherwise it will be available to watch on the FA Player app for those outside of the UK.

COMING UP
We will have match reaction from Jonas Eidevall on the site on Wednesday evening, as ever and we will also have all the usual build-up and reaction to Saturday’s game at Aston Villa.

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Ambuatsu

The girls don’t have to look far for inspiration.

SalvadorMari

Sometimes I think Tim Stillman is the Owen Jones of football. Anyone know what I mean?

InMikelWeMust

Whenever I read his articles I feel like he’s wasted talking about football. He should be writing challenging literature; the stuff that you can only really read a few pages of but then tell everyone you’ve read the whole book.

Perry Crows

Stillman Rushdie

LeoLeoLeo

TimFinite Jest

Johnny 4 Hats

I know what you mean.

I imagine when all The Emirates is singing, “Who are you? Who are you?” Tim leans into his mate and goes, “It’s actually whom are you”.

Eduar-do a deer

I heard he chants “he fell over, he fell over” when opposition calamity ensues at the woman’s matches.

Eduar-do a deer

When someone offered him to come and watch the game from their box, he missed all the action because he was busy making eyes at Lady Havisham in the opposite box.

Marieke

Eva’s middle names are Emily and Charlotte.

Ricky

I think McCabe was subbed off in the 64th minute in the Man City game because she is going to start in this game as well, probably in place of Catley at LB.

Xuan

That would be my read as well.

I hope Jordan and Vicky can be eased back into action over the next 2 games, since the schedule will be very packed. Perhaps 15min vs spurs and 30min vs villa?

…and really bad eggs…

Hey gang, I only just started following the Women’s team closely this season. They’ve been a delight to watch and have a very talented squad.

However it seems to me that we’re pretty light in the DM positions. Apart from Jordan Nobbs who is just returning from injury, are there any other players that can sub in for Frida or Walti in the squad? I suspect Captain Kim can also play there?

John

Actually, DM is the one area of the team I wouldn’t worry about; practically all our center backs can fill in there in a pinch. It really comes down to how much you miss/lose without Lia in there, she’s just that good. Always the invisible conductor: intelligent positioning, interceptions, and shuttling the ball to where it needs to be. Simples 🙂

DanDomK

Firstly, Nobbs play doesn’t quite suit the DM position. She is more of a B2B/10. Kim has played there especially against the lesser teams who put a lot of bodies behind the ball.
Most of our CB can play there. The most noticeable is Patten, who is currently our main backup to both Maritz at RB and Walti at DM. Leah could also play there, but she is our main CB.

Xuan

It is a merry-go-round, cos (1) it is the same group that can play DM, CB, RB: leah, lotte, anna, vicky and (2) the group of central midfielders are: mana, kim, maanum, jordan, lia for 3 positions.

Leah is essentially the main CB.
So if you need to give Noelle a rest at RB as well, your backup choices at DM is probably quite limited.

This is why i think having vicky back and fit would be impt as an utility backup player (quite a luxury to have the austria captain in this role!)

Chrishgooner

Anna, Viki, Leah…….

Logan N

That was my concern after window closed too. I know Kim and Frida are not DMs but they’ve played deeper so far when Lia has been injured/subbed. Looks like Jonas is satisfied we have enough players to cover that position. Maybe he’ll get someone in January.

WayBackWhen

A little bit OT but “Tottenham are building slowly and will not be easy opponents”, caught my eye. The Athletic Women’s Football Podcast this week discusses how some of the mid table teams are getting stronger (Brighton and Tottenham) and capable of taking occasional points off the traditional top 3 and making it the title less about the Chelsea-Arsenal-City head to head games. I was also thinking that if the Harder, Kerr, Heath type signings increase, good players will start to relocate to other teams in greater numbers, permanently or on loan (eg Danielle at Brighton, Lisa at West Ham).… Read more »

Fun Gunner

Yes, there is a sort of cascade down of top players – Dan Carter going to Brighton is another one. The top three are still the top three, but 4 or5 teams are really closing the gap as the standard of players and coaches goes up.

Xuan

Not to mention how Everton really invested in their Swedish mafia.

Fun Gunner

Thanks, Tim.

It will be interesting to see how JE tackles Sp*rs but we faced this sort of setup in preseason, so I feel sure that we’ll be fine. So I’ve probably jinxed us now… I hope Parris gets a goal today, anyway.

Kampala gsooner

poor bustards. this might be a mouling worse than what happend over the weekend.

1NiltotheArsenal

Excellent preview. Looking forward to another NLD win!

Vincent Gallagher

Eh. Iwabuchi, listed as a midfielder?

Collibosher

Arsenal vs Spurs. Arsenal 3 goals up at half time. A second half goal that didn’t really make a lot of difference. Familiar story?

Arsepedant

The ladies saw what the men did and went two better. Smashing result!

verstellung

Just wish it was available in the States