Arsenal v Everton Women Preview

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THE LOWDOWN
After Tuesday’s chastening, if not unexpected, 4-1 defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday evening, Arsenal are back in the WSL saddle for the visit of Everton on Sunday afternoon. Jonas Eidevall’s side have won all of their league games so far, including home victories over Chelsea and Manchester City and they will aim to keep that momentum on Sunday.

Arsenal are passed the stage of the season now where their early start for Champions League qualifying gives them a slight physical edge and now they are in the section of the season where they will be physically disadvantaged with midweek Champions League games and the travelling that entails. This is where the manager’s squad rotation policy should start to reap value.

The likes of Jordan Nobbs, Caitlin Foord, Nikita Parris, Tobin Heath, Anna Patten, Mana Iwabuchi and Lotte Wubben-Moy were substitutes on Tuesday and many of them will probably start against Everton. The Gunners have another Champions League game on the horizon this Thursday at home to Hoffenheim to consider too.

Eidevall admitted that he got his game plan wrong against Barcelona also referring to them as “the best team I have ever faced.” Everton are a good team who continue to invest heavily in their squad but Arsenal will again be favourites for this match.

TEAM NEWS
Once again, Arsenal will only be without Simone Boye Sorensen (knee) and Malin Gut (ACL) on Sunday, though Boye is now training outside again. Everyone else in the squad is currently fit and available for selection.

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

A WORD FROM THE BOSS
Manu (Zinsberger) is a great character with lots of positive energy and a really developing mind. She is always trying to find edges to get better. I think I saw one of Manu’s first professional games, when she was playing for Neulengbach against my former team Malmo in 2011 before I was appointed as an assistant coach and I was just watching them. She must have been 17 and she played an incredible game, making save after save. I always knew she was a really good goalkeeper.

LAST TIME OUT
When the teams met at Meadow Park last December, Arsenal ran out 4-0 winners with goals from Caitlin Foord, Jordan Nobbs, Jen Beattie and Beth Mead. The match was much closer when the teams last met, however, on Merseyside. Katie McCabe’s first half goal was cancelled out by Megan Finnigan. Kim Little scored a penalty with the final kick of the game to give the Gunners the points back in May.

THE OPPOSITION
Everton invested heavily again this summer, they even bought three players from Jonas Eidevall’s previous club Rosengard. One of whom, 18 year-old Hanna Bennison, was purchased for a six figure sum and smashed the club’s transfer record. Everton are trying to break into the top three and have invested heavily in consecutive summers now.

The issue they have is breaking the glass ceiling of the WSL’s big three. They have also lost Chloe Kelly and Hayley Raso to Manchester City during this time and the consistent high turnover of players has made it difficult for them to find cohesion in their playing style. Willie Kirk’s side have lost all of their last 15 WSL games against Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United.

They tend to favour a five at the back approach in those matches and it hasn’t really worked for them to this point. In the fixture between these teams in May, Everton were dominated by Arsenal in the first half with their back five. They moved to a 4231 in the second half and began to cause the Gunners issues, so Kirk may well be tempted to use that formation from the start here.

PLAYER TO WATCH
Jordan Nobbs came on from the bench against Barcelona as she eases her way back into the team from injury. After the ludicrous decision not to select her for the Olympics this summer, Jordan had the advantage of a full pre-season with Arsenal- or so we thought. She turned her ankle badly in the pre-season victory over Chelsea and missed the first four weeks of this campaign.

Jordan hasn’t had the opportunity to truly get going again following her ACL injury in November 2018 through a mixture of the interruption of the calendar due to covid and some niggling injuries last season, when she was mostly played on the left-wing. Eidevall advocates for a high-octane pressing game and there are few better for such a tactic than Jordan Nobbs.

I would expect her to start this game, whether she feels she has something to prove or not is really by the by, you pretty much always get the same performance from Jordan, who scored in this fixture last season. There is a lot of competition in those midfield spots but Jordan Nobbs on top of her game certainly fills one of them.

PREDICTED LINE-UP

Subs: 4.Patten, 5.Beattie, 7.Catley, 9.Mead, 10.Little, 12.Maanum, 18.Williams, 22.Schnaderbeck, 77.Heath

HOW TO CATCH THE GAME
The match takes place at Meadow Park on Sunday at 3pm, tickets are £12 adults and £6 concessions on the gate. The game will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK. Check your local listings to see where the game will be broadcast where you are, consult this guide to see which channels carry WSL games where you are.

COMING UP
We will have match reaction from Jonas Eidevall on the site on Sunday afternoon, as well as all the usual build-up and reaction for Thursday’s game against Hoffenheim in the Champions League.

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Nick J

Thanks for the continued excellent coverage of the women’s team. Luckily the majority of our fans don’t need reminding that the words “men” or “women” have never appeared on the Arsenal Football Club crest, it’s one club.

The women’s team have been fantastic ambassadors for Arsenal FC since their foundation. No Arsenal fan is obliged to follow them but at the very least the women’s team should be respected (and that would still apply without their decorated silverware laden history).

Jeremy DG

Agree but I also sometimes get a hint of stuffiness on the comments section on some Arsenal women articles. As if following the women is some sort of elite hipster pursuit and any comparison to the men (no matter how minor) is shot down. I don’t see why people can’t enjoy both as part of the same family instead of either being dismissive or creepy.

SeryxMe

Time to bounce back after Tuesday’s disappointment. COYG!!!

Chrishgooner

I’m sure lessons will have been learned from the Barcelona trip and everything playing-wise is progressing nicely.
Maybe not the forum for this. Many match going AWFC supporters are becoming exasperated at the club’s appalling administration of the membership scheme and ticket sales for home games. Six days away from an important CL fixture and tickets are still not available to buy.
We want to support the team and give them a noisey push to victory but it is becoming such a hassle to go to Meadow Park.

Spainicus

Do you know why they aren’t playing at the Emirates? I’d go to most games if they were, Meadow park too far!

Chrishgooner

Meadow Park is AWFC’s and the U23’s home ground. The women have played there for 30+ years. AFC have made a significant investment there in terms of pitch quality and stand construction. The AFC hierarchy have committed to playing at least two AWFC games at the Emirates this season. The season’s opener v Chelski and the WSL NLD in March. There has been talk of a WCL game being played there as well.

Peter Story Teller

Yep Meadow Park is the women’s home ground. It’s not viable or sensible to open up the Emirates for 2,000 or 3,000 spectators. Even the game they played there against Chelsea still had an attendance less than 10,000. I’m sure if you could guarantee 30,000, 40,000 or 50,000 turning up to WSL matches at the Emirates the powers that be might consider it.
Meadow Park being too far is a pretty lame excuse BTW. It’s only 12 miles from the Emirates it’s 135 miles from me!

Spainicus

Ok Peter but I have two kids under 5 and its 3hrs out of my day in journey time alone. It’s not worth spending that much time away from them. My partner wouldn’t appreciate it much either. The Emirates is 10 minutes away by bike. Behave yourself. Your economic summary is a farce too – there are hundreds of teams that survive on fewer than 8,000 fans and the whole stadium doesn’t open up which reduces costs. What “135miles” is other than a boast about the way you choose to spend your time – I don’t know. My enquiry was… Read more »

BIWo

Have to agree on the poor admin for tickets. Website says tickets will be available 4 weeks before a game. Currently your are lucky if its 4 days. No news on what date the FA Cup semi final is to be to be played, apart from 30/31 October. What a mess!

Stephen

Am really enjoying your post about Arsenal Women, getting to know more and better about with everything you post. Thanks Tim and all at Arseblog

DanDomK

From what I’ve seen so far I think Jonas sees Foord as a CF who can hold up the ball up top – an alternative/backup to Viv. I would love to see Heath and Viv both start, but we may end up seeing the front 4 that finished the UWCL start.
All in all, it’s time to bounce back to winning ways. #COYG

Xuan

In his words, it is not just abt the 11 who start the game, but also the 11 that end it.

Two tricky games:
1) everton recruited heavily, would want to put the 2 0-4 defeats to city and chelsea behind them. Seems to be stabilising.
2) hoffenheim was devastating against Koge.

Need to be focused and professional to win both.

Marieke

Is it my Dutch prejeduce or is Inessa Kaagman just highly underrated. In a DVD, Spitze, Groenen midfield with Roord right behind the door, it’s difficult. But I would consider her a huge loss for Everton as well.

The draw between City and United showed that it’ll definitely be a fight between Chelsea and us this year. Everton will definitely try and get that 3rd spot. I don’t see City at 3 this year…

Peter Story Teller

I’d like to have seen us recruit Kaagman but she seems happy where she is at the moment. I guess from her viewpoint she is guaranteed a starting place but at Arsenal she would have to rotate along with everyone else.

Elise

I do think Kaagman is rated highly in NL as well 🙂 but like you say, she’s got some amazing competition for oranjeleeuwinnen. Personally as a Dutchie i’d rather see her play week in week out and make a huge impact on games as she seems to be doing than be an Arsenal sub.

Groenen, on the other hand, I’d be interested in us recruiting, and her contract at ManU is up this summer.

Marieke

Yeah hopefully! I feel like Casey was a big part in her choosing United. I feel like City and Chelsea wouldn’t mind getting her too. She did have a good time in Germany too though…

Elise

Watch me say that and then Kaagman not getting an Oranjeleeuwinnen call up…

Fun Gunner

COYG! Good luck later on, girls! Really hope Jordan Nobbs plays a large part today.

Goonersince55

I’m at Meadow Park and it’s 2-0 at half time! Sensible team changes by Jonas. I see Leah and Lotte as the future centre-back pairing of or Arsenal, and England too.

Elise

Hope Beats is ok! Worried with her being withdrawn last minute. And of course Patten and Walti hopefully ok too.