Arsenal kick off Women’s Football Weekend with a North London derby away at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday lunchtime in the WSL. During each men’s international weekend, the WSL select big ticket fixtures to drum up greater interest in the league while internationals are played in the men’s game. This time, however, the match will be played at Tottenham Women’s usual home ground at The Hive.
The last three times this fixture has been played it’s been held at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, on this occasion, the focus will be on trying to pack The Hive out. Spurs have, of course, never beaten Arsenal’s Women’s team and the most recent match between the teams saw the Gunners canter to a 5-1 FA Cup quarter-final win over them at Meadow Park in September.
A really dominant performance, according to @Stillberto, who adds that @ArsenalSweden @ArsenalDenmark deserve huge credit for helping generate loud and proud away support for Arsenal Women in the #UWCL.
— arseblognews (@arseblognews) November 10, 2021
However, this game will be held in more familiar territory for Rehanne Skinner’s Tottenham side, who are enjoying a bit of a surprise season and currently sit in 3rd place. The caveat, of course, is that they are yet to play either Arsenal or Chelsea in the league and that will give us a better impression of how far this Tottenham team have come in a short space of time.
Arsenal flew straight back from Denmark on Wednesday evening after their 5-1 win Champions League win against Koge. It’s a short turnaround time for them with Jonas Eidevall sure to shuffle his pack again. Beth Mead, Kim Little and Katie McCabe were all substitutes in Denmark, while Mana Iwabuchi was an unused sub. Arsenal are looking to continue their perfect record in the WSL so far this season.
Jen Beattie will return to the squad having missed the last two games through illness, while Tobin Heath will undergo a late check on a calf strain before it is decided whether she can form part of the squad. Malin Gut (ACL) is out while Viki Schnaderbeck will undergo a late check on a calf strain.
GOALKEEPERS: 1.Zinsberger, 18.Williams, 24.Stenson
DEFENDERS: 3.Wubben-Moy, 4.Patten, 5.Beattie, 6.Williamson, 7.Catley, 16.Maritz, 20.Boye, 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
“They are a well-organised team who are consistent in how they perform and what they do, which means their execution is very good as well. You can see from their draw against United last week, they keep believing and doing the same things over and over again. That’s usually a very good way of taking points. They have a clear idea and players who believe in it and that’s always a great starting point.”
LAST TIME OUT
Arsenal were 5-1 winners against Spurs in the FA Cup quarter-final when the teams met at Meadow Park five weeks ago. Rachel Williams gave Tottenham a shock early lead before Mana Iwabuchi, a Jiali own goal, a brace from Caitlin Foord and a goal from Nikita Parris made for a comfortable victory for the Gunners. In this fixture last season, Arsenal were 3-0 winners at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium thanks to strikes from Caitlin Foord, Vivianne Miedema and Katie McCabe.
Tottenham parted company with long standing managerial duo Karen Hills and Juan Amoros last winter and appointed highly rated coach Rehanne Skinner in their stead. The Skinner revolution took some time to get into full swing, it’s fair to say, though Tottenham comfortably avoided relegation which would have been their target at the beginning of the season.
This year, Tottenham have improved. They have retained their defensive solidity, only conceding four goals in their six WSL outings so far. Spurs have become much more threatening on the counter attack under Skinner, as illustrated in their 2-1 win away at Manchester City in September. Angela Addison and Rachel Williams are beginning to add goals from midfield while former Gunner Chiomu Ubogagu really adds some threat from the wide positions.
Tottenham have emerged with Brighton as a surprise contender for the third Champions League qualification spot with Manchester City and Everton floundering and Manchester United still finding their feet under Marc Skinner. Spurs are unbeaten at The Hive this season and have only conceded once in four games there. However, they haven’t scored more than once at home game either in this campaign.
🎥 𝗛𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗟𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧𝗦: 𝗦𝗽𝘂𝗿𝘀 𝟭-𝟭 𝗠𝗮𝗻 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱
Watch all the action from Sunday's draw at the Hive. ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/Da80dCCwEN
— Tottenham Hotspur Women (@SpursWomen) November 8, 2021
PLAYER TO WATCH
Noelle Maritz has been one of Arsenal’s most consistent performers so far this season. The Swiss international has been a mainstay at right-back and it’s difficult to remember anything that she has done particularly wrong. Spurs have moved to a back three system this season with Ashleigh Neville playing in a slightly unfamiliar left wing-back position.
Maritz tends not to be quite as adventurous as either Catley or McCabe at left-back but Noelle will want to pin Neville back and make Tottenham’s wing-back system less aggressive. Spurs usually unleash the more attack minded Ubogagu from the bench to play from the left during the second half and will likely repeat that pattern again on Saturday. Maritz will have a couple of different challenges during this match but she has passed every challenge so far this season with flying colours.
Subs: 4.Patten, 5.Beattie, 8.Nobbs, 12.Maanum, 14.Parris, 18.Williams, 19.Foord, 20.Boye, 77.Heath.
HOW TO CATCH THE GAME
The match takes place at The Hive on Saturday at 1.30pm, tickets are available on the gate at £6.50 adults and £3 concessions, or else you can buy them here (the match will not be segregated, there isn’t a designated away section). In the UK the game will be shown live on BBC One, check with your local WSL rights provider who will carry this game wherever you are.
We will have match reaction from Jonas Eidevall on the site shortly after full-time as well as our usual post-match reaction video. Hopefully, you have also seen the latest episode of the Arsenal Women Arsecast, in which Alex Ibaceta and I talk to senior figures from Sky Sports about landing the WSL broadcast rights this season. We also have an Arseblog exclusive interview with midfielder Frida Maanum that went up on Friday morning.
— arseblognews (@arseblognews) November 11, 2021