Monday, July 22, 2024

Liverpool Women v Arsenal Preview

THE LOWDOWN
After Wednesday night’s historic 5-1 win at European Champions Lyon, there is little time for basking or reflection as the Gunners play their fourth consecutive away match at newly promoted Liverpool. It’s the Sunday midday kickoff and the team came straight home after the Lyon match to have as much time as possible at home before travelling up to Liverpool again on Saturday.

On Wednesday night Jonas Eidevall pulled a surprise by selecting Frida Maanum ahead of Vivianne Miedema in the advanced midfield role. This is Arsenal’s third away game in seven days and the subject of rotation must be entering the coach’s mind, with players like Jordan Nobbs and Mana Iwabuchi chomping at the bit for minutes.

In his pre-match press conference, Jonas Eidevall pointed to the examples of Frida Maanum and Lotte Wubben-Moy, players who struggled for minutes but performed when suddenly thrust into the limelight when Arseblog News quizzed him on Iwabuchi’s lack of game time. The Arsenal boss has been handed a further welcome selection headache by Frida Maanum’s performance in midfield on Wednesday.

Eidevall will want to find a balance between giving players opportunities, rotating his team and not taking Liverpool lightly, Matt Beard’s side did defeat Chelsea at home on the opening day of the season after all. When asked whether the players were still on a high after Wednesday, Eidevall insisted, “No. We start again because this is going to be a really hard game. We know we are not entitled to anything.”

TEAM NEWS
Leah Williamson and Rafaelle are both absent with foot injuries. Teyah Goldie (ACL) is also out.

Available squad
GOALKEEPERS: 1.Zinsberger, 18.Marckese
DEFENDERS: 3.Wubben-Moy, 5.Beattie, 7.Catley, 16.Maritz, 26.Wienroither, 62.Reid
MIDFIELDERS: 8.Nobbs, 10.Little, 11.Miedema, 12.Maanum, 13.Wälti, 15.McCabe, 23.Iwabuchi
FORWARDS: 9.Mead, 17.Hurtig, 19.Foord, 25.Blackstenius, 59.Agyemang

A WORD FROM THE BOSS
“There has been a mixture and some flexibility in the way they play. Both with the players they are fielding themselves but also to do with aspects of their opponents. I know Matt (Beard, Liverpool coach) has spoken about how he is not happy with how they are starting games, so we will have to see what that means and how they might change for us. We expect Liverpool to be a very, very hard-working team, we saw against Chelsea that they were very effective on set-pieces and counterattacks.

“With our team selection, the good thing about having a lot of games is that, for players who did not play, there is quickly the next game and a new team selection. I am always seeing how the players respond in actions, you could see when Viv (Miedema) came on against Lyon, she showed a lot of energy and she really tried to help the team. We all know that competition is really important to drive us to the next level.”

LAST TIME OUT
The teams met in the FA Cup in February at Prenton Park and the Gunners ran out 4-0 winners thanks to a brace from Caitlin Foord, a Kim Little goal and a Katie McCabe golaço.

HIGHLIGHTS | Liverpool vs Arsenal (0-4) | McCabe with a worldie, Foord (2), Little – YouTube

THE OPPOSITION
Since winning their first game of the season against Chelsea at Prenton Park, Liverpool have been comprehensively beaten by Everton at Anfield, before narrowly losing to Spurs last week. Both the goals they scored against Chelsea were penalties, so Matt Beard’s side have yet to score from open play in the WSL this season.

“We’ve started the games slowly, which has been frustrating, so we can’t do that against Arsenal,” Reds boss Matt Beard said in his pre-match press conference. “We definitely can’t concede early against them. There’s little things we’ve looked at that we need to make sure we address for ourselves. We need to be on our A game on Sunday, without a shadow of a doubt.

“They like to play through or they can go over. I think that’s the biggest thing that Jonas [Eidevall] has added to Arsenal, maybe the pressing intensity and they can mix their game up as well.” Liverpool have been missing Leanne Kiernan and Shanice van de Sanden recently which has had an impact on their attacking form.

PLAYER TO WATCH
Jonas Eidevall will certainly want to rotate to some degree for this match. So far this season, Noelle Maritz has only started one match, at home to Ajax in the Champions League qualifying round. Austrian Laura Wienroither appears to have moved ahead of the Swiss in the pecking order, Maritz has had the right-back role on lock since arriving at the club in 2020.

There is a good chance that Maritz will get her chance in this match and she will be especially keen to impress to try to win her place back. Wienroither enjoyed a very strong Euros with Austria and has very much taken that form into this season. Maritz has won a Champions League and countless Frauen Bundesliga titles, she will not take this lying down and will probably have a chance to impress in Birkenhead.

PREDICTED LINE-UP

Subs: 5.Beattie, 8.Nobbs, 13.Walti, 18.Marckese, 19.Foord, 23.Iwabuchi, 26.Wienroither, 59.Agyemang.

HOW TO CATCH THE GAME
The game takes place at Tranmere Rovers’ Prenton Park and kicks off at 12noon on Sunday. It will be shown live on BBC Two in the UK.

COMING UP
We will have the usual post-match reaction from Jonas Eidevall on the site on Sunday afternoon, as well as an analysis piece on Monday or Tuesday. The October mailbag episode of the Arsenal Women Arsecast will also be recorded early next week.

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Chrishgooner

No Lia in your predicted Tim….🤔

Collibosher

He’s predicting that she’ll be rested and put on the subs’ bench, and Frida Maanum will take her place.

chig

Would Little play further back or Maanum in this line-up? Maanum seems to enjoy playing further forward and when she has played defensive midfield for Norway or for Arsenal last season its less natural. Doesn’t mean she can’t evolve and eventually play that role well but her instincts seem to shine when playing further forward.

Tim Stillman

100% would be Kim. Kim spends a lot of time in that deeper role anyway and when Lia has been subbed twice this season, Kim has stayed back there.

Fun Gunner

Such an important game to win and win well.
I really hope that there is some squad rotation.
COYG!

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