Sunday, May 26, 2024

Arsenal v Liverpool Women Match Preview

THE LOWDOWN
Arsenal don’t have much basking time after Sunday’s Conti Cup Final triumph against Chelsea as Liverpool come to Meadow Park in the WSL on Wednesday night. This game was originally scheduled for the Sunday just passed but the Gunners had other fish to fry. On Wednesday, they will need to find the balance between taking the weekend’s good feeling into the Liverpool game without allowing it to distract them.

Matt Beard’s Liverpool side have not played in nearly a month and will be well rested with plenty of time to prepare for this game. With another WSL game on Sunday evening at home to Reading, Arsenal do at least get to stay in the capital for this run of three games in seven days. How Jonas Eidevall uses his squad during this week will be interesting.

The team gave a lot on Sunday against Chelsea and there could be room for players like Victoria Pelova, Katherine Kuhl or Laura Wienroither to come in and freshen things up. However, against Chelsea there were signs of reconnection and chemistry in the forward line that they won’t want to disrupt too much. Liverpool have a strong player to player marking structure which will mean Arsenal will need to work hard in possession.

Another curiosity to look for is that all of Arsenal’s corners in the reverse fixture were out-swingers. Whether that will persist with new coach Patrik Winqvist now looking after set-pieces is an interesting wrinkle. Manchester City and Manchester United both won in the WSL over the weekend and this is Arsenal’s game in hand over both, they simply have to make it count.

TEAM NEWS


Gio returns to the squad after being cup-tied for Sunday’s Conti Cup Final. Sabrina D’Angelo is close to a return but this game might come a little too soon after a knee injury. Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema are both unavailable due to ACL injuries.

Available squad
GOALKEEPERS: 1.Zinsberger, 18.Marckese
DEFENDERS: 2.Rafaelle, 3.Wubben-Moy, 5.Beattie, 6.Williamson, 7.Catley, 16.Maritz, 26.Wienroither
MIDFIELDERS: 10.Little, 12.Maanum, 13.Wälti, 21.Pelova, 22.Kuhl
FORWARDS: 15.McCabe, 17.Hurtig, 19.Foord, 20.Gio, 25.Blackstenius, 59.Agyemang

A WORD FROM THE BOSS
“There are a lot of unknowns, Liverpool have not played for nearly a month and nobody knows what they have been doing! That is a strange situation because we have played a lot of games in that time and they have not. They have had a lot of time to prepare and think about how they go about this game.

“We need to focus on the key details of the way we want to play and be prepared for a Liverpool who will be very well organised, very physical and we need to do all the basics right to stand any chance of getting the result that we want. We need to prepare for every game. There are ten games left in the league, it is a lot of football we are going to play.

“Liverpool are a strong pressing side, they work very hard together, they are strong in transition they have strength at throw-ins and other set-pieces as well. It’s a side that poses multiple threats, they have shown this calendar year when they put things together the right way, like they did against Chelsea in the Cup, they are a resilient side that you need to be on your best day to beat.”

LAST TIME OUT
When the teams met in October, first half goals from Frida Maanum and Lia Wälti were enough for a 2-0 victory at Prenton Park.

HIGHLIGHTS | Liverpool vs Arsenal (0-2) | WSL | Walti, Maanum – YouTube

THE OPPOSITION
Liverpool are currently five points clear of Leicester in the relegation zone with a game in hand- which is this one. Given that it’s their first season back in the top flight after their relegation in 2020 they will probably look upon that as acceptable as they build. However, last time out they were beaten 1-0 at home by rock bottom Leicester City.

Had they won that game, an 11-point gap would have been unassailable, the narrowed five point margin keeps them honest when it comes to looking over their shoulders. They have the second best defence in the bottom half of the table but the second worst attack. Injury issues for Dutch winger Shanice van de Sanden have really hurt them as they have struggled to find a regular supply line to Katie Stengel upfront.

Stengel and van de Sanden is a partnership that does not belong anywhere near the WSL relegation zone but the latter half of that equation has not been available for much of the season. The Reds re-signed Natasha Dowie from Reading in January though she is not quite the player she was from her first spell at the club, she poses a lot of danger from crosses. The issue for Liverpool has been supplying them.

PLAYER TO WATCH
In Sunday’s victory over Chelsea, Stina Blackstenius produced one of her best performances of the season. A large part of Blackstenius’ role at centre-forward was to create space for Mead and Miedema and with the pair both injured, suddenly the spotlight was on the Swede to generate the majority of Arsenal’s goal threat.

Such is life at a big club. There have been signs of burgeoning relationships forming in the new-look forward line but when Stina went through on goal in the FA Cup match at Chelsea, she never looked fully confident as she bore down on goal and wasn’t able to correct her balance to score. On Sunday, she was excellent at providing an outlet, holding the ball up and attacking the front post as Arsenal made progress down the left.


McCabe drifted into central positions very often on Sunday too, which gave Blackstenius an increased sense of tactical purpose. She had someone to create space for. But really the performance was a triumph of soft factors, Stina has been questioned a lot in recent weeks, especially with the reports around Arsenal’s approach for Alessia Russo but she produced a convincing performance. More of the same on Wednesday would be very nice thank you.

PREDICTED LINE-UP

Subs: 3.Wubben-Moy, 5.Beattie, 7.Catley, 16.Maritz, 17.Hurtig, 18.Marckese, 20.Gio, 22.Kuhl, 59.Agyemang.

HOW TO CATCH THE GAME
The match takes place at Meadow Park at 7.15pm on Wednesday evening, it will be streamed live on the FA Player, which is free and doesn’t require a subscription, you just need to register an account to watch. Otherwise it will be streamed live on Arsenal.com.

COMING UP
We will have post-match reaction from Jonas Eidevall on the site on Wednesday evening. We will also have a new episode of the Arsenal Women Arsecast out before the end of the week too.

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MartynJ

According to Matt Beard, Natasha Dowie’s out injured already. In fact, he’s got so many out (5, possibly 7) that he may be forced to remember he has Carla Humphrey in his squad…

Fun Gunner

I think Liverpool’s long layoff could also mean that they are not match sharp. Of course it all hinges on JE’s plan for the fixture, but I would love to see significant changes in personnel – Maanum, Foord, Rafallelle and Williamson rested and Pelova, Kühl/Gio, Wubben-Moy and Beattie in. LW-M and Beattie can handle Stengel’s physicality and Beattie’s distribution is very good. The tough task of breaking down a stubborn defence would suit Pelova and Gio/Kühl. No rest for Wälti and Little, obviously. Or Stina. Now that she’s back on the goalscoring trail, she needs to keep starting. We desperately… Read more »

Fun Gunner

And if she’s fit, this would also be a great game for Hurtig to come back in.

WayBackWhen

Why the prediction for LB Tim? Is Steph injured?

I wondered if Katie might be ‘rested’ to the bench, she took a bit of a battering on Sunday and covered a lot of ground.

That would effect the Australian chemistry on the left as well.

Emil

Hi, can we get an exclusive page for arsenal women? It would be better for those who are exclusively interested in arsenal women and for those who are exclusively interested in arsenal to not have it mixed up

arseblog

We cover the Arsenal Women, the same way we cover the men, and the youth teams. It’s all Arsenal.

Funnily enough though, we never get any requests for a separate page for the underage teams 🤔

verstellung

Can we get a separate page for positive , forward thinking fans and a page for the moaners and whiners ?

Just kidding…

Emil

My friend, surely you can see why my request is relevant. It’s easy to vritue signal by insinuating that im not a forward thinker. But as you can see by comparing the amount of comments on the articles regarding arsenal women and arsenal men. Its not of public interest for most arsenal fans.

Gee, even Arseblog admitted on the comment above that it is a reocurring request.

arseblog

The thing is Emil, you could simply choose not to read the stories about Arsenal Women, nor comment on the stories about Arsenal Women, and then just go about your day happy as Larry. Obviously there is greater interest in the men’s team than the women’s team, but as I said earlier, we cover every aspect of this football club as well as we can. Men. Women. Youth. Transfers. Stats. Player ratings. Business. Boardroom. All of it. If one part of it isn’t to your taste, that’s understandable, but you have the choice to just read the next story that… Read more »

MartynJ

There’s already a page for people who are “exclusively interested in Arsenal”…
Anyway, happy International Women’s Day, Emil.

Emil

Well, the reason i called it arsenal is because of the editorial choice on this site to do so. It would be redundant to say arsenals men. Its a privately owned page so they are of course allowed to so whatever they want. Arsenal youth are relevant for Arsenal “men” as it pertains to players who has the possibility of joining the first team so i can see why people find it interesting. Its not a polical statement even if you want to read it as such. Its just that when i go to the news page there is a… Read more »

Little Cubby

On felling a little negative about Stina lately lm so, so pleased she did well on Sunday and l understand that she is there to make space for Viv and Beth, she definitely looked better when playing with those two. I’ll be there tonight…. Freezing to death 🤣💪

verstellung

Weather looks pretty awful…that said, Wish I could be there !!!

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