Thursday, May 30, 2024

Arsenal Women v Paris FC Preview

Arsenal face Paris FC in Linkoping in the final of their UWCL qualifying mini tournament, after dispatching the hosts 3-0 on Wednesday afternoon. Paris were 4-0 victors over Ukrainian side FC Vrybas on Wednesday evening, which leaves the Gunners and their French opponents to face off for the right to go into the playoff round (a two legged tie which determines who enters the group stage).

On Wednesday, it took Arsenal half an hour or so to find their rhythm and were left to rue an early penalty miss by Kim Little. However, shortly before half-time the Gunners began to find their beat and, crucially, they were able to make good substitutions too- Blackstenius and Hurtig both scored from the bench.

Arsenal will have benefitted from that game, against a good level of opposition and a few more days away together in Sweden as they prepare to take on the team that finished third in Ligue 1 Feminin behind Lyon and PSG. Jonas Eidevall and one of the Arsenal analysts were in attendance for Paris FC’s convincing win over Vrybas.

He will have seen enough to determine that this will be another high level opponent. The Linkoping game was by no means frictionless, they created danger and Paris FC showed themselves to be a strong counterattacking team against Vrybas. It will also be interesting to see how much rotation there is compared to Wednesday’s game, in which Arsenal were able to use all five of their substitutions to good effect.

Beth Mead is with the travelling squad after just over nine months out with an ACL injury but she will take no part in this game as she enters the final stages of her rehab. Leah Williamson, Laura Wienroither, Teyah Goldie and Vivianne Miedema are all out with ACL injuries. New signing Laia Codina did not travel with the squad as she has not had sufficient training since joining the club from Barcelona.

Available squad
GOALKEEPERS: 1.Zinsberger, 14.D’Angelo, 40.Williams
DEFENDERS: 3.Wubben-Moy, 5.Beattie, 7.Catley, 15.McCabe, 16.Maritz, 28.Ilestedt
MIDFIELDERS: 10.Little, 12.Maanum, 13.Walti, 21.Pelova, 22.Kuhl, 53.Lia
FORWARDS: 9.Mead, 17.Hurtig, 19.Foord, 20.Gio, 23.Russo, 25.Blackstenius

‘In the first half, Paris were the better team against Vrybas but it was still quite an even game and Vrybas was working very hard. Paris are a very strong counter attacking team, Vrybas did not create a lot against their defensive organisation.

‘When you see the first goal, it comes from a counter-attack from a Vrybas corner and I don’t think that is a coincidence. They scored a lot from wide positions too so I think the game against Vrybas was representative of Paris’ strengths. Their counter attacking strategies and the pace they have from wide areas- they are really good at that.

The teams have never met competitively.

Paris FC are a club that focuses heavily on developing star talent, formerly known as Juvisy, they boast graduates such as Kadidiatou Diani and Sarah Bouhaddi. 18 members of their registered UWCL squad are 22 or under. They also have French international Clara Mateo in midfield.

Against Vrybas, they demonstrated their effectiveness on the counter attack with their left winger Julie Dufour bagging a hat-trick, largely from broken play or counter attack chances and that will surely be an area that Arsenal will have to be wary of. This is a young team, which means they will have plenty of energy so Eidevall’s team will have to let their experience show.

Katie McCabe was nominated for the Ballon D’Or this week, the first Irish woman to be nominated and the first Irish player since Roy Keane in 2000. McCabe played left-back and right-back during the Linkoping game and her versatility is a result of her quality as a player.

Often players are versatile because they don’t really master a position, McCabe is versatile because she has mastered several. McCabe has performed at such a high level in so many roles for so long that we take it for granted. I don’t doubt that she will start this game and that she will probably play in more than one position as it develops- it’s an incredibly crucial player to have in the team and the squad.


5.Beattie, 7.Catley, 9.Mead, 14.D’Angelo, 19.Foord, 20.Gio, 21.Pelova, 22.Kuhl, 23.Russo, 53.Lia

The game takes place at 2pm UK time on Saturday in Linkoping, it will be streamed live on

We will have all the post-match reaction from Jonas Eidevall and a player or two as well on Saturday afternoon. We will have plenty of content to preview the beginning of the WSL season on 1 October too.

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What happens if we eventually gets defeated by Paris FC?


Then we’re out of the UWCL and into the Conti Cup group stages



Jonas Eidevall finally did it !!!

So when is the draw for the conti cup group stage games? 🙃


Hope we defend better. I like Amanda but she should stop giving every balk to Lotte, Noelle and Zinsberger. I watched the entire game against Linkoping, she didn’t even make a single 20 yard pass forward. This is why we need Leah back. Lotte also should try to stop being too clever and just clear the ball. Paris FC will be tough but if we defend well, we will beat them.

Bill Hall

Our Capt missed a penalty?
Surely not 😳


I hope the live stream on works better than it did on Wednesday. All I ever got was the little spinning circle going round and round for ever, from beginning to end. Never got to see a moment of the match and ended up just reading the live text on BBC.


Are you In the UK? I asked because I experienced that ‘little spinning circle’ also😊. I later realized that only UK and Ireland residents would be able to stream on

Gunner H

Click on “Live” and use Zoom In to enable the (nearly) full screen.

Peter Story Teller

It was quite difficult to find but once I got to the right place the stream was fine with no buffering at all. My connection isn’t full fibre either I only get about 70MB/s download but that is enough to watch films and football. However, I always use an ethernet cable from my router to the computer it doesn’t matter how fast your internet connection is if you are being limited by a wifi connection inside your home!


I actually had fewer spinning circles than I get on the FA Player. As an alternative, you could try the Paris FC website – they streamed their game on Wednesday for free with no commentator.

Fun Gunner

This is another step up in quality. At least the external factors will be more equal – familiarity with the plastic pitch, the neutral stadium. But we are going to have to be at our best.
Wonderful words about Katie McCabe. We are very lucky to have her. As you say, not a jack-of-all-trades, a queen-of-all-trades.

Gunner H

Am really pleased our season has now commenced! Let’s hope for an even better performance tomorrow, and I suspect, more goals. I hope Katharine Kohl features (preferably starts) in the game. Separately, I read Lucy Bronze is astonished that Keira Walsh hasn’t been nominated in the Ballon d’Or – frankly, Lucy is fortunate to be nominated herself given her regular defensive “issues”. The list is pretty much only players who shone at the World Cup. As every true Gunners fan knows, the best player on the planet is our Captain, Kim Little, who of course isn’t nominated – and who… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

“The list is pretty much only players who shone at the World Cup.” Except for Stanway who gets nominated for everything and does sweet FA to justify it!
What did she do for the England team? Bright just kicked the ball past her to Russo and Hemp. There were many more deserving names in the England side without bringing in the rest of the world’s players also!

Fun Gunner

I still maintain that her reputation rests on her fondness for kicking other players.
Not saying she is a bad player, far from it. But people are way too impressed by thuggery on a football pitch.


The stats show Stanway as one of out more effective players at the World Cup. For example, she won the ball back from the opposition more than any other Lioness – Bright, Greenwood and Carter way behind on that stat. Interestingly, at the Euros, it was Williamson who topped that particular stat (not just for the England team, but for the whole tournament. Worth remembering that the Ballon D’Or shortlist is drawn up by a bunch of Fench journalists, and is always highly questionable. Pointless complaining about it – it is what it is. They’ve heard of Millie Bright. They… Read more »

Fun Gunner

Thanks for the context, MartynJ. I haven’t changed my mind, I’m afraid – she’s a very good player who kicks opponents a lot. A Marmite player, maybe.

How can a bunch of French football journalists not have heard of Caroline Graham Hansen?

Fun Gunner

Kim Little is the footballers’ footballer.

Mike W

Some players holiday in Ibiza. Kimmy holidays at OL Reign. That kind of says it all!

Peter Story Teller

Kim doesn’t holiday she trains and gets herself match fit ready for the season ahead. The ultimate professional!


We are going to need to be at our best. We now have the luxury of being able to set up with different personnel and structures and maintain the quality. Katie as an inverted attacker on the right? A back three with Vicky as a wing back? Lessi/Stina, Caitlin/Lina, Katie/Steph? Can you leave out Cloé? I haven’t seen Paris play, but it sounds like they attack well down the wings, in which case Noëlle and Steph should be the starting full backs. Anyway, I’m sure we’ll see judicious use of substitutes!

Swedish Gunner

According to Sportexpressen and Fotbollskanalen Arsenal is about to make a bid on Bk Häcken:s Elin Rubensson in the coming days. She is a player who can play both as a 6 and a fullback👍 And she was the best player for Sweden at the world cup.

Fun Gunner

We’re the Arsenal and we only sign Scandis!
Seriously, though, as a short term (1-2 years) solution, this would be very good. Two positions covered and she would get minutes at RB from day one. She seems very confident, knows half our squad already and has said she wants to play elsewhere in Europe. However,she’s contracted until 2025 and BK Hacken don’t want to let her go midseason, so… But on the other hand, the report says Rubensson is talking to several clubs, so that could mean that it’s just a question of the price for BK Hacken.
Fingers crossed.


Arsenal should change women’s keeper with a world class one.


Where is new signing defender codina?

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