Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur Women Preview

Arsenal Women v Tottenham Hotspur Women
Weds: Dec 13th – KO 19.00

THE LOWDOWN

Arsenal finish 2023 with a double header against Tottenham and after the high of beating Chelsea 4-1 at a packed Emirates Stadium on Sunday, a midweek Conti Cup tie against Spurs at Meadow Park might feel like a bit of a comedown. But after the game on Sunday, Jonas Eidevall urged his players to keep their standards high and use Sunday’s exceptional display as a baseline rather than a high watermark.

Arsenal have a bench packed full of internationals who need games and will want to fight their way into the regular starting line-up. Tottenham are clearly the strongest opposition in the group stage and a victory, having already defeated Bristol City and Southampton, will go a long way to securing qualification for the quarter-finals.

Tottenham, like Arsenal, have two wins from two in the group stage so far but are above Arsenal on goal difference. This game is going to be decisive in determining who wins the group and guarantees a quarter-final spot. With no Champions League in the second half of the season, the Gunners will both want to defend this trophy but with such a big squad, they need those knockout games too.

The teams meet again on Saturday lunchtime in the WSL so I suspect Tottenham will rotate just a little too but given their heavy loss at home to Manchester United and they won’t want to go into this weekend’s WSL match with a bad wind behind them. Even if the Conti Cup group stages are an unloved stepchild, this game has a winner takes all feel.

TEAM NEWS

Lina Hurtig is likely to miss out on this game as she continues to nurse the injury she picked up on international duty recently. Kim Little hobbled out of Sunday’s win against Chelsea, Jonas Eidevall said post-match the knock was nothing serious but given the players who will need game time in midfield, she would have been unlikely to start anyway. Vivianne Miedema could make her first start since rupturing her ACL last December. Leah Williamson, Laura Wienroither and Teyah Goldie continue their recoveries from ACL injuries.

Available squad

GOALKEEPERS: 1.Zinsberger, 14.D’Angelo, 40.Williams.

DEFENDERS: 3.Wubben-Moy, 5.Beattie, 7.Catley, 15.McCabe, 16.Maritz, 27.Codina, 28.Ilestedt

MIDFIELDERS: 10.Little, 11.Miedema, 12.Maanum, 13.Walti, 21.Pelova, 22.Kuhl, 32.Cooney-Cross, 53.Lia

FORWARDS; 9.Mead, 19.Foord, 23.Russo, 24.Lacasse, 25.Blackstenius

LAST TIME OUT

The last time the teams met was in March when the Gunners ran out 5-1 winners at Brisbane Road with goals from Stina Blackstenius, Kim Little, Frida Maanum and a brace from Caitlin Foord. The last time they met with Arsenal playing at home, it was a 4-0 win at Emirates Stadium thanks to efforts from Beth Mead, Rafaelle and a brace from Vivianne Miedema.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4H7xxeKA-g

THE OPPOSITION

Tottenham started the season strongly with summer signing Martha Thomas filling the void left by injury to Beth England upfront. October saw them narrowly lose to Chelsea on the opening day before stringing together victories against Bristol City, Brighton and Aston Villa.

It represented a strong start to life under Swedish coach Robert Vilahamn, who left Swedish champions Hacken to join Spurs in the summer. However, since then Tottenham have experienced a significant wobble. Consecutive 1-1 draws with Everton, Liverpool and Leicester were no disaster, but they have since been thrashed 7-0 by Manchester City and 4-0 by Manchester United.

They have already added highly rated Chinese attacking midfielder Wang Shuang, who was a target for Arsenal and Manchester City in the past, for the January transfer window. Like many in the WSL’s middle class, Spurs are trying to work out how to crack the ‘big four’ and have cycled through managers and many iterations of their playing squad trying to do so.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Vivianne Miedema could make her first start since rupturing her ACL last December. Miedema was an unused sub against Chelsea which, given the intensity Arsenal wanted to play with and the fact that they weren’t chasing goals in the second half, made sense. The path is clearer for her to start this game which I believe, checks permitting, was a pencilled in plan for a few weeks.

In the upcoming Step By Step documentary, charting hers and Beth Mead’s almost parallel recoveries from ACL injuries, Viv talks a lot about coping with being a month behind Mead in her rehab and how she had a slightly different iteration of her ACL injury which required slightly different surgery.

Mead has quickly come back to something approaching her best but recoveries from these injuries don’t follow a totally linear path. 60 minutes or so in this game would represent excellent progress, after Saturday, there will be almost a month before the next game which will give her a good chance to continue building fitness. But most of all, it will just be a joyous moment for everyone to see her start a game again. ‘1-0. Miedema.’ Is already in my Twitter drafts.

PREDICTED LINE-UP

Subs: 1.Zinsberger, 3.Wubben-Moy, 9.Mead, 12.Maanum, 13.Walti, 19.Foord, 21.Pelova, 23.Russo, 53.Lia.

HOW TO CATCH THE GAME
The game takes place at Meadow Park at 7pm on Wednesday evening, it will be streamed live on Arsenal.com.

COMING UP
We will have full match reaction from Jonas Eidevall shortly after full-time on Wednesday, as well as all the build-up to Saturday’s North London derby at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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Bruce

COYGG

Chrishgooner

Shame Gio couldn’t join this particular party 🤷

dontthinkshoot

Ah glad to hear Arsenal.com are carrying it, I’d given up on being able to watch the Conti Cup

Fun Gunner

Thanks, Tim. It will be so lovely to see Viv Miedema starting. We could use her cunning football brain if they sit in a low block against us. I like your starting lineup although ideally I would like Wälti or Little (good news about the scan) to also start, for their experience but we need to keep Lia fresh while Kim is injured. This could be pretty intense – Villaham will want to stop the rot so they will be highly motivated to stop us playing. Also teensy bit concerned about Martha Thomas on the counter attack. If they do… Read more »

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