Arsenal Women v Wolfsburg
By Andrew Crawshaw
Arsenal Women play Wolfsburg on Monday evening in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final today. Barcelona await the winners in the final in Eindhoven on 3 June after they beat Chelsea on Friday. Can we go one better?
You will all be aware that we have been ravaged by serious injuries to key players this season. Currently, we are without Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema and Leah Williamson all with ACL ligament damage. Joining them out for the rest of the season is club captain Kim Little. Caitlin Foord also was missing from training and must also be regarded as unavailable.
Following our loss in the WSL against Manchester United the Champions League is our only realistic opportunity of silverware this season which makes this game even more crucial.
Given our injuries, Wolfsburg must be favourites to win the match and the team will need the full wholehearted support of the 60,000 twelfth players in the ground. The attendance will be a record for Arsenal, we’ve had 40,000 plus four times so far this season but this is the first time all seats have been sold.
What can we expect from the game?
For Arsenal I would expect us to start with pretty much the same lineup as we did in the first leg in Germany so a 3-4-2-1 lineup in front of the keeper
Wubben-Moy, Beattie, Rafaelle
Wienroither, Maanum, Walti, Catley
D’Angelo, (GK), Marckese (GK), Maritz, Hurtig, Kuhl and three youngsters Agyemang, Harbert and Reid
As I intimated above we are desperately short of senior players and proven goalscorers in particular. This is something that certainly doesn’t apply to Wolfsburg. In Ewa Pajor they have the competition’s leading scorer along with Oberdorf and our former player Jill Roord. Their wing forwards Huth and Jónsdóttir caused us plenty of problems in the first leg.
In that game we had a poor start and were two goals down in the 24th minute. We managed to get a goal back just before half time thanks to a great header by Rafaelle at the back post. Our comeback was complete in the second half when Pelova played a great cross for Blackstenius to sweep the ball home from inside the six yard area. We will need to see more of that in this game in order to get the win.
Wolfsburg were disappointed with their performance in the first leg and feel that they only need to cut out a few unforced errors to emerge as the team to play Barcelona in the final.
One final word from me we have done extraordinarily well to get to this stage in the competition given our rotten luck with injuries. I cannot think of any team could lose five world class players and still compete at this level.
If you haven’t got a ticket then the match is available live and free of charge on the DAZN youtube channel.
And if you are wanting to pass the time of day, here’s the other semi-final.
- How far down might these points deducations take clubs?
- Big clubs that foul less lose fewer players of their own to injury
- What takes clubs up and down the league: attack or defence?
- Referee Extremism: the situation in Spain and in England
- Didn’t appreciate KO time, M1 is a disaster, but watching Arsenal is a joy