- Arsenal Women – the Season Preview: Hopes For The Season
- Arsenal Women – the Season Preview – part 2 Our team for the Season
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by Andrew Crawshaw
All twelve teams in the WSL are in action today. Arsenal are one of the teams with a 14:00 kick-off and will certainly have the largest crowd with over 50,000 tickets sold – further confirmation of the increasing popularity of the Women’s games.
Further good news for Arsenal this week with confirmation that Katie McCabe has signed a new contract. Chelsea made an opportunistic bid for her services in January, which was summarily rejected. A firm fan favourite she is bound to get a great reception from the fans on Sunday.
We have made further changes to our coaching staff for this season, Patrik Winqvist has replaced Leanne Hall with a special responsibility for set pieces, Lydia Bedford, the former Leicester City coach, left to coach Brentford men’s U18s she has been replaced by Renee Slegers who succeeded Jonas at Rosengard and the club legend has been reappointed for the season mainly to work with the attacking players. Aaron D’Antino and Seb Barton remain.
Here is a reminder of how the WSL finished last season
|11||Brighton & Hove Albion||22||4||4||14||26||63||-37||16|
Reading were relegated, being replaced by Bristol City.
In order to more or less guarantee to win the league a team cannot afford more than two defeats and probably no more than a single draw, that would mach Chelsea’s total from last year. Chelsea, like Arsenal have a stronger squad this year and I think the title race will be a straight fight between he two London Powerhouses. Both have tremendous strength in depth, Arsenal should get stronger as the season progresses and our injured players return to full match fitness.
Arsenal v Liverpool 14:00 at the Emirates
In all honesty this is a game that we should win, albeit maybe not comfortably. Matt Beard is the Liverpool Manager and his teams always tend to play a safety first game but the individual quality of their players is significantly lower has ours. The main questions are likely to be how long can hey frustrate our attackers and can they hit us on the break.
I would guess that our starting 11 is likely to be:
Manuella Zinsberger (GK)
Steph Catley, Amanda Ilestedt, Laia Coordina, Noelle Mariz
Kim Little (C), Frida Maanum
Caitlin Foord, Alesia Russo, Cloe Lacasse
Subs :- Sabrina D’Angelo (GK), Lotte Wubben-Moy, Jen Beattie, Katie McCabe, Victoria Pelova, Katherine Møller-Kühl, Kyra Cooney-Cross (or Beth Mead if sufficiently fit), Lina Hurting, Stina Blacksenius
If she is fit enough for a 20 minute appearance Beth Mead should be on the bench. If not there is no point in her taking up a place and I would expect Kyra Cooney-Cross to get the spot.
I expect the game to be Arsenal attack v Liverpool defence and I trust that we will find sufficient guile to win by more than one goal.
Arsenal 3 – Liverpool 0
The other matches are :-
Aston Villa v Manchester United 12:30 at Villa Park
United are probably somewhat weaker this season having let Alessia Russo slip through their fingers. Aston Villa were one of he surprises from last season and he only team outside the top four with a positive goal difference. With Villa being cheered on by a good home crowd they could effect a surprise defeat on United but I think a draw is probably the likely outcome.
Draw 2 – 2
Everton v Brighton and Hove Albion 13:00 Walton Hall Park
The smallest ground being used with a capacity of only 2,200 – Shame on you Everton.
Little to choose between the two sides last season in terms of goals scored but Everton had by far the better defence only shipping 36 to Brighton’s 63. Unless Brighton can put in a much better defensive showing on a regular basis than they did last season (and I’m aware that they did improve in their last couple of games) they will struggle to stay above the usual relegation battle at the foot of the table.
Everton 2 – Brighton and Hove 1
Bristol City v Leicester City 14:00 at Ashton Gate
This is one of the games that newly promoted Bristol must be targeting as they seek to get the 16 or so points needed for safety at the end of the year. I really have no idea how that will get on but expect them to work diligently. Leicester’s main problem last season was scoring goals, they averaged less than one a game so if Bristol score they are unlikely to lose.
Probably a low scoring draw, 0 – 0 or 1 – 1
West Ham v Manchester City 15;00 at Chigwell Construction Stadium
West Ham were a poor team last season who, nevertheless, frustrated Arsenal at Chigwell. It was one of our most dismal performances of the year and one of the main reasons we struggled to finish third. Manchester City are not as good as they were a couple of years ago and for the last two seasons have had a dreadfully slow start to the season. Nevertheless, they should have enough stacking talent to win quite comfortably.
West Ham 1 – Manchester City 3
Chelsea v Tottenham 17:30 at Stamford Bridge
Tottenham are a team that don’t tend to score many goals, Chelsea score for fun. This match is only going to go one way and that is a big win for Chelsea. A case of Deja view at the end of the day with Chelsea at the top of the table goal difference I feel
Chelsea 5 – Tottenham 1
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