by Andrew Crawshaw
Arsenal Women return to League action today in an early kick-off at Meadow Park Borehamwood against Liverpool. Kick-off was at 12:30 and the game is live on UK television so no excuses not to watch it. It is on the BBC Sport Online or on television via the Red Button or alternatively on the BBC Sport App.
Liverpool have had a very large proportion of last year’s team poached by other clubs, particularly the new Manchester United team who didn’t have a team at all last year and it is difficult to know how much of a threat they will be this year. In previous seasons they were usually a good but unspectacular side. Their results so far this season have been disappointing, they were beaten by Man United in their opening Continental Tyres Cup group game and also lost a pre season friendly against third tier Blackburn Rovers.
Our manager Joe Montemurro is having none of it being an easy game though as he noted in his interview with Arsenal.com :-
“I’m expecting a very tough challenge…. We have to respect Liverpool, it’s a big occasion and obviously the rivalry is huge. We have to respect the (new) coach and the players they have brought in, and we believe it’s going to be a very, very difficult game….. I believe they’ll be proactive, direct, organised and very aggressive in all areas of the field. Their coach (Neil Redfern) is a clever man and he understands the importance of organisation”
This is a match I would very much expect us to win and with the two other top teams, Chelsea playing Manchester City in a 14:00 kickoff a real opportunity to start off with points over at least one of them. There are only two Champions League places on offer each year and we agonisingly missed the second by a single point last season having made up something like 9 points over City in the second half of the season after a dreadful opening period. This year we must be targetting second as an absolute minimum and there is no real reason why we shouldn’t push all season for first spot.
I would expect our team to be
Sari Van Veenendaal (GK)
Dominique Bloodworth (Nee Janssen), Louise Quinn, Leah Williamson, Emma Mitchell
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Kim Little (C), Jordan Nobbs
Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema, Katie McCabe
Pauline Peyraud-Magnin (GK), Jessica Samuelsson, Lisa Evans, Danielle Van de Donk, Ava Kuyken
Hopefully I will be able to post updates at intervals as the game progresses