by Andrew Crawshaw
We kick off our Champions League journey on Tuesday Evening at Borehamwood with the first leg of a home and away tie against Ajax. The game starts at 19:30. The UEFA website has no information of any live stream coverage, neither does arsenal.com (they do say that they will have audio available) so as I write this on Monday evening, I’m sorry but I can’t help in that regard.
it will likely be streamed live on DAZN and You Tube
After our win on Friday against Brighton, Jonas Eidevall was asked about how he was preparing for Saturday’s match against Spurs at the Emirates. His reply was unequivocal – the next game is on Tuesday against Ajax he said, all my focus is on that game. Spurs can wait.
Last season we started our Champions League journey early in the season with matches in the preliminary rounds. Having reached the last 8 and finished second in the WSL rather than third this year we start in the second round with the winner proceeding into the knockout stage. We are in the league path which will provide 6 teams for the last 16 group stage. Another 7 teams will come from the Champions path where the league winners from the lower ranked nations are placed. These 13 qualifying teams will join Chelsea, Lyon, Wolfsburg and Barcelona who won the Leagues in England, France, Germany and Spain. Lyon are also the current European Champions. All of the games from the group stage to the final will be live streamed by DAZN and on their YouTube channel.
Our opponents are the Dutch team Ajax who came second last season in the Dutch League
So far this season they have played 5 matches, winning their preliminary WCL games against Kristianstad and Eintracht Frankfurt, drawing a friendly against Köln, losing to FC Twente in the Super Cup and winning their first league match 4 – 0. Clearly, a competent team and possibly more up-to-match-speed than we are. Against that, on paper, we have better players on a position-by-position basis and needn’t feel inferior in any way.
In their league game last Friday their goals were scored by Viktoria Pelova a 23-year-old midfielder in the 23rd and 90th minute and by Soraya Verhoeve a 24yr old forward in the 91st minute, the fourth goal was an own goal by Moïsa Van Koot in the 77th minute
I suspect that Jonas may well stick with pretty much the same team as started against Brighton with the exception of one or both fullbacks where I wouldn’t be surprised to see Steph Catley and Noëlle Maritz getting the nod. Kaylan Marckese may also get a start in goal but I suspect probably not.
My likely lineup
Manu Zinsberger (GK)
Steph Catley, Rafaelle DSouza, Leah Williamson, Noëlle Maritz
Lia Wälti, Mim Little (C)
Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema, Lina Hurtig
Kaylan Marckese (GK), Lotte Wubben-Moy, Jen Beattie, Laura Wienroither, Katie McCabe, Frida Maanum, Jordan Nobbs, Mana Iwabuchi, Caitlin Foord
The Ajax starting lineup on friday was
Lize Kop (GK)
Isa Kardinaal, Lisa Doorn, Kay-Lee De Sanders
Soraya Vertoeven, Sherida Spitse, Quinty Sabajo, Victoria Pelova
Romée Leuchter, Chasity Grant, Ashleigh Van Weerden
Van der Most, Hoekstra, Noordam, Tromp, Munsterman, Van der Wal (GK), Keijzer, van Gool, Kruize
Arsenal 4 – Ajax 1
I’ll be at Borehamwood, hopefully with updates in the comments as the game progresses with a report to follow on Wednesday.
Next WSL game – Arsenal v Spurs – Saturday 12:30 at the Emirates. Over 45,000 tickets sold but more still available.
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