2022-23 Women’s Champions League – Arsenal v Ajax, the preview

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

Stina Blackstenius

Subs

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

Subs

Van der Most, Hoekstra, Noordam, Tromp, Munsterman, Van der Wal (GK), Keijzer, van Gool, Kruize

Predicted Scoreline

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.

8 Replies to “2022-23 Women’s Champions League – Arsenal v Ajax, the preview”

  1. The game is live on Arsenal.com!

    Im on my way to the ground on a train in a traffic jam, we are being held at every signal (which all seem to be red

  2. Starting 11 as I suspected – I hope my prediction of the score is as good!

    A surprise addition on the subs bench with one of our youth players Agyemang getting acall up. She is 16 and a forward.

  3. Half time and one all. A)ax took the lead with a quick break down their right hand side. More than a hint of offside I thought and the assistant referee looked to be behind the play. We equalised througg Stina Blackstenius forcing home a Rafaelle header which came back off the bar following a corner. Further chances at both ends, more goals to come in the second half I’m sure.

    Two other youngsters on the bench whose names, Im afraid I missed. I’ll give a proper account in the post match review.

    COYG

  4. Two all dammit. We were well below our usual level of performance, too many players wanting too long on the ball, toomanymisplaced passes and a poorreferee. We will have to play much better next week if we are toqualify for the last 16 group games.

    Our second came from the penalty spot and Kim Little of course scored. We hit the post and had a number of chances to get a third goal. The Ajax equaliser came from a goalmouth scramble following a free kick the referee allowed to be taken at least 15 yards nearer our goal than where the offside took place

    A frustrating evening

  5. Andrew

    I watched the whole match. Both their goals looked offside to me but difficult angles so hard to be sure. Our late goal looked on side. Again, difficult to see for sure. Look, I know it sounds sour grapes from an Arsenal fan, but I’ve seen enough games through the perspective of the TV and you just get a feeling, and most of the time when the better ankle is available, I am right. Unfortunately, it was not available tonight. Despite the sloppy passing of which you speak we were still the much better team, and but for the width of a goal post would have won.

  6. I did watch parts of the game, and the last 15 minutes.
    The way Ajax were wasting time was just so unsports(wo)man like….
    Did not expect that from that club.

  7. I note that the BBC state that Rangers women lost “a thriller” to Benfica. Their definition of “thriller” obviously based upon the fact that there were only four shots in the whole game. Apparently, Arsenal women did not participate in a thriller but we can’t tell anything from the stats because the BBC couldn’t be bothered to report them! Same old, same old.

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