Aston Villa v Arsenal: WSL. The match preview – part 1


by Andrew Crawshaw


Can Vivianne Miedema score for her fourth game in a row?  Will the other Arsenal forwards find their scoring boots to ensure that we win by more than one nil.  Will we get more towards the free-flowing football that we produced at the start of the season? 

These are some of the obvious questions to which we need to see positive answers in tomorrow’s game – always assuming it goes ahead and doesn’t fall foul of the weather.  Kick off is 4.15pm.

After last weekend’s results and despite winning our game we lost ground to both Chelsea (who have played one game more) and Manchester City, as both registered significantly bigger wins than our one nil.  The current table is


Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Chelsea 9 8 0 1 28 6 22 24
2 Man United 8 7 0 1 23 5 18 21
3 Arsenal 8 7 0 1 21 4 17 21
4 Man City 8 6 0 2 20 9 11 18
5 Aston Villa 8 4 0 4 12 15 -3 12
6 West Ham 9 4 0 5 13 18 -5 12
7 Spurs 7 3 0 4 11 12 -1 9
8 Everton 8 3 0 5 7 210 -3 9
9 Liverpool 9 2 2 5 11 16 -5 8
10 Reading 9 2 1 6 10 20 -10 7
11 Brighton 8 2 1 5 11 29 -18 7
12 Leicester 9 0 0 9 2 25 -23 0


So despite us having statistically the best defence in the league we currently find ourselves in third place.  Our well-documented injury list continues to act as a handbrake on our performances with players not being in their preferred positions and, as a result, our passing is a little slow and deliberate making it far easier for opposition teams to predict where the ball is going.

With the return to the playing squad of both Leah Williamson and Rafaelle Souza who are two of the best defensive players in the world, Steph Catley has been able to resume her usual Left Back position and in turn that has enabled Katie McCabe to play higher up the pitch (albeit on the right rather than her more natural left side).  In turn, this has enabled Vivianne Miedema to occupy a more advanced position on the left, so things are getting a little more back to normal.

Certainly against both Everton last weekend and Juventus in midweek we had many more opportunities to score than we have had in previous games and it must only be a matter of time before we have a far more comprehensive win than the classic “To the Arsenal one – nil” that we have been seeing recently.

Aston Villa are a solid workmanlike team and are currently occupying the “best of the rest” slot in fifth place behind Chelsea, ourselves and the two Manchester clubs.  They score well against the lower league sides but struggle to do so against the top four.  They also concede on average nearly two goals a game and it is difficult to see them playing well enough to seriously threaten our defence – always assuming that we don’t do anything silly and gift them an opportunity.

Our game kicks off at 16:15 and is being broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event.

There will be more shortly including a video of all 100 of Vivianne Miedema’s Arsenal goals

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