Arsenal Boss Eidevall’s squad is ready for Manchester United Women at Emirates By Michelle
As Arsenal prepare to welcome over 35,000 supporters to Emirates Stadium on Saturday, Jonas Eidevall talked to the press about the Gunners biggest WSL challenge this season so far, against Manchester United.
When asked about the threat that Manchester United pose, Jonas responded: Man United are a very strong team. It will be a tough game. We obviously now have a quick turnaround from the international period. For us, it’s about playing one game at a time, controlling what we can control, and making the most of our performance. If we do, we’re confident that we can deliver good results.
And on striking a balance between acknowledging United’s threat from set pieces and creating anxiety around it: It’s a good question. I think when I present any opponent, I spend more time speaking about their weaknesses than I speak about their strengths. Then, of course, when we speak about their strengths, it’s all about how we are dealing with those situations, because then I don’t think it creates anxiety. I think you can be focused on what you are doing.
Jonas continued: It becomes problematic when you speak to the team about a situation where the opponent is strong, but you don’t provide a solution. Of course, that’s going to be stressful. So we know United are strong on set pieces, and we know they are a very good crossing team as well. But for us, it’s much more about focusing on what our organisation looks like on set pieces, what we need to do, how we defend crosses, and how we stop crosses from happening.
And on what he’s seen change the most for United this season: Where Man United went a little bit behind last season was basically in autumn. I think they were a really, really strong team in the spring in the league, and they’ve added some players that made their squad a little bit deeper, and they have kept a lot of continuity in the way that they play. So those things are usually equal to having success. So it doesn’t surprise me.
When asked about what playing at Emirates Stadium does for the team and what it means to play in front of so may supporters Jonas had this to say:
I think it’s one of our two homes. And from the time I’ve been here, we feel more and more that this is our home. We feel more and more that it’s on a platform, where we’re able to share our love for Arsenal with so many more people than just ourselves in the team. To share that and to see how much energy that creates, and that bond between the team and the supporters, I think it’s beautiful. And the Emirates just gives us much more opportunity to do so. Jonas continued: It’s a very tough opponent. Manchester United have had a great start to the season. I’m so pleased that we can, again, sell such a high number of tickets when we go to Emirates and have these high standards. It was a beautiful experience at the North London Derby and, together with our fans, we want to try and create the same thing tomorrow.
Jonas also gave a full update on team injuries and player availability for selection, for tomorrow’s game. Leah Williamson, Rafaelle Souza and Teyah Goldie are still out due to significant injury. Captain Kim Little remains out of action with her knee injury. Lina Hurtig will not be available for selection. Jordan Nobbs, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Manuela Zinsberger (all of whom withdrew from international duty) are all available for selection. Vivianne Miedema, who was granted a leave of absence prior to the international break is back in training, as is her partner Beth Mead who withdrew from the England squad that played Norway due to family circumstances.
Here is my predicted starting eleven: Zinsberger, Weinrother, Catley, Beattie, Walti, Nobbs (C), McCabe, Maanum, Mead, Blackstenius, Foord. Yes, that’s right. Nobbs to skipper Arsenal once again as Kim Little recovers.
Absolutely cannot wait for this game of games tomorrow!
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