Team News, Stats & Facts as Arsenal host Man United Women in big WSL clash today

Arsenal host Manchester United in big WSL clash today – Players, Stats & Facts By Michelle

Arsenal will welcome over 35,000 supporters to Emirates Stadium this afternoon. This match, against Manchester United’s Red Devils, is arguably our Gunners biggest challenge in the Women’s Super League so far this season.  If our Gunners come out on top today they will secure 15 consecutive WSL wins (a new WSL record).  A win would also extend their lead at the top of the WSL leader board.  But Manchester United are not going to make that easy for us.

We gave an injury update and talked team form and score prediction yesterday.  Today, match day, we talk about Players, Stats and Facts across both teams.

What happened last season?

Manchester United were the only side to take points away from Arsenal at home last season, with a 1-1 draw at Meadow Park. Man Utd went ahead in the first ten minutes thanks to Alessia Russo.  It was over an hour later when Stina Blackstenius came off the bench and scored her first Women’s Super League goal in dramatic fashion.

Arsenal were 2-0 victors in the away leg at Leigh Sports Village in Manchester, with both Vivianne Miedema and Katie McCabe scoring.

What Red Devils to look out for!

Manchester United have four Euro 2022-winning Lionesses amongst their ranks, including shot-stopper Mary Earps and attacking duo Alessia Russo and Ella Toone.  Our Gunners will also be reunited with former teammate Nikita Parris, who joined Manchester United in the summer.

There are six players who have provided at least three assists in the WSL this season, with three of them playing for United: Katie Zelem, Ona Batlle, and Leah Galton.  Galton particularly, has enjoyed a strong start to this campaign with two goals and three assists in six for the Red Devils.

Arsenal team news

Kim Little, Lina Hurtig, Leah Williamson, Rafaelle Souza, and Teyah Goldie are not available for selection through injury. Williamson stepped up her recovery during the week, by returning to training at Colney.

Despite picking up minor injuries at England camp, Jordan Nobbs and Lotte Wubben-Moy are in full training and should be fit for the tie.  I am tipping Jordan Nobbs to come on as Captain again, in light of Kim Little’s absence.  Beth Mead and Manuela Zinsberger are also available for tomorrow’s tie after leaving international camp early for personal reasons, and Vivianne Miedema has also returned to London Colney following a leave of absence.

Eidevall on Man United: It’s a very tough opponent. Manchester United have had a great start to the season. Where [they] 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. Those things are usually equal to having success, so it doesn’t surprise me.

Skinner on Arsenal: They’re a very good team and we did put in two very good performances [against them last season]. It’s a different venue, lots and lots of fans, so I expect a different game to the one we played last year but I still want to see that continued growth from our team.

I want us to produce that in the moments that really matter. That’s the next step for us, to perform as well as we can on a consistent basis in these types of games. We have to earn everything against Arsenal because they are a very good team.

Facts & Stats:

  • We have lost just one of our last five WSL meetings with Manchester United (W3 D1)
  • Saturday is the first time we’ll host Manchester United at the Emirates and the first time we’ll host a non-London opposition in the Women’s Super League here
  • We have won all four of our WSL matches at the ground, scoring at least three goals each time
  • Beth Mead has been involved in six goals in her three WSL appearances for us at Emirates Stadium, scoring four and assisting two
  • Stina Blackstenius has scored more goals than any other Gunner in the WSL this season with four. Her first-ever goal in the competition was against Manchester United in this fixture last season, coming off the bench to rescue a point for us

Here is my predicted starting eleven: Zinsberger, Weinrother, Catley, Beattie, Walti, Nobbs (C), McCabe, Maanum, Mead, Blackstenius, Foord.  I’m not sure about Beattie starting, that may be Wubben-Moy.  It depends if she’s really fully on form after injury.

I’m still predicting an Arsenal win of 3-1.  What about you?

Absolutely cannot wait for this ‘clash of the titans’ match today!

Michelle Maxwell

Follow Michelle on Just Gooner Women on Twitter for regular updates on the Arsenal Women’s Team!

Do you want to read more about the Arsenal Women’s Team? Click here….

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