Arsenal v Chelsea Women “Season-defining game”…. could be “won and lost in midfield” by Michelle
There is an incredible game coming up at lunch-time tomorrow when Arsenal Women take on the Champions Chelsea at the Emirates, and there is a good chance that the WSL attendance record will be broken as two of the best teams in Europe take each other on.
The former England international Anita Asante, who played for both Arsenal and Chelsea, in fact she made history with the Gunners when she was part of the Arsenal team that won the quadruple in 2006/2007, collecting the UEFA Women’s Cup, FA Women’s National Premier League, FA Women’s Cup and the FA Women’s Premier League Cup, has done an in depth preview of the game on the BBC, calling it a “season defining game”
If Chelsea beat Arsenal, they will feel in the driving seat, and vice versa. Asante continued. They both know a lot is at stake; the league is tight and it is difficult to win if you drop points, particularly against rivals next to you in the table.
Chelsea have not suffered long-term injury woes to anything like the same extent as Arsenal, and have had their squad boosted with Melanie Leupolz returning from maternity leave, while Arsenal’s first half of the season was plagued by player injuries, culminating in the ACL injuries suffered by their top players Beth Mead & Vivianne Miedema in November and December.
Despite the level of injuries our Gunners have continued to impress with Asante saying It’s a travesty that they have lost two key players, but even prior to that, players like [Caitlin] Foord and [Frida] Maanum have taken space and responsibility, especially in attacking play.
It’s a resilient team, that has come through. Getting back captain and leader [Leah] Williamson is key, Raffaele Souza has been a great signing.
So, where does Asante think the game will be won and lost?
I always think games are won and lost in midfield, says Asante. The midfield battle, the team which provides service to the players who cause the most damage. Erin Cuthbert to Kirby, [Guro] Reiten getting delivery into the right areas. Chelsea score a lot of goals in a similar way, if they do that they can win.
I think Asante’s not wrong but although boss Eidevall has been very active in the January transfer window he has yet to bring in a prolific goalscorer, saying in his pre-Chelsea Presser I would be disappointed if we can’t bring in a prolific goalscorer in addition to the signings we have done. That should be a really important priority for us in this window with the number of games and the level of the games that we have.
New signing’s Victoria Pelova, Kathrine Kuhl and Sabs D’Angelo have only arrived in the last week or so and will be settling into London, the squad and getting to know their teammates so it’s a little soon to hope that they can help Arsenal make the difference they need to, with the loss of Mead & Miedema, in time for tomorrow’s match. But could we see Gio? She’s played a 11 WSL games with Everton this season and could hit the ground running for Arsenal.
One thing’s for sure, it is set to be a great spectacle and we are hoping for many magic moments and very fine football!
Remember the last time Arsenal welcomed Chelsea Women to Emirates Stadium our Gunners won the day! See highlights of that match below.
What do you think of our Gunners chances are tomorrow?
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….