The Gooner Women take on Liverpool on Wednesday night as they bid to get back on track in the WSL after a far from happy January. But Arsenal bounced back in style with a 3-1 win over Chelsea in the Conti Cup Final at the weekend and the Liverpool coach Matt Beard is hoping that Jonas Eidevall’s team are still basking in the glory and have a hangover from the celebrations.
He told the official Liverpool website in his pre-match team talk ahead of the Arsenal game, regarding the Gunners recent blip before the Cup Final: “It’s like anything, when they have had people like Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema ruled out of their team, it does have an impact for sure. But they are a world-class team. We know there is a gap between the top four right now to the rest of the teams. From our perspective, we’ve said this all along, we want to be as competitive as we can in this division.
“We are not short-sighted but Arsenal have played a lot of games lately. Sometimes when you do win a cup final, it can have a knock-on effect, so hopefully for us that it does. If you look at their last few games in the WSL, the 1-1 draw with Chelsea, the goalless draw at West Ham and the one against Manchester City – they are a world-class team. We will go there, like we always do, to set up to win football matches and we will do as much as we can to do that.”
He is right that Arsenal have been very busy, and including last week’s FA Cup loss to Chelsea, this will be the Gunners third game in just ten days, but with Liverpool already out of both competions, they haven’t played a game for quite a while. As Beard said: “As always, we were waiting to get the players back from international duty, first and foremost, fit and healthy. We had an in-house game on Saturday just to get minutes into everyone’s legs. So, we’ve had a bit of a stop-start return after the Christmas break. We had an eight-week break then we have been nearly four weeks without a game. It is frustrating because if you look back to when we went into the Christmas break, we had started to find a bit of form and get a bit of consistency. It’s been a real stop-start period for us and super-frustrating, but we have tried to do as much as we can to keep the players match fit.”
So, Arsenal may be in confident buzzing mood, while Liverpool will be completely fresh. It may be worth noting that after the summer break, Liverpool shocked Chelsea in the first League game of the season, giving the Gunners yet another reason not to be complacent…
ARSENAL DESERVEDLY CONTI CUP WINNERS
Jonas can’t hide his happiness at finally winning a trophy with the Arsenal Women’s team.
“I’m so proud!” – Full press conference….…
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Well done Ladies