Arsenal Women kick off their 2022/23 WSL campaign, against Brighton tonight
The wait for the start of the Women’s Super League season is over!
After a summer of international football, here in England and across the pond, the Gunners are back in action today at Meadow Park, with an absolute determination to win the league title and take the trophy that Chelsea have held on to for the last three years.
Arsenal Women´s scheduled first match against Manchester City was postponed last weekend due to Her Majesty The Queen’s passing, therefore Arsenal now kick off their WSL campaign against Brighton & Hove Albion on the opening night of the season, tonight.
With England legend Hope Powell in her fifth year managing the Seagulls, the side head to Meadow Park hoping to beat our Arsenal Women for the first time ever in the Women’s Super League. The Gunners however, will be aiming to emulate the club’s incredible form in the WSL by getting off to a winning start.
Brighton’s 2021/22 season
Powell’s Brighton side started last season well with two wins straight against both West Ham and Birmingham City. But they did less well in December and January, where they managed only a single point in their WSL fixtures with a draw at home to champions, Chelsea.
Despite heavy losses to Manchester City in both legs, the Seagulls managed to finish the 2021/22 season in 7th place, just one point behind West Ham in 6th. They are looking to improve their position in the WSL this year and they did have a promising pre-season, which included a 1-0 win against Bayern Munich.
Previous Arsenal clashes with the Seagulls
Arsenal Women played the Seagulls three times last season across all competitions and beat them on each of those occasion. Two goals came from Stina Blackstenius and one from Beth Mead secured Arsenal a 3-0 win away from home in our most recent WLS clash. Mead was also on the scoresheet for Arsenal´s home WSL fixture, where they came back from behind to win 2-1.
Most recently, Arsenal defeated the seagulls in a pre-season friendly at London Colney last month. Caitlin Foord scored two goals taking Arsenal to a 2-1 win.
In Arsenal´s last ten matches against Brighton, Arsenal have won nine and drawn only one. Arsenal´s biggest score-line was in October 2020, when they put five past the Brighton goalkeeper and conceded none. Vivianne Miedema scored a brace that day, with goals from Danielle van de Donk, Jen Beattie and Lotte Wubben-Moy rounding out the win.
Miedema must be a bit of a thorn in Brighton´s side as she has been especially prolific against the Seagulls in previous matches, netting six goals and six assists in just eight encounters.
Brighton’s current squad
The Brighton squad had very high levels of turnover during the summer, with key players like Finnish international Emma Koivisto leaving for Manchester City and promising young defender Maya Le Tissier leaving for Manchester United. Inessa Kaagman, their joint top goal scorer last season, went back to her native Netherlands to join PSV Vrouwen.
Aileen Whelan, Fliss Gibbons, Dani Bowman, Emily Simpkins, Ellie Brazil and Danique Kerkdijk also left the club at the end of their contracts. In terms of fresh blood, the Seagulls have brought in Norwegian striker Elizabeth Terland, rising South Korean star Yeeun Park, and they have secured Jorja Fox from Chelsea, for the 2022/23 season..
Arsenal Women team news
Manager Jonas Eidevall confirmed that Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley have trained and are fit for selection on Friday. Arsenal´s Australian duo picked up slight knocks in their international fixtures, in September.
Teyah Goldie is still recovering from the ACL injury she sustained in March but no other squad injuries have been reported.
The Managers have their say
Eidevall on Brighton: “I’ve been very impressed by Brighton during the pre-season because I also saw that they had a huge turnover. I’ve seen them play against Bayern Munich, Manchester City and us, and they looked like a good team in those games. Some of the players they got in over this window are really high quality, so we are expecting and preparing for a competitive game here on Friday.”
Powell on Arsenal: “It’s a sell-out, I believe, which is good for the women’s game and good for us. I think the expectation would be for Arsenal to win the game – we’re under no illusions there – but we’re not going to give it to them. We’re going to make it very difficult and the plan is to get something out of the game as we do every game. A Friday night under the lights suits me perfectly.”
This should be a very exciting match to watch this evening. I know all the Just Arsenal Crew will be on the edge of our seats. This promises to be a phenomenal season for women´s football, on the back of the Lionesses´ Euros win, with unprecedented demand for tickets for the women´s game. The game tonight is sold out at Meadow Park and ticket sales for Arsenal´s North London Derby clash against Tottenham, at Emirates Stadium, have already reached over 45,000 tickets sales.
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