Preview: Arsenal v West Ham – Both managers feeling confident as Gunners Women aim for new record

Preview Arsenal Women v West Ham at Meadow Park tonight  By Michelle

Victory over West Ham tonight would see Arsenal break the record for the longest winning streak ever in the WSL with 13 straight wins.

The Gunners kick off proceedings at 6.45pm UK time, with live coverage commencing from 6:30pm on Sky Sports Football.

West Ham Women 2022/22 season so far:

West Ham have had a bit of a mixed start to the season currently sittiing in fifth position in the league table after three wins and two losses. An opening 1-0 win over Everton was followed by a tough run of fixtures against Manchester United and reigning champions Chelsea, which the Hammers lost.

West Ham have settled into a more dynamic, counterattacking style of football under Paul Konchesky, a setup that is starting to show results for them. They have won two consecutive matches against Aston Villa and Reading, and will be heading to Meadow Park on Sunday with a win in their sights.

Eidevall on West Ham: I think it’s pretty clear when you see West Ham play, that they’re a strong team on the counter attack. I think that they have some really good individual players up front who can do a few different things with Viviane Asseyi.  She’s pacy, she’s very good at taking on players 1v1.

Dagny Brynjarsdottir is one of the better players in the air in the whole division and she’s very threatening coming in with runs from behind.  So we really have to be aware of that pace and the threats that they pose.  So that’s what we need to try and nullify.

Before, Olli Harder had a setup and formation which allowed for a lot of control, which posed a different threat because it’s sometimes hard to get the ball from them when you try to press them high. Maybe then, they were lacking players up front once they were getting through, but nowadays, they look very dangerous once they get through in counter attacks or open play situations.

Konchesky on us: We obviously know the quality that Arsenal have, but we have also shown that we can catch teams cold with the starts that we have made this season, which has contributed to some of our wins so far. It’s going to be a tough test, but it’s one that we are looking forward to.

They’ve shown not only throughout this season, but also for a number of years that they are capable of scoring lots of goals. They have some top players and that’s why they are top of the league at the moment, whilst also performing well in the Champions League. We know their strengths and their weaknesses, but we have to go there and believe in what we believe in – take our game plan to them. Hopefully, if we do that and execute it effectively then we have a chance of causing an upset.

Arsenal have beaten London rivals West Ham in all seven meetings in the WSL. Our biggest scoreline against the Hammers came in September 2020 when we recorded a 9-1 victory away from home.

The Gunners however have had an exceptionally demanding play schedule over recent weeks, with games every 3 or 4 days, across the Women´s Super League and the Champions League and may be taking some tired legs into the game today.

The Gunners won 2-0 away at Liverpool last weekend, then sealed their second group stage Champions League 3-1 win against Zurich at Emirates Stadium on Thursday, now here they are three days later facing West Ham.  Eidevall had this to say on how valuable squad rotation is with so many in-form players…

I think it’s a testament to the whole squad for preparing but also, for everyone working with the players. With my whole staff group, we are making sure that we have a day-to-day operation where we are preparing players to be ready to go on the pitch, so that part I’m pleased about and it’s very much needed to do that with the playing schedule.

Eidevall benched a good few players who had been playing back to back across the WSL and WCL games, when they played Zurich on Thursday, so hopefully our Gunners will have a spring in their step at Meadow Park tonight, as I think West Ham really fancy their chances, while Arsenal have everything to play for to continue their winning streak and secure that new record!

Michelle Maxwell

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