We’re back from the international break with a bang as we host high-flying Manchester City this Sunday in the Women’s Super League.
The historically competitive tie marks the first time our Gunners will play at Meadow Park this season, as we look for a statement victory on home soil.
Last time around
It was a thrilling affair the last time we met Gareth Taylor’s side. The visitors may have taken the lead in the opening five minutes but we fought our way back with a gutsy second-half performance and Frida Maanum’s equalizer.
A moment of magic from Katie McCabe then ensured the comeback was complete, as she unleashed a magnificent strike across the area and into the top corner.
Earlier that year, we beat City in extra time during another Meadow Park classic, booking our place in the Conti Cup final as a result. Stina Blackstenius broke the deadlock in the 93rd minute thanks to a neat cut-back from fellow Swede Lina Hurtig.
A blistering start for City
After a disappointing end to last season where they failed to qualify for the Champions League, Manchester City have kicked off this campaign with aplomb.
Gareth Taylor’s side are unbeaten after four games thanks to victories over West Ham United, Bristol City and Leicester City, with only reigning champions Chelsea keeping pace so far.
In terms of players to watch, summer arrival and ex-Gunner Jill Roord has three goals and an assist so far for City and their frontline of Chloe Kelly, Lauren Hemp and Bunny Shaw remains as dangerous as ever.
Alex Greenwood will miss the weekend’s tie after sustaining a head injury on international duty with the Lionesses.
Facts and stats
- Beth Mead holds our club record for most WSL assists with 39. Our number 9 is just one away from being the first player in WSL history to provide 40 assists for a single club
- Only one of our 19 previous meetings with Manchester City in the Women’s Super League has ended in a draw. That game came in January 2022, when Tobin Heath scored a last-minute equalizer at the Academy Stadium
- We have lost just one of our last four league games against City, winning two and drawing once
- Away from home, Manchester City have lost three of their last five league matches. However, Gareth Taylor’s side have won their last two away games without conceding
- Katie McCabe has scored three of our last four goals. These goals include a vital equalizer against Aston Villa and both goals in our win over Bristol City
- Caitlin Foord has had 38 touches in the opposition box this season, which is five more than any other player. Our Australian winger has completed 10 dribbles – the joint-most in the league – and only Martha Thomas and Lauren James have had more shots
What the managers say
Eidevall on City: “I’m looking forward to facing a good football team in Manchester City. Together with Chelsea, they are the two best teams on attacking crosses and they use it quite often as a weapon.
“City have been playing really well for a long time and I think they’ve carried their form from last spring into the new season. This makes a lot of sense because they’ve had a lot of consistency in both the way they play because they have the same coach, but also because they kept the same players and were able to play with them.” Read every word from Jonas’ presser
Taylor on us: “We’re ready and looking forward to the challenge. We need to really exploit that they’re not familiar with the Meadow Park surface yet this season.”
Eidevall confirmed that Lina Hurtig will be in contention for Sunday’s match after missing the international break with Sweden. Amanda Ilestedt and Lia Walti could also be involved, despite picking up knocks on international duty.
As Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord and Kyra Cooney-Cross only returned from the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Australia on Friday, the trio did not join the squad in training, but Eidevall was hopeful they would be available for the final training session on Saturday.
No further injuries have been reported aside from Leah Williamson, Laura Wienroither and Teyah Goldie’s ongoing ACL rehabilitation.
Referee: Rebecca Welch
Assistants: Natalie Aspinall and Sophie Dennington
Fourth official: Mel Burgin
How to watch
Tickets for this fixture at Meadow Park are sold out.
UK supporters can watch all the action live via BBC Two and BBC iPlayer. Coverage begins at 12:15pm GMT with kick-off 15 minutes later.
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