Manchester City Women vs Arsenal Women: WSL Preview

Read Daisy Goodhand's preview of Arsenal Women's clash at Manchester City Women

Manchester City Women vs Arsenal Women: WSL Preview

Stina Blackstenius celebrates Arsenal's second goal vs Manchester City with Katie McCabe and their team mates during the WSL clash at Meadow Park on November 5, 2023  CREDIT:  Jacques Feeney / Offside

Daisy Goodhand's Preview: Manchester City host Arsenal in the Women’s Super League

The WSL title could be decided today


As Arsenal play their final two fixtures of the season, they will look to finish the season on a high. After a disappointing performance and draw against Everton, a win against a thriving Manchester City would definitely be a result worth celebrating. 

We also know the magnitude of this game due to the potential implications it might have on the WSL title race. Manchester City will need to win every single game to push Chelsea till the final day, with hopes of taking home the trophy.

Manchester City’s tactics:

Manchester City are a side that are extremely patient in their build-up play, happy to keep the ball at the back until the opportunity to attack arises. They will invite the press from Arsenal, knowing that if they get out, which they often do, they will be awarded space to capitalise on in the midfield. In the central areas they will put the opposition midfielders under pressure, looking to capitalise on loose passes and counter quickly.

City like to get their wide players on the ball, taking on the opposition fullbacks and looking for crosses or pull backs into the box. If Arsenal get their fullbacks forward they will need to ensure defensive cover, as they don’t want to be caught out through this avenue. Arsenal could look to prevent crosses coming in the box in the first place, preventing City succeeding in this manner and force them to change their attacking avenue. 

Manchester City have looked to capitalise on their set pieces, we saw that in the derby against Manchester United; a well-worked set piece caught the United defence out easily. Arsenal will need to win defensive headers in the box and clear loose passes effectively, with the goalkeeper (Zinsberger/D’Angelo) needing to be confident and switched on, coming out to claim crosses into the box.

Arsenal’s tactics:

A key strength for Arsenal will be their wide players, who will look to get in behind the City backline or take on their fullbacks in 1v1 situations. The relationship that has now developed further between the fullback and winger will play a key role, with under or overlapping runs providing a lot of attacking opportunities for Arsenal in recent games. 

It will be interesting to see if Arsenal can improve on their poor set piece record this season, with two final games to go. Arsenal may look to change things slightly to create more goal-scoring opportunities. They will need to be clinical in front of goal and take their chances, with City likely to dominate.

How this game will affect the title race:

This result, therefore, could have massive implications on the title race, as the league is now in Manchester City’s hands (with Chelsea losing to Liverpool). 

If Arsenal are to win or draw this game, they could end up helping Chelsea’s hopes of winning the title as they steal valuable points away from Manchester City.

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