Wednesday 10th May 2023
Kick off 19:30pm
Barclays Women’s Super League
Arsenal have just four remaining games to keep their very slim title hopes alive in the WSL, with three potentially difficult away trips before hosting Aston Villa on the final day. Jonas Eidevall is looking to take things one game at a time, and the Gunners can start the final four games with a move into the Champions League spots if they win away at Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday night.
With games in hand making the title race a slightly complicated one on paper, Arsenal go into tomorrow’s game three points behind Manchester City with two games in hand, and nine points behind league leaders Manchester United, who have also played two more matches. Chelsea and Arsenal have both played eighteen games, but the Blues are five points ahead of Arsenal and four off United, and look most likely to go on and win the title, especially following a 7-0 win over Everton on Sunday.
Jen Beattie told Sky Sports after Arsenal’s win over Leicester on Monday that her side can “100%” win the WSL title, but Arsenal’s priorities are very much centred on finishing as high as possible in the table and qualifying for next season’s Champions League as a byproduct of doing so.
Arsenal were able to overcome a spirited Leicester side and their outstanding shot-stopper Janina Leitzig to return to winning ways on Friday night. Despite the setback of Katie McCabe having her penalty saved early on, Arsenal were able to create plenty of chances thanks to the creative forces of Victoria Pelova and Frida Maanum, with the latter proving the difference in the second half with a sweetly hit curled effort into the top corner.
Leicester came into Friday’s affair in some good form and the impact Melissa Phillips has had on Brighton since replacing Jens Scheuer just over a month ago has been clear to see. The Seagulls were a minute away from forcing extra time in their FA Cup semi final against table toppers Manchester United in Phillips’ first game in charge, and continued their momentum from a fine performance to go on and beat Everton 3-2 to move off the bottom of the table.
After defeat to Liverpool, Albion drew with Spurs before winning 1-0 at home to West Ham on Sunday. Kayleigh Green headed home Katie Robinson’s perfectly placed cross as the Seagulls moved five points clear of the relegation zone. Brighton will have been buoyed by seeing how Leicester were able to frustrate Arsenal at times on Friday, and will set out to make the game difficult for the Gunners whilst knowing that the likes of England international Robinson are able to cause problems going forward.
January signing Lydia Williams made some stunning saves in the FA Cup semi final defeat, and the goalkeeper is a familiar face to Arsenal fans after spending two years at the club before leaving to join PSG last summer. Williams could be key against her former side, but she missed Sunday’s win due to ankle pain and may well be a doubt to face Arsenal.
In the red corner, Jonas Eidevall had no updates on injuries to fellow Australians Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley, as well as Lina Hurtig, with the Arsenal manager telling the media that he would only find out more about their situations when his team trained after Tuesday’s press conference. Foord is nearing a return, whilst Catley went off injured after coming on against Leicester as a substitute.
Arsenal fans will make the journey to Crawley’s Broadfield Stadium full of hope that their injury-depleted side will pick up three more important points, whilst Brighton will look to continue their excellent start to the Melissa Phillips era and push further away from the relegation zone.
The Gooner Fanzine’s live blog will be up and running from Crawley just before team news comes out at 6:30 on Wednesday, and will continue throughout the game with minute-by-minute updates as well as player ratings and post match reaction.