Wednesday 17th May 2023
Kick off 18:15pm
Barclays Women’s Super League
Walton Hall Park
Arsenal Women can take a significant step towards Champions League football with a win over sixth placed Everton on Wednesday evening, as the end of the 2022/23 season draws ever closer. Jonas Eidevall has continued to reiterate that his side are taking things “one game at a time” as we await to find out what role the Gunners will play in a captivating title race that is still led, just, by a plucky Manchester United since.
Things will get really interesting when Arsenal go up against second-placed Chelsea on the weekend, a few hours before United do battle with rivals Manchester City. If both the Gunners and Chelsea pick up maximum points in midweek (Chelsea travel across London to take on West Ham), then Chelsea will go into Sunday’s game two points clear at the top of the table, with Arsenal five points behind with two games to go. I’ll get into permutations and the like at a later point though, because Arsenal need to ensure they are still in the picture when they take on Everton at Walton Hall Park.
Jonas Eidevall was keen to comment on how Brian Sorensen has shaped his Everton side’s style of play since taking over at the club thirteen months ago, saying “I think they are very consistent in the way they play, I think it comes from their coach Brian [Sorensen] who firstly has a very clear idea of how they want to play, and I think that idea is not only dependent on one or two players. It’s a long term vision that he has for the team to play and they have been very true to those principles and that way of playing the whole season.”
Everton have struggled for consistency in terms of results this season but Sorensen is certainly building a squad that is equipped to challenge in the higher echelons of mid-table in the WSL. Their record against this season’s top four makes for grim reading, picking up just one point that came in a goalless draw against Manchester United in February, and a 7-0 defeat to Chelsea last time out has left the Blues with plenty of work to do with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester City still to come this season.
Eidevall did remark that he “doesn’t want to draw too much of a conclusion” from the heavy loss to Chelsea. “There was performances in that game that was good from Everton, there was performances that were not as good like in any football game you play, so we just need to prepare our way of playing again.” Everton have also suffered from the injury loss of Manchester City loanee and England international Jess Park, who was ruled out for the rest of the season after sustaining a shoulder injury in training.
Gio Queiroz spent most of her time on loan at Everton on the substitutes bench before being recalled by Arsenal in January, and the Brazilian came off the bench only to pick up an injury against Brighton last week. However, Jonas Eidevall confirmed that she will be in the squad to face Everton, with Steph Catley and Caitlin Foord also in contention to feature.
Arsenal’s 4-0 victory away at Brighton saw a return to the side for eighteen year old Teyah Goldie after over a year out with an ACL injury, and it was also a special occasion for fellow academy product Freya Godfrey, who made her senior debut a few days after finishing her season on dual registration with Ipswich Town in the third tier. Stina Blackstenius scored an early brace before goals towards the end of the first half from Maanum and Pelova as Arsenal moved into the Champions League places, with Pelova once again earning plenty of plaudits.
It’s a long midweek trip to Merseyside for Arsenal before travelling to south-west London on Sunday and then hosting Aston Villa on the final day. Wednesday’s game will kick off at a rather early 6:15pm, and the Gooner Fanzine will have our usual live blog to keep you up to date with all the action.
Three Gooners on the pitch together ?? pic.twitter.com/HdrFvuCEkm— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) May 10, 2023