Women’s Super League preview: Arsenal Women travel to Everton

Daisy Goodhand takes a tactical look at the Gunners’ away trip

Women’s Super League preview: Arsenal Women travel to Everton

Emily Fox has become a mainstay in Arsenal's side. Credit- WellOffside

Recap- Arsenal 2-1 Everton- January 20th, 2024:

Arsenal took on Everton at home earlier on in the WSL season and achieved a 2-1 win. The Gunners looked to capitalise on unexpected runs from players like Victoria Pelova into the box, with a player available for the pull-back - this led to Caitlin Foord scoring the first goal. 

Arsenal conceded a goal when a clever run was made between the two centre-backs, and Katja Snoejis slotted past Manu Zinsberger easily. 

Jonas Eidevall’s side failed to take their chances in this match - Arsenal had 19 shots, six on target and only two goals were scored. Everton had just one shot on target (the goal) and failed to create as many clear-cut chances, only registering four shots in total

Everton’s recent results:

Everton find themselves ninth in the WSL table, with many teams around them close on points. In their previous fixture they achieved an important win over Brighton, despite not dominating in possession, shots and passing stats. Everton have not conceded as many goals as the other teams just below or just in front of them in the table.

Despite Arsenal’s dominance in their recent games, scoring a significant amount of goals, Everton will attempt to remain defensively solid. You would expect Arsenal to find a way to win, however, as they look to keep a third clean sheet in a row - something they have struggled with throughout this season.

Arsenal’s potential line-up:

In recent interviews and press conferences, Jonas Eidevall has emphasised the need to finish the season on a high, not taking their foot off the pedal in any of the remaining games. Arsenal will want to continue playing the effective football they have played in their recent fixtures, so we would expect to see a lot of the same players start.

Zinsberger had an excellent performance against Leicester, yet we saw Sabrina D’Angelo also perform well against Bristol City, so either could be picked. 

Lotte Wubben-Moy has played significantly well, putting her in contention for player of the season, yet a minor injury saw her miss the game against Leicester. A risk will not be taken if she is not 100% fit, and with Steph Catley performing so strongly at centre-back alongside Leah Williamson, she may feature again in this position, depending on Lotte Wubben-Moy’s fitness levels. 

Laura Wienroither’s minutes will be managed as she returns from an ACL injury, with Laura Fox a key addition to this Arsenal team and likely to start most games.

Kim Little and Pelova are expected to start, a midfield partnership that has done extremely well throughout the season. Lia Walti looks set to be out for the remainder of the season, with Kyra Cooney-Cross also missing recent games due to injury. 

Frida Maanum and Vivianne Miedema’s minutes are likely to be managed in recent games as they return from injury/illness.

The front four of Alessia Russo, Stina Blackstenius, Beth Mead and Foord has been relentless in recent matches, so we would expect to see them start against Everton.

How will the game play out?

Arsenal will look to continue their run of good form, hoping to secure a more comfortable result than the narrow 2-1 win the last time they played Everton. They will also want a clean sheet that they have struggled to achieve on several occasions this season, notably something they have achieved in their previous two games.

Everton will look to set up defensively to prevent Arsenal from having many chances, countering Arsenal when presented with the opportunity.

Arsenal have improved both defensively and offensively since they last played Everton, with a more in-sync backline. The confidence and improvement of the players in the backline in recent fixtures, as well as the return of Williamson, who looks to be getting back to her best, will benefit Arsenal. 

The frontline for Arsenal have all performed significantly better, a massive improvement from earlier fixtures - with all four scoring or assisting at least once in Arsenal’s recent three games.

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