Eight teams were eliminated at the last round of the World Cup, but none of the teams eliminated involved any Arsenal players. Thus, like last time, there are still seven Arsenal players who are involved.
England v Norway
June 27, 2019, 9:00 PM CEST/3 PM EDT/12 PM PDT
Leah Williamson, defender, and Beth Mead, forward
Leah Williamson made her World Cup debut in England’s 3-0 win against Cameroon, coming on for the final fifteen minutes (thanks, VAR) as a substitute for Nikita Parris. A late challenge that hurt Steph Houghton, and really should’ve been a red card, means that Houghton is an injury doubt for England’s quarter-final with Norway. Lucy Bronze and Millie Bright are ill, so Williamson could play. If she does, she’ll deal with the talented Norweigian strike force, including Caroline Graham Hansen, who did very well on the break against Australia.
Beth Mead didn’t play against Cameroon, as Toni Duggan got the start. If this was purely about form, Mead would probably be playing, but it feels as if Phil Neville is being deferential to name players. The wide areas will be very important against Norway, who defend in a narrow 4-4-2.
France v USA
June 28, 2019 9:00 PM CEST/3 PM EDT/12 PM PDT
Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, goalkeeper
The final before the final. Arsenal involvement will be limited to backup French goalkeeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, and noted Arsenal fan Tobin Heath. Both France and the US were unconvincing in their round of 16 wins; France struggled against Brazil, needing extra time and a goal-line clearance to win 2-1, while the United States perhaps faced their first teal test of the competition, needing two penalties to get past Spain, with the second penalty, won by Rose Lavelle, very soft. But, whoever wins Friday in Paris will be favourites for the rest of the tournament.
Italy v Netherlands
June 29, 2019 3:00 PM CEST/9 AM EDT/6 AM PDT
Jill Roord and Danielle van de Donk, midfielders, and Vivianne Miedema, forward
Jill Roord was again a substitute for the Dutch, replacing Danielle van de Donk as the Netherlands struggled against Japan. The Dutch won 2-1, after a penalty was given, as Miedema’s strike hit the Japanese defender’s hand. The Dutch don’t really change their team unless injury dictates, but Jill Roord probably should be starting, as she adds dynamism and forward movement from midfield. The Dutch are favourites against Italy, but Italy have been quite good in this tournament, beating Australia and China fairly convincingly, despite the relative slimness of their wins. If the Netherlands can improve the quality of chance creation for Miedema, the best striker at the tournament, they should go through; if they struggle, as they did against Japan, to move the ball quickly, then Italy’s sharp counter-attacks could cause an upset.
Germany v Sweden
June 29, 2019 6:30 PM CEST/12:30 PM EDT/9:30 AM PDT
Leonie Maier, defender
Just like last time, Leonie Maier still hasn’t played for Germany in this World Cup, and barring injuries, it seems unlikely that she will. Germany, with the aid of a VAR-given penalty (which was, to be fair, a pretty cut and dry case), beat Nigeria 3-0 in the round of sixteen, while Sweden held off Canada 1-0, with Hedvig Lindahl’s penalty save the highlight. The impetus will be on Germany to attack, and Sweden will be fairly happy with that. While Sweden has conceded more goals—three, to Germany’s zero—they’ve also looked, for the most part, stronger defensively.