Arsenal Women host SK Slavia Praha at Meadow Park tomorrow in the first leg of the second round of qualifying for the Women’s Champions League. Should Arsenal progress, they would qualify for the group stage of the Champions League.
Arsenal could’ve drawn powerhouses Lyon or Wolfsburg, but drew a side that they faced in the 2019-20 competition, where Arsenal won 13-2 on aggregate. However, there is no room for complacency given Arsenal’s packed schedule and the reward on hand should Arsenal win.
The last time these two teams met, Arsenal won 8-0, having won the first leg of the tie 5-2. Arsenal will be big favourites, and with the WSL kicking off this weekend, with a home fixture against Chelsea at the Emirates, there will be a desire for Jonas Eidevall to be able to rotate in the second leg, especially as nine of Arsenal’s squad were at the Olympics and haven’t had a real pre-season.
This match will also be the first with supporters at Meadow Park since December 2020, when nearly 1,000 were on hand to see Arsenal beat Birmingham in the WSL, and only the second since February 2020.
Leah Williamson and Lia Wälti are both fit and available. Jordan Nobbs will miss out with an ankle injury, while Viki Schnaderbeck is also a long-term absentee. Malin Gut has an ACL injury and is unlikely to be involved this season.
Player to watch:
Arsenal’s standout performance so far this season is Mana Iwabuchi. She scored twice against PSV in the “final” of the first round, having also netted against Okzhetpes. Eidevall has been effusive in his praise, saying, “The way she scans and plays those passes is great for us. She has those fundamental skills to break down low blocks.”
Predicted lineup (4-2-3-1): 1. Zinsberger; 16. Maritz, 6. Williamson, 20. Boye, 7. Catley; 13. Wälti, 12. Maanum; 14. Parris, 23. Iwabuchi, 15. McCabe; 11. Miedema
Substitutes: 18. Williams (GK), 28. Cull (GK), 3. Wubben-Moy, 4. Patten, 5. Beattie, 9. Mead, 10. Little, 19. Foord, 29. Goldie
WHAT: Arsenal Women vs SK Slavia Praha, UEFA Women’s Champions League
WHERE: Meadow Park, Borehamwood
WHEN: Wednesday, August 31st 11:30 AM PDT | 2:30 PM EDT | 7:30 PM BST