Arsenal Women go to the King Power Stadium on Sunday to face Leicester City in the WSL. Arsenal know that their closest rivals, Manchester United and Chelsea, play each other on Sunday evening, and victory could give Arsenal a points gap with at least one time, with all 3 on 15 points.
Leicester sacked first team manager Lydia Bedford on Friday afternoon, with Willie Kirk, the director of football, taking charge for the rest of the season. Kirk, the former Everton manager, takes over a team bottom of the WSL, with 0 points from 6 matches. Reading’s late, come from behind win last week with Leicester on the verge of winning perhaps was the final straw for the club. However, outside of their loss against Manchester City, all of Leicester’s games have been tight affairs, with Leicester keeping Manchester United to a single goal. Indeed, Leicester’s xGA is 8th best in the WSL.
Where Leicester have struggled is scoring goals. At 2.2 xG, their attack is the worst in the WSL. Last season’s signing, Jessica Sigsworth, is recovering from an ACL injury, with Natasha Flint, their top scorer in the Championship, the only player to have scored for Leicester this season.
With Kirk as their manager, they might be a different tactical team, but thus far, they have looked to absorb pressure, with a deep defensive set-up.
Arsenal have a litany of injuries and absences. In addition to Leah Williamson, Rafaelle Souza, and Teyah Goldie, Kim Little has suffered a knee injury, and Vivivanne Miedema was given time off.
With Miedema absent and Kim Little, Leah Williamson, and Rafaelle Souza injured, Lia Wälti takes on even more importance than usual. Jordan Nobbs is likely to take Little’s place, but Nobbs is a different player to Little. With Nobbs much more likely to keep the tempo moving, much of the retention duty will fall on Wälti.
Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): 1. Zinsberger; 26. Wienroither, 3. Wubben-Moy, 7. Catley, 15. McCabe; 13. Wälti, 8. Nobbs; 9. Mead, 12. Maanum, 19. Foord; 25. Blackstenius
Substitutes: 18. Marckese (GK), 40. Williams (GK), 5. Beattie, 16. Maritz, 17. Hurtig, 23. Iwabuchi, 59. Agyemang, 62. Reid
WHAT: Leicester City Women vs Arsenal Women, Women’s Super League
WHERE: King Power Stadium, Leicester
WHEN: Sunday, November 6th 6:00 AM PST | 9:00 AM EST | 2:00 PM GMT
WATCH: Paramount+ (USA), BBC iPlayer (UK)