Arsenal Women have to bounce back quickly from Champions League disappointment on Thursday night, as they play Leicester City at lunchtime on Sunday. Arsenal lost 2-0 on Thursday, and, following last weekend’s postponement against Tottenham, now find themselves a point behind Chelsea in the WSL, who beat Leicester City 9-0 last weekend. Only a win will do for Arsenal, as they seek to keep Chelsea under pressure.
When Arsenal played Leicester in December, the Foxes played an absurdly high line, in their first game under Lydia Bedford. They have largely dropped that, though they were ripped apart in the first half by Chelsea last weekend, before dropping off—but still conceding three goals in the second half.
Leicester are going to stay up, a result of beating Birmingham twice, and beating Brighton and West Ham. They are currently 7 points clear of Birmingham, and with only 4 league games left, it’d take a miracle for Birmingham to stay up at their expense.
Since Bedford came into the job, Leicester have played with a back five. Leicester’s marquee summer signing, Jess Sigsworth, suffered an ACL injury, meaning that Natasha Flint has been relied on for goals. Flint has 2, as does Sam Tierney and Sigsworth, with Leicester having a lot of threat from set pieces—something they could exploit against Arsenal.
Lia Wälti will return to the squad, having been unable to join on Thursday. Beth Mead, suspended on Thursday, will also return. There could be rotation in midfield and upfront.
Arsenal missed Beth Mead on Thursday. Mead contributes a lot to Arsenal’s pressing game and structure, and without Mead, Arsenal didn’t have the same effective pressing. Mead is 5th in tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes among Arsenal players, and is 4th among pressures. With Leicester employing a back five, Mead could profit on the inside right channel.
Predicted lineup (4-2-3-1): 1. Zinsberger; 26. Wienroither, 6. Williamson, 3. Wubben-Moy, 15. McCabe; 13. Wälti, 10. Little; 9. Mead, 12. Maanum, 19. Foord; 11. Miedema
Substitutes: 18. Williams, 5. Beattie, 7. Catley, 8. Nobbs, 14. Parris, 16. Maritz, 20. Boye, 25. Blackstenius, 77. Heath
WHAT: Leicester City Women vs Arsenal Women, FA Women’s Super League
WHERE: King Power Stadium, Leicester
WHEN: Sunday, April 3rd 4:30 AM PDT | 7:30 AM EDT | 12:30 PM BST
WATCH: ATA Football (US, streaming), NBC Sports live extra (US Streaming), BBC (UK), iPlayer (streaming, UK)