clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal Women: What to watch for, how to watch

Arsenal look to make it eight wins in a row in the league with a second match against Tottenham in 3 days.

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup Photo by Alex Burstow/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal Women face Tottenham for the second time in three days on Saturday. The Gunners travel to White Hart Lane looking to make it eight wins in a row in the WSL and close out the first half of the season, with the WSL taking a month-long break after this weekend.

A heavily rotated Arsenal drew 3-3 with Spurs on Wednesday, before winning a penalty shootout 4-3 to get an extra point in the Conti Cup group stage. Here are three things to watch for:

Counterpressing Spurs

Under new manager Robert Vilahamn, hired in the summer from Sweden’s BK Häcken, Spurs have gone from playing a defensive style of football to playing out from the back, and looking to high press, even as it’s left them vulnerable to conceding goals at the other end. Tottenham have the most touches in their own defensive third and the second most touches in their own penalty box, showing their dedication to playing out, with Becky Spencer doubling the number of short passes she plays per 90.

This, though, could be an opportunity for Arsenal. Arsenal are second in high turnovers, high turnovers leading to shots, and high turnovers leading to goals, with the second fewest passes allowed per defensive action.

Maanum at 10?

Another reason for Arsenal’s counter pressing is the likelihood of Frida Maanum playing as Arsenal’s number 10. Kim Little came off with an injury against Chelsea, and with a large squad, it’s likely that Arsenal’s captain isn’t risked. As a number 10, Maanum is an excellent counter-presser, especially in tandem with Beth Mead; both are likely to press Spurs’ left hand side in the hopes to create turnovers on the side.

Midfield composition

Arsenal’s player of the month for November, Kyra Cooney-Cross, only played 8 minutes in the 4-1 win against Chelsea, highlighting the strength in depth the Gunners have. Cooney-Cross came into the team when Lia Wälti and Kim Little were both injured, but Arsenal opted for the experience of Wälti to partner Pelova against Chelsea. With Spurs offering more high pressing and potentially playing 4-4-2, Cooney-Cross could be a possible starter on Saturday; as Eidevall said midweek, Cooney-Cross’ ability to drive through lines and pass makes her a hard player to stop, and well positioned to break lines.

Predicted lineup (4231): 1. Zinsberger; 15. McCabe, 28. Ilestedt, 3. Wubben-Moy, 7. Catley; 21. Pelova, 13. Wälti; 9. Mead, 12. Maanum, 19. Foord; 23. Russo

Substitutes: 14. d’Angelo (GK), 5. Beattie, 11. Miedema, 12. Maanum, 16. Maritz, 22. Kühl, 25. Blackstenius, 27. Codina, 32. Cooney-Cross

WHAT: Tottenham Hotspur Women v Arsenal Women, WSL

WHEN: Saturday, December 16th, 7:00 AM EST/4:00 AM PST/12:00 PM GMT

WHERE: White Hart Lane, Tottenham

HOW TO WATCH: CBS Sports Network (US, TV), Sky Sports (UK)