Arsenal Women travel to Leyton Orient’s Brisbane Road to face Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. Arsenal are in the midst of a crucial run, with a second leg against Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday, where they trail 1-0, followed by hosting Manchester City on Sunday April 2. But, Arsenal have a North London Derby to attend to first, and with Chelsea playing Manchester City, it’s possible Arsenal can make up some ground. Here are three things to watch for:
Champions League hangover?
The last time Arsenal played away against Tottenham following a Champions League game, the Gunners needed a late Vivianne Miedema header to rescue a point. That match also came in the middle of a demanding schedule, though Arsenal, having played on Tuesday, have a day more than they did last season. However, it emphasizes that Jonas Eidevall must get some elements of rotation right to keep the team fresh for what he predicted would be a physical game.
Beth England threat
Beth England joined Spurs for a record fee between two English clubs in January. Having not received enough playing time at Chelsea, England was a likely departure with the World Cup in the summer. With 4 goals in 5 games since joining, England is already Spurs top scorer. The four goals have come from an xG of 1.8, indicating the problem Spurs have: creating enough chances for England. Spurs have tried solving this by signing Mana Iwabuchi on loan from Arsenal, but it was the inability to create that led to Rehanne Skinner getting sacked. With Iwabuchi ineligible against Arsenal, the creativity will have to come from elsewhere, with Tottenham potentially using Ashleigh Neville as an attacking player out wide, or using Rosella Ayane, a striker, as a wide player, as they did in their 1-0 win over Leicester last time out.
Jodie Taylor involvement
Arsenal signed Jodie Taylor last week to a short term contract through the end of the season. Taylor, 36, was a free agent after playing for the San Diego Wave in the NWSL. Having played for Arsenal in 2017, Taylor is back on somewhat familiar territory. A striker with predatory instincts, Taylor has always been a good finisher; the question is how much she has left to give physically. With one recognized center forward, Taylor will likely get a good amount of minutes to spell Stina Blackstenius.
Predicted lineup (4231): 1. Zinsberger; 26. Wienroither, 6. Williamson, 2. Rafaelle, 16. Maritz; 10. Little, 13. Wälti; 21. Pelova, 12. Maanum, 17. Hurtig; 25. Blackstenius
Substitutes: 14. D’Angelo (GK), 18. Marckese (GK), 3. Wubben-Moy, 5. Beattie, 15. McCabe, 19. Foord, 20. Gio, 27. Taylor, 59. Agyemang
WHAT: Tottenham Hotspur Women v Arsenal Women, Barclays Women’s Super League
WHERE: Brisbane Road, Leyton
WHEN: Saturday, March 25th 8:00 AM PDT | 11:00 AM EDT | 3:00 PM GMT
WATCH: Paramount+ (streaming, US), Sky Sports (UK, TV)