Pre-Match Report

Ladies: Birmingham v Arsenal - Preview

Arsenal Ladies celebrate

 Three games played, three games won. Twelve goals scored, none conceded.

Arsenal Ladies’ form since returning to action after the summer break has been nothing short of ominous.

It’s needed to be too. With Liverpool Ladies and Bristol Academy five points ahead of the Ladies at the summit of the league (albeit both sides have played two games more), retaining the Women’s Super League is likely to be boss Shelley Kerr’s biggest task yet.

Arsenal reach the midway point in their league campaign when they travel to the DCS Stadium to take on Birmingham City on Sunday afternoon.

In previous years, the fixture has represented a top-of-the-table clash. With David Parker’s side a point behind Arsenal and a further five behind the WSL pace setters, that is not the case this time. But nonetheless, Sunday’s match-up is sure to provide a stiff test for the Ladies.

"We've got the confidence and the belief right now so we're going to try and go out and carry on what we've been doing for the last few weeks"

Emma Mitchell

Birmingham have lost just one of their five home games this season. In fact, they have only ever been defeated three times at home since the WSL was formed in 2011.

Along with Everton, Birmingham are the only team that the Ladies have yet to beat on the road.

In last season’s corresponding fixture, it took a second-half Ellen White equaliser on the final day of the campaign to ensure that Arsenal became the first team to go through a WSL campaign unbeaten.

The Ladies’ did suffer defeat against Liverpool in their first league game of this season but since then have embarked on an unbeaten run of nine games in all competitions, including seven successive wins.

Their performances against Liverpool and in both games against Everton this month have arguably been the best of Kerr’s tenure and they have started well each time, scoring in the opening 10 minutes in all three matches.

“We've got off to a quick start and that's helped us,” Kerr told after the Everton match last Sunday. “I think it gives you a little bit of confidence and I think that's something that was perhaps missing in the first part of the season.

Jordan Nobbs

Jordan Nobbs

“The longer the games were going on without us scoring puts more pressure on you. It's good to get off to a good start. I think it gives you that confidence to play with a bit of flair.

That notion is one that new signing Emma Mitchell agrees with.

“It gives us confidence going into the next game,” she told in the lead-up to this weekend’s clash. “We know they have got some good players but we need to focus on ourselves. We've got the confidence and the belief right now so we're going to try and go out and carry on what we've been doing for the last few weeks. Hopefully we'll get the result.”

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