Press conference

Eidevall: "It's a really long half time break"

Jonas Eidevall in training

Looking ahead to round two against Juventus in the Champions League, Jonas Eidevall is aiming to build on the positives from our last meeting.

Speaking to the media ahead of the match, the boss said: “I expect a competitive game. I always think it's very interesting when you're playing a European team with this little time in between the games because now the tactical component of what the teams learned from the first game will really play a big part - in set pieces and in open play situations. I see this as a really long halftime break. So, let's hope that we have used this to our best advantage.”

Everton, our only opponents since we last faced the Turin side in November, share many similarities in their style of play, which Eidevall hopes will have aided our preparation.

“I think Everton was a good game to prepare because the way they played, it required our full focus. There are also some similarities between the teams so we can use that as a double advantage in preparation. Both forward players in the Juventus side, Beerensteyn and Bonansea, are two very, very skilful players. They're very fast in the transition, as we saw with the goal that they scored against us as well.

"I think Beerensteyn is a top international player. Her pace and movements in the final third are at an extremely high level and she has shown that over many years, both in the Dutch national team and at Bayern Munich before. So it doesn't come as any surprise to me, and she's definitely one of the threats that we will need to handle tomorrow.”

For the first time in this year's Champions League group stage, Leah Williamson and Rafaelle Souza will be in the matchday squad. Williamson made her return to the pitch on Saturday against Everton, which Eidevall acknowledged as a huge boost for the team.

Leah Williamson on her 200th Arsenal appearance

“One side of Leah is, of course, the qualities that she brings on the pitch: the way she expresses herself on the ball, the confidence that she has, the passes that she can make, the assertiveness and aggressiveness she plays defence with. But I think the other side is her leadership qualities. The encouragement to others, that stubbornness, the passion to win. I think that's what makes Leah such an invaluable player. I'm really happy to have her back.”

“When we lost both Leah and Rafa in the space of a few days, one thing we knew for certain was that things were not going to change for the better during that period," he continued. "We had to go through an eight-week period where every new injury just worsened the situation and that is not good. But now they're coming back and the other players are progressing well too, so that's a much more positive situation for us to be in.

"We just have to understand that now players are coming back into the team, we still have to integrate them. We still have to work with our basics and don't assume that things will take care of themselves because they won't.”

Lina Hurtig and captain Kim Little remain on the sidelines as they recover from injuries but Eidevall hopes it won't be long until we see them back in the red and white: "Our hope is that both can come back before Christmas.”

With squad injuries continuing to affect the depth in certain positions on the pitch, the flexibility of players such as Steph Catley and Katie McCabe has become even more vital for our Gunners.

Katie McCabe

“I think the versatility of Katie McCabe is so important. To start with, she has been playing very well for us as a left fullback. But her flexibility and the speed with which she adapts to different roles and what the team needs - that's very important for us. Every squad needs players like that: who can be consistent on the pitch and can also cover a wide variety of roles.”

“Naturally, when you roll from out to in with with your wingers, it opens up very different passing lanes. More on the diagonal, more on the opposite side of the pitch. When you have wingers that face more towards the goal or are on the outside, it opens up spaces behind the the opposition defending line and it obviously puts their fullback on that side.

"We have a way to attack when we have a wider winger, We have a way to attack when we invert winger a little bit more. Sometimes we do the same on both sides but that can be opposition dependent. A lot of time what is opposition dependent is where we think that we can get the most out of our own players, because that's what matters most. So we try to put them into situations that they will play well together.”

We'll once again be reunited with former manager Joe Montemurro tonight as he returns to North London with Juventus. When it comes to his predecessor, Eidevall had high praise: "I spoke to him briefly when we were in Turin and he came across as he has always done: as a very nice human being, a great person."

"He obviously achieved great things when he was here and people speak very highly of him. It certainly helped my start in the club to come here and have a good group of players and staff to continue to work with, so I just have a lot of respect for him. I wish him the best of success in the future...just not tomorrow!”

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