Match preview

Preview: Arsenal v Manchester United Women

WSL: Arsenal v Manchester United. Emirates Stadium. Saturday, 17 Feb

For the first time ever in the Barclays Women’s Super League, a sold-out Emirates Stadium awaits us for our crucial battle with Manchester United.

A win this afternoon would grant us distance from the Red Devils in the table, as well as bringing us within striking distance of Chelsea and Manchester City.

Last time around

We've faced the Red Devils already this season back in October, with a trip to the Leigh Sports Village ending in a dramatic 2-2 draw. 

Stina Blackstenius gave us an early lead over the hosts but they hit back through Leah Galton and Melvine Malard. It was up to super-sub Cloe Lacasse to rescue a point from the jaws of defeat, hitting the Barclays WSL Goal of the Month for October with essentially her first touch of the game. 

A look at United

Nikita Parris celebrates scoring against Brighton with teammate Geyce

After last season’s title charge and a host of star international recruits in the summer, Marc Skinner’s side have been unable to replicate the same consistency incampaign so far.

Losses to Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool, alongside a string of early draws with Brighton, Leicester and us, has meant momentum has been hard to come by for the Red Devils. They come into the tie off the back of a solid win on home soil against Brighton last weekend, where Nikita Parris scored a brace.

The former Gunner is in a great run of form in front of goal, bagging eight goals and one assist from 12 matches.

Facts and stats

Victoria Pelova plays a pass against West Ham United
  • We have not beaten Manchester United since 2021, when we completed the league double against them.
  • Our Gunners have now won five consecutive home games in the WSL - our longest winning streak on home soil since March and October 2022 when we won seven in a row
  • Man United lost their last away match against Chelsea, but had previously been victorious in seven of their last eight away outings. Marc Skinner's side haven't lost back-to-back WSL matches away from home since April 2021
  • Victoria Pelova is the current league leader in assists with five. The Dutch midfielder has created 17 chances so far this season, behind Alessia Russo (19), Katie McCabe (20) and Beth Mead (22)
  • Katie Zelem has created 34 chances for United this season, which is the second most in the WSL. The midfielder has also played 110 passes into the box
  • Vivianne Miedema has only hit one goal past the Red Devils from six fixtures - her lowest total against any WSL opponent
  • Rachel Williams has scored six goals in 17 outings against us, though none of these goals have come in a Man United shirt

Team news

Vivianne Miedema in action against Tottenham Hotspur

After missing the last two fixtures with a slight knee irritation, Vivianne Miedema was back in training on Friday.

Eidevall confirmed in his pre-match press conference that the Dutch international has a "good chance" of being involved against United. 

Elsewhere, Laura Wienroither, Teyah Goldie and Kaylan Marckese are continuing their rehab process at the Sohba Realty Training Centre. 

What the managers say

Eidevall on United: "I spend very little time looking at the table and making different scenarios in that. I spend a lot of my time trying to optimise performance on Saturday and that’s where we’ll need to put our focus and of course, we’ll deal with the mindset and try to win the game."

Skinner on us: “I think what's key is we have to go to a very difficult arena, and we have to put the very best of ourselves on the field. If we do that, then we can win the game."

Match officials

Referee: Kirsty Dowle

Assistant referee: Emily Carney

Assistant referee: Ruby Sykes

Fourth official: Jane Simms

How to watch

Big screen at Emirates Stadium declaring a new Barclays WSL record

Those not attending the sold-out Emirates Stadium fixture can follow all the action live from home on Sky Sports. Coverage begins at 11.30am UK - an hour before kick-off.

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