The stage is set for what promises to be the biggest match in Women's Super League history, with over 50,000 fans due at Emirates Stadium as we take on our North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur.
We'll be aiming to continue our winning start to the league and consolidate our position at the top of the WSL table, following a disappointing draw with Ajax in our Champions League qualifier on Tuesday.
This will be the first of six potential games that our women's side is due to play at the Emirates this season. In the nine competitive fixtures we have played at N5 since 2007, we have won six, drawn two and lost just one – the most recent game happening in May as we beat Spurs 3-0.
Our North London rivals
In 2021/22, Tottenham's first full season with Rehanne Skinner in charge ended with the side finishing in an impressive fifth place – 10 points adrift of the top four.
After gaining promotion to the Women's Super League in 2019, Spurs have become a well-drilled and physical side under Skinner and last season, they only conceded one more goal than third-place Manchester City.
They won their opening game of the WSL season last weekend against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, thanks to two long-range efforts from Ashleigh Neville and new signing, Drew Spence.
Last time around
The last time we met Rehanne Skinner's side was at Emirates Stadium earlier this year. In our penultimate game of the WSL season, we secured a 3-0 win over Spurs with Beth Mead and Caitlin Foord getting on the scoresheet.
Deep into stoppage time, Tottenham were awarded a penalty but Angela Addison failed to convert from the spot, meaning that Manuela Zinsberger has still yet to concede a penalty in an Arsenal shirt.
Spurs' current squad
Drew Spence scored at both ends on her league debut for Spurs in their 2-1 win over Leicester City last weekend. The midfielder left Chelsea after ten years in the summer and is now the only current Spurs player to have scored against us in the WSL, doing so for the Blues in May 2017.
Tottenham have also brought in forward Ellie Brazil from Brighton, Ramona Petzelberger from Aston Villa, and Celin Bizet Ildhusoy from Paris Saint-Germain. In terms of outgoings, their top scorer last season, Rachel Williams, left the squad for Manchester United in July, and Maeva Clemaron joined Swiss side, Servette.
Mana Iwabuchi was the only name missing from the team sheet for Tuesday's game against Ajax, due to illness. In his pre-Spurs press conference, Jonas Eidevall was confident that our Japanese international should make a return at the weekend: "We should have full availability."
What the managers say
Eidevall on Tottenham: "I have lots of respect for Tottenham. I had that last season as well, and I don’t expect anything less from us that we need to be 100 per cent to win the game. They're the team that fouls the most in the WSL and they have been doing so consistently under Rehanne Skinner. It's very much a strategy that they have to foul a lot and they try to be very physical.
"For me, one of the best midfielders last season was Maeva Clemaron for Tottenham. She was a very, very important player for them in almost all aspects of their game and that’s very hard to replace and that will require some time to do that as well."
Skinner on us: “They had a challenging game in midweek. But everyone has a point to prove in the North London derby. We were happy to win away from home in a game of two halves. We’re going to need both parts in one whole; good football in the first and nitty gritty in the second. We need to pull that together.
“We want to make life as difficult for Arsenal as we can. We’re seen as underdogs and that’s fine by us. There’s no pressure and nothing to lose. We just need to do our jobs well.”
Facts and stats
- The current WSL record attendance is held by another North London Derby. On November 17, 2019, an estimated 38,262 fans headed to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to watch us beat Spurs 2-0. This marked the first time the two sides had met in the Women's Super League
- The only other crowd of more than 25,000 in WSL history was for Manchester City v Manchester United at the Etihad in September 2019 (31,213)
- Spurs have never beaten us in the WSL. In our last five league meetings, we have won four, drawn one, scored 15 goals, and only conceded twice
- Zinsberger has kept a clean sheet in each of our last seven league games. No side has ever kept eight consecutive clean sheets in the WSL
We have won our last nine WSL games and are unbeaten in our last 13. Our longest winning streak in the league came in 2019, when we won 11 successive games between January and September
- Vivianne Miedema has six WSL goals against Spurs, the most of any player in the competition’s history. However, she hasn’t scored in any of her last three league appearances
The Breakdown Live
We’ll be live on Arsenal.com with The Breakdown Live at 12.45 pm UK time, with Shebahn Aherne and Lianne Sanderson presenting pitchside approximately 25 minutes before kick-off.
Copyright 2022 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.