Over 35,000 supporters are set to descend on Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening to watch us take on Manchester United in the Women's Super League (5.30pm UK).
Our clash with the Red Devils will arguably be our biggest test of the season so far and three points on Saturday would further extend our lead at the top of the table and increase our winning run in the league to 15 games.
United's strong start
Marc Skinner's side enjoyed a particularly bright start to the campaign, winning five games on the bounce and keeping five consecutive clean sheets. In the last WSL fixture before the November international break, however, United lost 3-1 against Chelsea at home, ending their five-game winning run in the league. The last time the Red Devils lost consecutive league games was in February 2021.
Last time around
Manchester United were the only side to take points away from us at home last season, through a 1-1 draw at Meadow Park. The visitors led after only ten minutes thanks to Alessia Russo and we waited over an hour to rescue a point, with Stina Blackstenius coming off the bench to score her first WSL goal in dramatic fashion.
The away leg at Leigh Sports Village in Manchester ended with us as 2-0 victors, courtesy of goals from Vivianne Miedema and Katie McCabe.
Ones to watch
Manchester United have four Euro 2022-winning Lionesses amongst their ranks, including shot-stopper Mary Earps and attacking duo Alessia Russo and Ella Toone. Our Gunners will also be reunited with former teammate Nikita Parris, who joined Manchester United in the summer.
There are six players who have provided at least three assists in the WSL this season, with three of them playing for United: Katie Zelem, Ona Batlle, and Leah Galton. Galton, in particular, has enjoyed a strong start to this campaign with two goals and three assists in six for the Red Devils.
Kim Little, Lina Hurtig, Leah Williamson, Rafaelle Souza, and Teyah Goldie are not available for selection through injury. Williamson stepped up her recovery during the week, however, by returning to training at Colney.
Despite picking up knocks at England camp, Jordan Nobbs and Lotte Wubben-Moy are in full training and should be fit for the tie. Beth Mead and Manuela Zinsberger are also available for tomorrow's tie after leaving international camp early for personal reasons, and Vivianne Miedema has returned to London Colney following a leave of absence.
What the managers say
Eidevall on Man United: "It's a very tough opponent. Manchester United have had a great start to the season. Where [they] went a little bit behind last season was basically in autumn.
"I think they were a really, really strong team in the spring in the league, and they've added some players that made their squad a little bit deeper, and they have kept a lot of continuity in the way that they play. Those things are usually equal to having success, so it doesn't surprise me." - read every word from Eidevall's press conference
Skinner on us: “They’re a very good team and we did put in two very good performances [against them last season]. It’s a different venue, lots and lots of fans, so I expect a different game to the one we played last year but I still want to see that continued growth from our team.
"I want us to produce that in the moments that really matter. That’s the next step for us, to perform as well as we can on a consistent basis in these types of games. We have to earn everything against Arsenal because they are a very good team."
Facts and stats
- We have lost just one of our last five WSL meetings with Manchester United (W3 D1)
- Saturday is the first time we'll host Manchester United at the Emirates and the first time we'll host a non-London opposition in the Women's Super League here
- We have won all four of our WSL matches at the ground, scoring at least three goals each time
- Beth Mead has been involved in six goals in her three WSL appearances for us at Emirates Stadium, scoring four and assisting two
- Stina Blackstenius has scored more goals than any other Gunner in the WSL this season with four. Her first-ever goal in the competition was against Manchester United in this fixture last season, coming off the bench to rescue a point for us
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