Following our remarkable 5-1 win over Lyon in a mid-week Champions League fixture, we now take on newly-promoted Liverpool in the Women's Super League.
Matt Beard's side have one win from three going into the clash and currently sit in 9th place in the league table. The away fixture kicks off at noon and is live on BBC Two, with coverage starting from 11.45am UK time.
Victory at Prenton Park would give us our 12th consecutive league win – a record not achieved by any club in the WSL for over a year. After breaking the league record for most consecutive clean sheets last weekend at Reading, Manu Zinsberger will also be looking to extend her perfect record between the posts.
After they took the Championship by storm last season, finishing top of the table with a nine-point advantage, the Reds are now back in the WSL after a two-year absence. The team from Merseyside have won the WSL title twice before – consecutively in 2013 and 2014 – but soon proceeded to drop off from the leading pack of Chelsea, Manchester City and ourselves. Liverpool were eventually relegated in the 2019/20 season.
This season, they have already pulled off a shock win against the reigning champions Chelsea. The opening game of the season at Prenton Park was the tale of three penalties as Fran Kirby put the Blues ahead from the spot after only three minutes, only to concede two Liverpool penalties in the second half which Katie Stengel cooly converted.
Aside from a 1-0 victory against Sunderland in the Conti Cup, Liverpool have yet to capitalise on this momentum in the league, however. They have lost their last two league matches against Everton and Spurs, failing to score in the process.
Last time around
Our paths last crossed in last year’s FA Cup, where we comfortably overcame the Reds 4-0 away from home. Goals from Katie McCabe, Caitlin Foord and Kim Little were the difference makers on a February afternoon, sending us into the quarter-finals.
In his pre-match press conference, manager Jonas Eidevall said he was “impressed” by Liverpool last time around: “I thought that match was much closer than 4-0, it was a very flattering scoreline for us in that game.”
Ones to watch
Katie Stengel is currently the top scorer for the Reds. Stengel was a key member of the USWNT Under-20 squad that won the U-20 CONCACAF and World Cup titles in 2012 and since joining the club in January 2022, the American already has 11 goals to her name for Liverpool.
While renowned for her especially long throw-ins, Ireland's Megan Campbell scored an impressive free-kick against Sunderland earlier this month. Meanwhile, Finnish international Emma Koivisto, who shone for Brighton & Hove Albion last season, headed to Merseyside this summer and is looking to impress for her new side.
The Reds are missing some key attacking talent through injury: their top scorer last season, Leanne Kiernan, suffered a significant ankle injury against Chelsea and will be in recovery for several months, and the returning Shanice van de Sanden is working up to match fitness.
Centre backs Rafaelle Souza and Leah Williamson remain on the sidelines with foot injuries, as does Teyah Goldie, who is still recovering from an ACL rupture.
Vivianne Miedema was replaced by Frida Maanum in Wednesday’s starting lineup against Lyon, but Eidevall insisted it was not a fitness issue: “The good thing with playing a lot of games is there’s always the next game and a new team selection. For me, I’m always looking for how the players respond in actions, I think you could see when Viv came on against Lyon that she put a lot of energy into those minutes and really tried to help the team.”
Meanwhile, Mana Iwabuchi has yet to make an appearance in an Arsenal shirt this season, something the boss attributed to the fierce competition in central midfield: “She’s not carrying an injury, she is free for selection. I think she has been very hard done by the competition in her position or positions in the team where I have chosen to play other players.
“Football is fast, and when the opportunity arises for Mana, I am very confident she will take it, but to see her character going through a difficult time like this not playing, she carries herself with an enormous character, team-first and great application in training. I think she should be so proud of herself and I’m sure she will benefit from that in the future.”
What the managers say
Eidevall on Liverpool: “You could clearly see last season that they were a very good side in the Championship – they came up with a clear identity and were well-organised. They have players and a coach that know what level will be expected from them and we all saw in the opening weekend against Chelsea what the team is capable of. We know we have to put in a strong performance.” - read every word from Jonas' pre-match presser
Matt Beard on us: “This is why we want to be in this league: to be testing ourselves up against the best teams. Arsenal have had a fantastic start to the season and obviously the performance against Lyon the other night as well pretty much shows the form they’re in. We know it’s going to be a tough game but these are the games we want to be playing in.”
How to watch
Our 12pm fixture is live on BBC Two, with coverage starting from 11.45am UK time.
Facts and stats
- The Gunners have won 11 consecutive WSL matches and we would match the league record with a victory at Prenton Park. This record of consecutive league wins was previously achieved by us from May to November 2018 and by Manchester City between December 2020 and April 2021
- We have won all nine of our away games against Liverpool in the WSL. No other side has beaten a single opponent away from home this many times
- The Reds have lost each of their last six WSL matches against us, scoring three times while conceding 20 goals in return
- Liverpool have yet to score a WSL goal from open play this season. Meanwhile, we have scored seven goals from open play, which is the joint-most alongside Manchester United
- Beth Mead continues to produce commanding figures for us this season. She has the most combined goals and assists of any player in the WSL this season, with three goals and two assists
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