Match preview

UWCL Preview: Arsenal v Lyon

Arsenal vs Lyon preview

Tonight's clash with defending champions Olympique Lyonnais at Emirates Stadium could secure our place in the knockout stages of the Women's Champions League for a second successive season.

As long as we avoid defeat by a five-goal margin, we'll clinch a place in the quarter-finals before we even face FC Zurich next week. A draw or win tonight will also mean that we'll head into the knockout stages as group winners. 

Last time around

In a game that already feels destined for the history books, our Gunners flew to a 5-1 win the last time we faced the defending champions. A brace each from Beth Mead and Caitlin Foord, plus a goal from an electric Frida Maanum, meant that the French hosts conceded the most goals ever on their home soil.

Speaking in the pre-match programme, Jonas Eidevall reflected on that first leg: "It was a perfect night. The result was what we wanted to achieve, we scored at exactly the right moments in the game, and everything came together. All the stars aligned on that night. But for that very reason, it's so important that we remain humble because one result doesn't mean that these are the kind of score lines we can feel entitled to.

"It happened one night. We're so grateful that we were a part of that game and that through it, we created history. Now we need to work extremely hard in order to achieve a result in this match."

Since we last met

Selma Bacha fights for the ball against Sandy Baltimore

Lyon have undoubtedly bounced back since their defeat to us in October. The French side twice dispatched FC Zurich and drawn with Juventus to settle into second place in Group C. The Italian champions are hot on their heels, however, and it looks set to be a knockout decider when the two teams meet next week. 

Domestically, Lyon demonstrated their usual dominance and prior to their clash with PSG at the weekend, they were enjoying an unbeaten run of 10 games this season. However, Paris Saint-Germain put a stop to this through a last-minute winner from Kadidatou Diani, allowing the Paris outfit to replace Lyon in first place in Division 1 Feminine. 

Team news

Arsenal Women train at Emirates Stadium

Our squad is slowly but surely returning to full strength and skipper Kim Little will be in the matchday squad to face Lyon, alongside Lina Hurtig. The pair have recently returned to training following injuries that sidelined them for several weeks.

Teyah Goldie continues her ACL recovery but remains unavailable for selection, and Beth Mead remains sidelined for the foreseeable with an ACL injury sustained against Manchester United in November. 

What the managers say

Jonas Eidevall

Eidevall on Lyon: "It's difficult to predict how Lyon will look (compared to the game in October), that's their business. I will work on how Arsenal will look but we see a Lyon team that has had a lot of strong performances.

"From a goal-scoring opportunities perspective, they were the better team against PSG even if they ended up losing. We know it's an excellent opponent that we need to have massive respect for."

Bompastor on us: "We want to show a better face than we did in the first leg. It did not reflect the level of the team. Since then, our performances and results have been better but we expect a difficult match."

As it stands in Group C

    P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 4 3 1 0 10 3 +7 10
2 Lyon 4 2 1 1 9 6 +3 7
3 Juventus 4 1 2 1 4 3 -1 5
4 FC Zurich 4 0 0 4 1 12 -11 0

How to watch

We kick off at Emirates Stadium at 8pm (UK time) and tickets are still available!

All UWCL fixtures are free to stream on DAZN's Youtube channel wherever you are in the world.

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