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UWCL Preview: Arsenal Women v Paris FC

Arsenal Women v Paris FC, September 9 2023

We're off the mark in 2023/24 but it's straight back to action for our Gunners with a vital clash against Paris FC as we pursue UEFA Women's Champions League qualification.

A solid 3-0 win over Linkoping kicked off the season as we mean to go on, with the majority of our new arrivals making their debuts. Now, a new challenge awaits us at the Bilborsen Arena. 

Supporters in the UK and Ireland can watch every moment of our qualifier on and the app with coverage starting at 1:55pm GMT. 

Off the mark

Our UEFA Women's Champions League match-up with Paris FC was secured after we saw off Swedish side Linkoping on Wednesday afternoon in our first competitive match since May.

After Kim Little missed an early opportunity to put us ahead from the penalty spot, her tenacity and superb footwork led to Caitlin Foord eventually breaking the deadlock in the second half. 

An organised and determined side, Linkoping were not an easy first hurdle to overcome but Stina Blackstenius and Lina Hurtig soon put the game out of reach, both scoring on their return to their former club. 

The opposition

Paris FC and Roma in action in the 2022 UWCL qualifiers

Paris FC, known as FCF Juvisy Essonne until 2017, have won the Division 1 Féminine a total of six times, making them the second-most successful side in league history behind Lyon. Their last title win came back in 2005/06

In terms of European success, Paris achieved their best result in 2012/13, falling to league rivals Lyon in the UWCL semi-finals. Our Gunners were also semi-finalists that year and were defeated by eventual champions, Wolfsburg. 

Star French forward Kadidiatou Diani began her career at Paris FC before moving to local rivals, PSG. Sarah Bouhaddi, Eseosa Aigbogun and Sandrine Soubeyrand have also all played for the side. 

Back in the present, the current crop of talent is predominantly under the age of 22. Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie enjoyed a breakout tournament for Nigeria at this summer's FIFA World Cup, which was notable for her penalty save against Canada's Christine Sinclair in Nigeria's opening group game. 

Today will be the first time we face Paris FC in a competitive match. 

Team news

Cloe Lacasse in training

Summer signings Cloe Lacasse, Alessia Russo and Amanda Ilestedt all started and impressed against Linkoping and Eidevall now has a decision to make on his forward line against Paris FC.

Leah Williamson, Vivianne Miedema, Laura Wienroither and Teyah Goldie did not travel with the squad, due to injury.

Journey to UWCL Group stage

Frida Maanum dribbles against Linkoping

Saturday's tie is the last game in round 1 of qualifying and only a win against Paris FC will see us progress to round 2. If the score is level after 90 minutes, the game will be decided by extra time and - if needed - penalties. 

If we defeat the French side, we'll have to wait until September 15 to discover our next opponent. Wolfsburg, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Sparta Praha, BK Häcken and Manchester United will all enter qualifying in round 2, alongside the 15 winning teams from round 1.

A home and away tie against one of these sides would then stand between us and the Champions League group stage. 

What Eidevall says

Jonas Eidevall speaks to Alessia Russo in training

"Paris has a very strong team and they're very strong on the counter-attack. We have seen them playing a number of training matches here during the preseason. They've been playing against international opposition like Ajax and Anderlecht so it's clear to see that they are prepared for this stage of the competition.

"So we expect a tough game. We know we need to be at our best. We plan to be that way." - hear more from the boss

How to watch

Arsenal v Paris FC - Watch live on

If you're in the UK and Ireland, you can tune into our UWCL qualifier for free on and our official app.

Coverage starts from 1.55pm GMT (2.55pm local time), with kick-off five minutes later. Max Jones and Gilly Flaherty will be on commentary duties. 

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