Match preview

WSL Preview: Aston Villa Women v Arsenal

Aston Villa Women v Arsenal Preview

Our Gunners will be looking to bag our eighth win of the Women's Super League season as we travel to Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon. 

Boosted by our 1-0 victory over Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, an in-form Vivianne Miedema joins a squad bouncing back from injuries on the journey to Villa Park. All the action kicks off at 4.15pm (UK time) and is available to watch live on Sky Sports. 

Villa's season so far

Aston Villa celebrate a goal

Currently sitting in fifth place in the WSL table, Carla Ward's side have made a considerable improvement to last season's form. Villa have already won two of their four home matches in the WSL this season, which is more victories than they managed at home for the entirety of the previous campaign (W1 D2 L8).

Their opening day victory over Manchester City was followed by a win over struggling Leicester City and they have yet to record a draw in the league. More recently, however, the Villans lost 5-0 to Manchester United in front of an impressive crowd at Old Trafford.

Last time around

Women: Aston Villa (h) - Highlights

The last time we met Villa, we put seven past them at Meadow Park in May 2022. A brace from Vivianne Miedema, alongside goals from Beth Mead, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Stina Blackstenius, and Nikita Paris made it for one to forget for the Villans. 

We ran out 4-0 winners last time around at Villa Park, with Kim Little, Mana Iwabuchi, and Katie McCabe all on the scoresheet. Our captain scored her 150th and 151st club goals and McCabe memorably beat Hannah Hampton from 40 yards out to secure a win.

Ones to watch

Rachel Daly

Rachel Daly made her return to the Women's Super League in style, bagging two goals against Manchester City on her debut for Aston Villa. With eight goals so far this season, Daly is tied for top scorer with City's Bunny Shaw.

She has scored each of Villa’s last five goals in the league, with those strikes spread across their last four games.

Team news

Leah Williamson in training

Leah Williamson and Rafaelle Souza remain fit and both made appearances in our last game against Juventus.

Lina Hurtig returned to full team training this week after an injury sustained against Leicester, but Eidevall did not suggest that the Swedish winger would be in the matchday squad at the weekend: "Lina and Kim are progressing, but I think the Villa game will come a little too early for both."

What the managers say

Jonas Eidevall in training

Eidevall on Villa: "I think they were progressing [during] the whole spring. We played very well in that game when we won at home at Boreham Wood in the spring but, before that game, they were a really strong team and were really close to getting points at Chelsea. It went to the last minutes of that game before it was decided.

"We have massive respect for Aston Villa. We see them as one of the teams developing most in the league and Carla Ward is doing a tremendous job there. We know that they will be motivated, they will be ready for Sunday and we need to match that."

Facts and stats

Laura Wienroither

  • Aston Villa have not beaten us in four Women’s Super League matches, failing to score a single goal, while conceding 15 themselves
  • We have won each of our last seven away matches in the WSL without conceding a single goal. We have never won eight consecutive away games in the competition
  • Our record of four clean sheets from four games against Aston Villa is our best 100% record against any side in the Women’s Super League
  • Katie McCabe has been directly involved in four goals in four WSL appearances against Aston Villa (2 goals, 2 assists) – she only has more total involvements against Tottenham and Reading (5 each)
  • Our open-play sequences have started further from our own goal (46.8 metres on average) than any other side in the league this season
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