With only four games left to play in the Women's Super League season, our Gunners travel to the Broadfield Stadium on Wednesday evening for a key clash against Brighton & Hove Albion.
As this tie was rescheduled due to the January snow, we haven't faced Brighton since the start of the season - back when both our squad and the league table looked very different.
After Manchester City suffered a surprise loss to Liverpool at the weekend, this fixture now presents a huge opportunity. Securing a Champions League spot is now back in our hands, as long as we can maintain momentum after our win over Leicester on Friday.
Last time around
Our last meeting with the Seagulls was our 22/23 season opener all the way back in September, which ended as a comfortable 4-0 win at Meadow Park. It was a calamitous start for Brighton as Emma Kullberg was sent off within the opening ten minutes but we didn't break through their disciplined backline until the half-hour mark.
Captain Kim Little opened the scoring and Stina Blackstenius doubled our advantage in the second half, before an electric Beth Mead bagged two more on her triumphant return from the Euros.
Brighter days for Brighton?
After a long dalliance with the relegation zone, Brighton are now five points above Reading and can soon consider themselves safe to return to the WSL next season.
As for the staff in the dugout, Melissa Phillips may be the Seagulls’ third boss this season but she's already achieved some good results since joining in April. The American coach, who previously worked at Angel City FC in the NWSL and London City Lionesses, replaced Jens Scheuer after his brief three-month tenure.
Brighton have posted two wins, one draw and one loss in the league under Phillips and came close to reaching the FA Cup final too - only to have their hearts broken by a late winner from Manchester United's Rachel Williams.
What the managers say
Eidevall on the Brighton game: “We have four more games and we need to take one game at a time.
"We need to do our best in every game and if we do, then we can finish as high as possible. That’s the only thing we can control.“ - read more from the boss
Phillips on the match-up: “We feel hungry for the opportunity to get more points on the board.
"Everyone will be up for a night game at home against one of the top-of-the-table teams, but we just want to focus on how we get better match-to-match rather than putting pressure on ourselves."
Beth Mead, Vivianne Miedema, Leah Williamson and Laura Wienroither will all be sidelined through ACL injuries. Captain Kim Little has also been ruled out for the remainder of the season.
As for the progress of Caitlin Foord, Eidevall didn't have a direct update to share in his pre-match press conference but stated, "We’re doing everything to get people back on the pitch."
How to watch
The action kicks off at Broadfield Stadium at 7:30pm (UK). Viewers at home can follow along on Sky Sports, with coverage beginning at 6:30pm.
Facts and stats
- Brighton have lost all nine of their WSL matches against us, scoring two goals and conceding 32. Only Everton against Man City (13 games, 13 defeats) have faced an opponent as many as 10 times and never picked up a single point in the WSL
- We have won all four of our away league fixtures against Brighton, keeping a clean sheet in every victory. No side has ever played away against another five times in the WSL without conceding a goal
- Frida Maanum has four goals across her last five appearances in the WSL, having gone six games without a goal prior to this run. She has scored eight league goals in total this season, more than double her total from last season
- Brighton have since won both of their home WSL matches under Melissa Phillips. Before then, the Seagulls went six home matches without a win in the WSL, conceding 25 goals in the process
- With ten wins and one draw, we have not lost to any side currently in the bottom half of the table in the WSL this season. Manchester United are the only other side yet to lose against a bottom-half side
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