Sunderland Ladies v Arsenal Match Preview

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THE LOWDOWN
Arsenal Women face an away trip to Sunderland in their penultimate WSL match of the season on Wednesday evening. Saturday’s victory over Manchester City puts the Gunners just one point behind 2nd placed Manchester City, with two games to play.

Arsenal will look to keep their Champions League hopes alive at South Shields against a Sunderland side who have lost their last 5 games in the league and haven’t won since February. They’ve not won in the league since 6th January. But Montemurro’s side went to Yeovil and drew just a few weeks back- the Glovers had a single league point and were let to score a league goal at the time. So there will be no room for complacency in the North East.

City have a home match with Yeovil Town at the same time and, despite their wretched recent form, it would be a huge shock if they did not win comfortably. Arsenal will need to win to keep Champions League qualification hopes alive on the last game of the season at Bristol this Sunday.

TEAM NEWS
Once again, Arsenal will be without Josy Henning, Lauren James and Anna Filbey due to injury. Jessica Samuelsson may be drafted back onto the substitute’s bench. The Swede was among the subs at the FA Cup Final ten days ago, but took a watching brief from the stands against Manchester City with Alex Scott given the opportunity to make a goodbye cameo. Samuelsson hasn’t played since October due to a foot injury. Alex Scott will not form part of the travelling squad.

LAST TIME OUT
Arsenal defeated Sunderland 3-1 at Meadow Park in the Continental Cup quarter-final, but in the reverse WSL fixture in November, the Gunners eased to a 3 goal victory with strikes from Louise Quinn, Vivianne Miedema and Jordan Nobbs.

PLAYER TO WATCH
Beth Mead was voted Arsenal Women’s Supporters Club Player of the Season after an outstanding campaign, which has seen her net 12 goals so far this season, including an equaliser at home to Chelsea and the winning goal against Manchester City on Saturday. Beth has largely operated in a wide attacking role this season, with Miedema playing through the middle.

Mead joined the Gunners from Sunderland early in 2017 and has made the adaptation comfortably. She has adjusted to playing a wide forward role at a bigger club with higher expectations. Miedema has struggled with injuries during this campaign, so there is every chance Mead will start this game in her preferred position through the middle.

PREDICTED LINE-UP
1.van VEENENDAAL, 18.EVANS, 6.WILLIAMSON, 16.QUINN, 15.McCABE, 20.JANSSEN, 8.NOBBS, 7.van de DONK, 17.O’REILLY, 9.CARTER, 23.MEAD. Substitutes; 3.Mitchell, 10.Little, 11.Miedema, 13.Moorhouse, 25.Samuelsson, 29.Cooke, 30.Ngunga.

HOW TO CATCH THE GAME
There will be no live coverage of this game. The @ArsenalWFC twitter feed will provide live updates. Match highlights ought to be available on Friday.

COMING UP
Match reaction from a player following Sunday’s final match away at Bristol City, as well as an interview with manager Joe Montemurro about his first season in charge. If you haven’t read it already, Alex Scott spoke exclusively to Arseblog News about her Arsenal career and retirement this week.

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Fungunner
Fungunner

Good luck, girls! Everything crossed. And good luck Yeovil Town, said without much hope…

Mach
Mach

Beth was always top goalscorer back in Sunderland and was happily surprised that we signed her. Took a while to find her groove and now she’s player of the season.
Congrats and COYG!