After their win on Wednesday night over Bristol Academy, Arsenal travel to Manchester City for what is a massive game against one of their main title rivals.
Manchester City have decided to invest in the women’s section the way they did with the men’s team.
Obviously not on the same scale money-wise, but they certainly have put a lot of money with a new stadium for the academy and the women’s team as well as excellent training facilities. It was mentioned recently that some of the City players were earning £60,000 per season with around £40,000 from the club and £20,000 from the FA central contract.
The fact that they are looking to win the Champions League highlights their ambitions.
This is a top of the table clash between two teams vying for a Champions League place/title. The loser will certainly be in trouble in the title race. History tells us that no team has been crowned champions with more than two defeats during the season. With Chelsea and Liverpool playing each other earlier in the afternoon, the winners in those two top of the table clashes will gain a significant advantage.
A point is really the minimum needed on the day for the Gunners.
The Manchester City and England goalkeeper Karen Barsdley is suspended for the game due to her involvement in a punch-up against Freda Ayisi of Birmingham.
Who would you have?
Jennifer Beattie because there is a shortage of centre backs at Arsenal and she knows the club very well, her ability on set pieces would also be a plus.
Lucy Bronze because she was the best English player last season. This is backed by the Opta stats as well.
Natasha Harding because she is a quick winger/centre forward that could do damage with her pace. A profile that is missing at Arsenal.
Opposition key players
Jill Scott, the box to box midfielder is a very intelligent and technical player. She is also tall and powerful and has been a top player for many, many years.
Toni Duggan who recently made the headline for her instagram picture with Louis Van Gaal on derby day is a quick deadly finisher.
Lucy Bronze consistent quick reliable excellent on-the-ball defender.
Manchester City: Brooks, McManus, Bronze, Beattie, Stokes, Christiansen, Scott, Parris, Wiltshire, Harding, Duggan
Arsenal: Byrne, Scott, Stoney, Rose, Mitchell, Williamson, Nobbs, Losada, Carter, Smith, Sanderson.
Playing both sides
Sarah Wiltshire played at the Arsenal centre of excellence for many years before moving on to Watford. She moved on loan to Cardiff before transferring to Yeovil. Signed in the winter with City to play professional football.
Jennifer Beattie was signed by Arsenal from Scotland, she left to play her trade with Montpellier in France early in the Shelley Kerr era and decided to move back to England last winter.
Stephanie Houghton, the England Captain, left Arsenal back in the winter 2014 when City offered better training conditions and wages than Arsenal and also Manchester is closer to her home.
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