With the 2017 season starting next Sunday against Spurs Ladies in the FA Women’s Cup, Arsenal Ladies received a boost with two players back to full fitness and available to play.
The players took to social media to announce that they were ready to go and also roaring to get a game under their belt as they missed out on the pre-season.
A hard weeks graft, time to rest & recover ready for next weeks prep for the FA Cup! Ropes… https://t.co/6PxSjuFoEL
— Beth Mead (@bmeado9) March 10, 2017
It means Pedro Losa will have a very strong squad to choose from for the North London Derby. There will be certainly some hard choices to select the starting eleven and the five substitutes as, unlike in the FA WSL, the cup squad size is 16 not 18.
The following players should be available:
GK: Van Veenendaal, Moorhouse
DF: Mitchell, Williamson, Patten, Hinds
MF: Williams, Nobbs, Little, Humphrey, Janssen, Van De Donk,
FW : Kelly, Carter, Taylor, McCabe, O’Reilly, Mead, Dean
The injury list is quite short with only defenders on it – Scott, Sampson, Rose, Wubben-Moy.
So the starting line-up could look like this is in a 4-3-3:
Van Veenendaal; Patten Williamson Janssen Mitchell; Williams, Nobbs, Little; O’Reilly, Taylor, Carter
or alternatively in a 3-4-3 system:
Van Veenendaal; Janssen Williamson Mitchell, Nobbs Little Williams Mc Cabe; O’Reilly Taylor Carter
The Ladies will have to be wary of Spurs Ladies as the opposition are still unbeaten in 2016/17. They are currently top of the FA WPL Southern Division with eleven wins and one draw in 12 games. They have also reached three cup finals and therefore will be a strong opposition.
It is a clear banana skin for the Ladies, as it will be their first competitive game against a team full of confidence. Pedro Losa and the team will have to perform at their best to avoid a defeat against a lower division team in the Cup.
It is something that does not happen often for Arsenal Ladies in the big cups. As far as I remember, it has happened once – in the Conti Cup – when Shelley Kerr was outwitted by Jayne Ludlow a couple of seasons ago.
The difference in quality between the teams should see the Arsenal prevail, but this year’s FA Cup reminded us of the magic of the competition, and, if the big teams are not ready they will pay the price and go out of the competition.