Arsenal’s FA WSL clash against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon will be new coach Joe Montemurro’s first game in charge and, if the two sides’ last run-in is anything to go by, we’re set for a thriller.
Last time Arsenal and Liverpool faced each other was back in May in the Spring Series.
Despite Liverpool going 3-1 ahead through Alex Greenwood, Natasha Harding and Caroline Weir, which cancelled out Chloe Kelly’s opener, the Gunners fought back as Danielle Carter scored a brace and Jordan Nobbs also found the back of the net.
If it wasn’t for Gemma Bonner’s late header, Arsenal would have clinched all three points.
After that eight-goal thriller six months ago, we can probably assume Sunday’s 2pm clash at Meadow Park will also be high-scoring.
This is Montemurro’s first game in charge so the side will be looking to impress their new boss as well as lead on from their 6-0 Continental Cup win over Watford in November.
“This opportunity is amazing, from the point of view of being able to work with them, but also I can learn a lot and grow as a coach and person,” the 48-year-old ex-Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City coach told Arsenal Player.
“Being around such successful athletes, they are such amazing role models in not only women’s sport, but sport in general and in this group I think it’s an amazing opportunity to do some really amazing things.
“You always want to work in environments where everyone is in it for the same purpose, that there’s a goal to achieve and there’s a way we want to do things. I think you always want to be in situations and groups where you are working together and are happy to do the work to achieve something.
“There’s obviously the goal, to achieve by winning trophies and winning games, but it’s also important to stamp and continue the way we want to play.
“I think the football and the way we want to play, the brand and identity of Arsenal is very important and I want to make sure that comes out, so when you come and watch a game that it’s beautiful to watch, pleasing on the eye, but we also win.”
Although Arsenal haven’t played for three-and-a-half weeks, they’re still confident and looking forward to working under their new, experienced manager.
“Confidence is high in the camp. We’ve just brought in the new manager, so I can’t wait to get started with him,” midfielder Leah Williamson said ahead of the match.
“I think that will only push us on. We’ve got so much talent in our squad but that just needs to come out on the pitch now.
“We’re really looking forward to the Liverpool game.
“It’s the first time we’ve brought one of the big teams back to Borehamwood this season, so it will be good to put on a good show in front of our fans.
“It’s so important for us to get all three points. We’ve got our eyes on the prize.
“We haven’t had the greatest of starts in terms of the season, so we need to make sure we’re not dropping anymore points now and that is in the forefront of people’s minds.”
Although Liverpool enjoyed a run of five wins in all competitions from the end of October to November, they lost their last cup clash 1-0 against Sunderland.
Scott Rogers’ side are currently below Arsenal by just one point in the FA WSL table and while Montemurro won’t have an easy first match by any means, a win could put the Gunners level with second-place Chelsea – albeit temporarily – and really help him to make his mark in a new league.