Arsenal ladies face Notts County in the final of the Continental Cup this weekend.
here’s our match preview:
Notts County’s main tactic is protecting their goal and using their quick forwards on the break. They also have technically proficient players that allow them to play a possession game when they want to.
But they tend to revert to their natural defensive mode in big games as seen in the FA Cup against Chelsea. They tried to nullify Chelsea’s attacking threat and ended up rarely creating anything themselves. They probably had a 1-0 win game plan.
Their main weakness is, strangely enough, the defenders around Laura Bassett. Even if they form a strong defensive unit, as individuals they are not as strong and Arsenal can pick on Turner, Greenwood and Whelan’s problems.
Arsenal Ladies need a title to validate what has been a good season overall. Another Conti Cup final defeat following last year’s would send the signal that Arsenal cannot win finals any more. That would the second final defeat in a row under Losa.
The games between the two sides are always tight, and this should be no differnt. Should Notts County score first as they did in the League, Arsenal would have to be at their attacking and creative best to beat County’s catenaccio.
The biggest question mark will be on Alex Scott’s fitness following her trip to China and the 180 minutes game time she received over there. Should she be fit, Pedroa Losa has selected more or less the same starting 11 for the last few games and should trust them.
Arsenal will need to be strong enough to compete with County’s tradition power strength and not to expose the defence to their pace. They will also need to size the ball possession, be creative and positive in the attacking area to unsettle County’s defensive block.
Who would you have
Emily Roberts, who is a Notts player, spent the season on loan at Doncaster Belles and is a winger with direct play.
Oppo key players
Laura Bassett a commanding centre-back
Rachel Williams a powerful and quick centre forward
Jess Clarke a fast winger who can be world class on her day
Arsenal: Van Veenendaal, Scott or Corredera or Janssen Rose Stoney Williamson, Janssen or Bailey Nobbs Losada, Corredera or Ubogagu Natalia Carter
Notts : Telford, Walton Turner Bassett Greenwood, Buet Crichton Scott Clarke, White Williams
Playing both sides
Siobhan Chamberlain, who was sent on loan after the world cup break.
Alice Hassall, a youngster who was part of the development team last season.
Dunia Susi, the winger/full back played in the youth teams and reserves.
Danielle Buet, a UEFA Women’s Cup winner with Arsenal in 2006/07.
Ellen White had two spells with the Gunners in the Centre of Excellence and then with the first team where she was very successful.
Laura Bassett spend a couple of seasons with the Gunners but was not able to get a starting place on a regular basis despite her good form and left.
Arsenal 2 Notts County 1 FA WSL 26/07/15
Notts County 1 Arsenal 1 FA WSL 02/04/15
Arsenal 2 Notts County 0 aet Continental Cup 07/09/14
Arsenal 1 Notts County 1 FA WSL 27/07/14
Notts County 1 Arsenal 1 16/04/14