The FA WSL Round 4 will be a very interesting test for the Gunners as two title contenders go head to head and Arsenal will be looking to produce a performance as good as last year’s one at Kingsmeadow.
Coming after the international break and only three training sessions, Arsenal will be hoping to have all their players back from their national team without any knocks for the match on Sunday at 15:00 BST.
The injury list should be quite thin with just Kemme and Carter recovering from long-term injuries. Hopefully, Quinn and Veje will be available.
It means Joe Montemurro will have some big choices to make to pick his starting 11. In goal, Pauline Peyraud-Magnin played the last three games and is likely to retain her place between the sticks.
In defence, the best back four should be selected as well with Leonie Maier, Leah Williamson, Jennifer Beattie, Katie McCabe. You would not expect Katrin Veje to play her first game this season away to Chelsea. Alternatively, should Leah Williamson be deployed in midfielder Viktoria Schnaderbeck should fill in for her.
In central midfield, with everyone expected to be fit, the manager will have five players for three places: Lia Wälti, Jordan Nobbs, Kim Little, Jill Roord and Danielle Van De Donk all deserve to start.
I would expect to see Wälti, Nobbs and Little as the midfield trio as it’s extremely balanced and showed its worth last season. Of course, the manager might decide not to start Wälti, and in that case, I would expect Jill Roord to get the nod ahead of Van De Donk.
Up front, there are three candidates for three places so Lisa Evans, Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead will start unless one of them is dropped to make way for Danielle Van De Donk. On a side note, Scotland did not have any games during the international break so the four Scottish girls will be fresh and raring to go.
So the expected starting 11 could be: Peyraud-Magnin; Maier, Williamson, Beattie, McCabe; Wälti, Little, Nobbs; Evans, Miedema, Mead
Subs: Zinsberger, Mitchell, Quinn, Veje, Schnaderbeck, Rood, Van De Donk
For the first time this season, Arsenal could have the full seven subs with senior players only and no Academy girls needed.
The opposition: Chelsea
They failed to qualify for the Champions League last season and will be looking for revenge this campaign. They have already dropped two points to Brighton and definitely cannot afford a home defeat like last season. They have a strong 20-player squad with all but one player capped at international level with a mix of seasoned players and young talented ones.
It is important to note that they have changed their system this season with a midfield diamond being used as part of their 4-4-2. Their full-backs are providing the width with the other seven outfield players in central areas. Their lone new signing Guro Reiten has been excellent up front so far and will be a threat alongside Bethany England who is the form English striker.
Arsenal will have to minimize the threat from their superb attack and be clinical with the chances that will be created. Basically repeat last season’s performance and a win will be likely.