Arsenal go into their game against Chelsea looking to recover from the disappointing defeat by United and will be hoping for an improved performance from most players.
Arsenal’s recent record against Chelsea is poor and the Gunners will have to be at their best to get the win.
There was no good news in term of injuries with Maritz, Nobbs, Beattie, Evans and Catley all unavailable. There are therefore 16 senior players, plus three Academy girls who have been brought into the teams’ bubble.
So, the starting XI should be really close to the one that disappointed last Sunday.
Manuela Zinsberger should keep her place in goal as there is no reason to drop her right now.
In defence, there are not many options to make changes. The only one that would make sense would be to put Leonie Maier at right-back and Lotte Wubben-Moy in to partner Leah Williamson with Katie McCabe at left-back of course. But it is unlikely to happen and it should be the same back four as against United.
In midfield, we should see a couple of changes as it clearly did not work out against United. Lia Wälti needed some help and it did not happen for Malin Gut and Danielle van de Donk last week. Therefore, Kim Little and Jill Roord, who have just come back from injury, will be needed to stabilise the midfield technically. Unless, of course, Joe Montemurro decides to push Leah Williamson into midfield to utilise her passing range.
In attack, Vivianne Miedema will start up front while Caitlin Foord’s superb form means she will be there on the wing in the hybrid role she enjoys so much. The last spot should belong to Beth Mead but Danielle van de Donk is another player who could play on the right wing.
Whatever the XI starting the game, the players all need to be at a 100% performance level to have a chance against Chelsea. The opposition are in excellent form and will be a stronger challenge than United last week. We saw how intense their pressing is in the Conti Cup 4-1 defeat and the Gunners will need to bring their best passing game to be able to break their lines and find some space to create attacks.
Predicted XI: Zinsberger; Wubben-Moy, Williamson, Schnaderbeck, McCabe; Wälti, Little, Roord; Mead, Miedema, Foord Subs: Williams, Stenson, Maier, Mace, van de Donk, Gut, Pearse, Garrad, Denton.