Arsenal play Bayern Munchen Frauen at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening chasing a 1-0 deficit after an unfortunate 1-0 defeat in Bavaria last week. The Gunners were especially dominant in the second half of that encounter but could not find the goal they wanted and deserved.
They ought to draw confidence from that second half display in particular though it isn’t the first time since Christmas they have not converted chances into goals. Bayern are a lethal counterattacking side and Arsenal will need to find the balance between chasing the deficit but not leaving themselves too open at the back.
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Arsenal will also be buoyed by a 5-1 win away at Spurs on Saturday where they managed to rotate some key players and make some early substitutions. With McCabe and Pelova performing well on the right flank in recent weeks it does feel as though the Gunners have gotten over a rocky patch where they struggled to re-learn to attack without Beth Mead.
If Jonas Eidevall’s side repeat their performance from the first leg with a more clinical touch, they have a strong chance of progression. However, that will be easier said than done against an outstanding Bayern side who have all the tools to hurt the home team.
Arsenal will be without Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead (both ACL) for this game. Gio suffered a dead leg in the North London derby on Saturday and wouldn’t be available for this game but isn’t registered for the UWCL squad in any case. Steph Catley (foot) is out too.
Goalkeepers: 1.Zinsberger, 14.D’Angelo, 18.Marckese, 40.Williams.
Defenders: 2.Rafaelle, 3.Wubben-Moy, 5.Beattie, 6.Williamson, 16.Maritz, 26.Wienroither, 62.Reid.
Midfielders: 10.Little(c), 12.Maanum, 13.Walti, 22.Kuhl, 61.Earl.
Attackers: 15.McCabe, 17.Hurtig, 19.Foord, 21.Pelova, 25.Blackstenius, 59.Agyemang.
A WORD FROM THE BOSS
They have some good individual players in defence, central defenders, full-backs and so on, as well as the goalkeeper. Also you can see they are very well organised and work hard together collectively. You get into the penalty area against them and they block your shots and they make things tight around you.
It forces you to be on top of your creative game to create really open goal scoring opportunities. On our team we have a lot of players who can score goals. As a team we score a lot, we are not like a team like Manchester City who score a lot but have one main goal scorer. We score goals in the squad.
We know we are a great team who can beat any team at any time and that is such a great feeling to have. We know this game will be decided by small details but I have this feeling with this squad that we can play any team in the world and know we have a chance of beating them. Having that feeling is one of the greatest feelings to have because then you know that everything is possible.
LAST TIME OUT
Bayern were 1-0 winners in the Allianz last week thanks to a first half goal from Lea Schuller.
Bayern are riding the mother of all highs coming into this game. While coach Alexander Straus admitted in the aftermath that his side were fortunate to take a one goal lead into the second leg, Bayern are accustomed to not conceding goals.
They have only conceded four goals in the Frauen Bundesliga this season and on Saturday, a 1-0 win over perennial title rivals Wolfsburg put them in charge of the title race in Germany, leapfrogging the She Wolves to the top of the league in the process.
Bayern also faced Barcelona in the group stages, were beaten 3-0 in the first game, learned their lessons and defeated Barcelona at home in the return fixture. So Arsenal fans should not take for granted that the Gunners will be able to dominate this game as they did the second half of the first leg.
𝑩𝑬𝑯𝑰𝑵𝑫 𝑻𝑯𝑬 𝑺𝑪𝑬𝑵𝑬𝑺 in der Allianz Arena beim #UWCL Viertelfinal-Hinspiel gegen Arsenal! 📹
See you in London. 👀🔥#FCBayern #ARSFCB #MiaSanMia #packmas pic.twitter.com/lT0GORKm5D
— FC Bayern Frauen (@FCBfrauen) March 27, 2023
PLAYER TO WATCH
While Arsenal underwent a short adjustment after Christmas in the forward line due to injuries, Caitlin Foord has been a mainstay on the left wing for the last two years or so now. Foord has 10 goals and nine assists in all competitions so far this season.
That puts her level with Frida Maanum (12 goals and seven assists) in terms of direct goal contributions. Her one on one ability in the wide left position has always been a crucial part of Eidevall’s attacking play.
She scored twice on Saturday, once by cutting in and shooting from the edge of the box- an identical effort to the one she hit the post with in Munich. The other came by lurking on the back post when Pelova had the ball on the right. If Arsenal are to score the goals they need to win the tie, Foord will be a big part of that effort.
Subs: 3.Wubben-Moy, 5.Beattie, 14.D’Angelo, 17.Hurtig, 18.Marckese, 22.Kuhl, 26.Wienroither, 59.Agyemang.
HOW TO CATCH THE GAME
The match kicks off at 8pm on Wednesday at Emirates Stadium. The game will be streamed live on DAZN’s YouTube channel, it isn’t geo-blocked and doesn’t require a subscription.
DAZN UEFA Women’s Champions League – YouTube
We will have match reaction from Jonas Eidevall on the site after the game. We will also have an Arseblog exclusive interview with Rafaelle online on Friday morning.