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Arsenal WSL preview: Lioness heroes spearheaded by awesome Vivianne Miedema in pursuit of Chelsea

Arsenal WSL preview: Lioness heroes spearheaded by awesome Vivianne Miedema in pursuit of Chelsea

A

rsenal will be dreaming of going all the way in the Women’s Super League this season after narrowly missing out on the title to Chelsea last year.

The Blues claimed the title on the final day of the season and Arsenal were left to settle for second place.

Head coach Jonas Eidevall enjoyed an impressive debut season and now into his second year the future looks bright.

Arsenal crucially kept hold of star striker Vivianne Miedema in the summer and they have a strong squad, which includes Lionesses heroes Beth Mead and Leah Williamson. Expectations are high at the Gunners this season.

Here is our Gunners preview ahead of the WSL campaign…

Key players

Miedema, as is so often the case, will be key to Arsenal’s chances of success this year. The striker is a lethal finisher, but can play as a No10 and create too. Keeping Williamson fit too will be vital for Arsenal as their defence suffered last season whenever she was absent.

Head coach

Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Not much was known about Eidevall when he was appointed a year ago, but he did well during his debut season in England. The Swede wants Arsenal to play high-tempo, pressing football and he demands a lot from his players – with and without the ball. His brewing rivalry with Emma Hayes is adding spice to the WSL.

Young player to watch

There is a lot of excitement at Arsenal around Teyah Goldie, who has been tipped for the top. She signed a pro contract on her 18th birthday in June as the Gunners wanted to tie her down swiftly. Goldie can play in central defence or midfield and she was doing well on loan at Watford last season until she did her ACL in March. She is out injured but will be important for Arsenal after Christmas.

Lionesses in the squad

Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal had three players away with the victories Lionesses this summer, including captain Leah Williamson and golden boot winner Beth Mead. Defender Lotte Wubben-Moy was also with the squad but couldn’t break up the centre-back partnership of Millie Bright and Williamson. Jordan Nobbs missed Euro 2022 with injury, but was in the latest England squad.

New signings

Arsenal’s biggest addition is Sweden forward Lina Hurtig, who has arrived from Juventus to bolster their attack. Hurtig can lead the line, but could also operate out wide for the Gunners. Goalkeeper Kaylan Marckese has also joined after impressing against Arsenal for HB Koge in the Women’s Champions League last season.

Aim this season

Arsenal will be targeting winning the WSL, particularly after coming so close last season and narrowly missing out to Chelsea. They’ll want to go as far as they can in the Champions League too, with Eidevall admitting they learned lessons from last season’s loss to Wolfsburg at the quarter-final stage.

Stadium

Meadow Park, Borehamwood. Capacity: 3,400. Six possible matches are in the books for the Emirates Stadium; vs Tottenham on 26/9/2022, vs Manchester United on 20/9/22 and vs Chelsea 15/1/23. Plus three Champions League games if Arsenal qualify for group stage.

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