Manchester City Women will aim to preserve their unbeaten record in the ongoing season as they make their way to Meadow Park to take on Arsenal Women. Man City have emerged victorious in three of their initial four fixtures, while their opponents, Arsenal, have had a slow start to the season.
Having narrowly missed a top-three finish last season, Manchester City has begun the current campaign with determination, securing four wins and a draw from their first five matches in various competitions. Their Women’s Super League (WSL) journey commenced with a victory against West Ham United, followed by a draw against Chelsea. In the League Cup, they clinched a 2-1 win against Everton.
Manchester City continued their impressive form with subsequent victories, defeating Bristol City 5-0 and the surprising Leicester 1-0. Chloe Kelly played a pivotal role by scoring the winning goal against Leicester City, ensuring that Manchester City entered the international break with a well-deserved 1-0 victory.
As a result of their strong performances, Manchester City currently tops the WSL table, holding the lead due to their superior goal difference compared to second-placed Chelsea.
On the other hand, Arsenal’s 2023-24 campaign got off to a rocky start as they were eliminated from the Champions League qualifiers, followed by a sluggish beginning to the WSL season. The Gunners, however, have managed to secure consecutive wins against Aston Villa and Bristol City in their most recent outings.
Arsenal’s league journey began with a defeat against Liverpool, followed by a last-minute draw against Manchester United, leaving them with just one point from their initial six. However, they injected some much-needed momentum into their campaign with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, thanks to late goals from Katie McCabe and Alessia Russo.
McCabe was a key player for Arsenal in their last match before the international break, scoring twice to guide Jonas Eidevall’s side to a narrow 2-1 victory over newly-promoted Bristol City.
While Arsenal currently occupies the seventh position in the league, a third consecutive win would level them on points with their opponents on Sunday, who are leading the way in the WSL. A victory for the home team would help them draw level with Manchester City in the standings, while a win for City would solidify their position at the top of the table.
Manchester City’s Alex Greenwood will be unavailable for Sunday’s match due to a head injury suffered during international duty. Demi Stokes is the only other injury concern for City, while Lauren Hemp, who missed the victory against Leicester, may return to the starting lineup.
Arsenal is grappling with an injury crisis, with Leah Williamson, Laura Wienroither, and Teyah Goldie all sidelined due to anterior cruciate ligament injuries. Lina Hurtig, Amanda Ilestedt, and Lia Walti are doubtful for Sunday’s clash, but Eidevall is optimistic that they might be able to participate to some extent.
Lauren Hemp, who made a return from injury to play the final 30 minutes against Leicester, also featured in both of England’s Nations League games against Belgium. She is expected to be in the starting lineup for the meeting with Arsenal. Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema may also be available after their long injury layoffs.
Arsenal Women potential starting lineup vs Manchester City Women: Zinsberger; Maritz, Wubben-Moy, Codina, Catley; Little, Walti; McCabe, Maanum, Foord; Russo.
Manchester City Women potential starting lineup vs Arsenal Women: Keating; Morgan, Kennedy, Houghton, Aleixandri; Angeldal, Hasegawa, Roord; Hemp, Kelly, Shaw.
Despite Arsenal’s injury woes, they still possess enough talent to pose a challenge. Nevertheless, a near full-strength Manchester City side may prove too formidable for the Gunners on this occasion. While a draw is a plausible outcome, a Manchester City victory seems likely.
Arsenal 1-2 Manchester City