Two current table toppers will fight to the death on Wednesday, and will both try to end each others amazing unbeaten run. Barcelona Women have been unbeaten since March, with the Blaugrana not being defeated for 20 straight competitive matches, including 2 finals over the way, and many pressure situations. Arsenal Women are on a 18 match winning streak, which includes 2 wins against Chelsea Women, a 5-0 thumping against Manchester City Women and a 9-0 battering of Crystal Palace Women. But when push comes to shove, someone’s reign of terror may well come to an end.
Barcelona have had a brilliant start to the Primera División season, after beating Alavés 9-1 on Saturday. This has become the norm for the 6 time winners, with Barca not scoring less than 5 goals in a match this season. Both Alexia Putellas and Asisat Oshoala have 7 goals and are joint top goalscorers. In 5 games. This is a crazy Barca team, with million pound players everywhere.
Arsenal have also been amazing this season, with the Gunners beating the WSL’s reigning champions and runners up, as well as getting back into the UWCL. Beth Mead has had a surprising reign of terror, with the usually decent winger matching Miedema’s numbers so far, with both having 6 goal contributions in 4 games.
Jonas Eidevall will look at this game as a chance to truly cement how the side has progressed on the European stage against one of the best in the world and the reigning champions, after Barcelona destroyed Chelsea 4-0 in the final. He may be looking towards playing an end to end match, which is what both teams are well known for.
Jonatan Giráldez may not be scared of anybody, but complacency could kick in after the club finally got their hands on the coveted Champions League trophy last season. He rested many players against Alavés, and was definitely thinking about the match. However, they were still able to comfortably beat a newly promoted Alavés side.
WHEN & WHERE?
Venue: Estadi Johan Cruyff
Date: October 5, 2021
Time: Kick-off at 20:00 BST.
Malin Gut is unavailable due to injury, and Simone Boye is also a doubt for the Gunners.
Team News is unavailable/not available for Barcelona.
A Match of Fearlessness?
Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall said, “I’m not scared of anything, basically, and I don’t think my players are either. We understand it’s a challenge. We understand the need to do our best version of ourselves. But that’s just exciting.” And I think that sets the scene for the match very well.
Barcelona and Arsenal are both front-footed teams, who take initiative and dominate possession and shots. Because of this, I think that either one team will back down, or we will see an end to end battle for 90 minutes. And I really hope it’s the latter. With the likes of Vivianne Miedema, Alexia Putellas, Tobin Heath, Asisat Oshoala, Lieke Martens, Nikita Parris, Jenni Hermoso, Beth Mead, Caroline Graham Hansen, Jordan Nobbs, Aitana Bonmatí and Kim Little just some of the attacking talent likely to feature, this is a battle between super teams and may be a very good one.
Asisat Oshoala has been phenomenal for Barcelona in recent seasons, and will continue to do so, as she gets better and better. The soon to be 27 year old has recorded 8 goal contributions in 6 games this season, and will hope to continue that form in the Champions League. A player who played at Meadow Park as recently as 2017, Asisat knows the philosophy and passion that Arsenal has, and will know what she’s up against. The girl who was banned from football turned Nigerian superstar will look to avoid the Arsenal defence in a stadium where she has been the best before and could be again.
Vivianne Miedema is a big game player for Arsenal. And I don’t think that the occasion gets much bigger than this. A player who has shied away from tying down her future for the Gunners, and instead waiting for the club’s ambition to show, this is a night made for the number 11.
One of the best in the women’s game, Viv is quite the player. However she is only 25, and has broken 13 official records and many more unofficial ones. An icon for club and country, Miedema will be crucial in Arsenal’s attempt of securing the win. Jonas Eidevall rested her for the match against Spurs, and took her off against Villa, could this be because he knows how important she is to this Arsenal side?
Barcelona Women predicted XI: Paños, Ouahabi, León, Guijarro, Torrejón, Putellas, Hermoso, Bonmatí, Martens, Oshoala, Graham Hansen.
Arsenal Women predicted XI: Zinsberger, Catley, Williamson, Beattie, Maritz, Wälti, Nobbs, Little, Mead, Miedema, Heath.
Barcelona 3-3 Arsenal