Arsenal Women look to bounce back from defeat against Manchester United and Beth Mead’s loss with a trip to the Champions League to face Juventus. Arsenal will face former coach Joe Montemurro, who now manages Juventus. Arsenal will also have to deal with the loss of Beth Mead, who suffered a torn ACL on Saturday, while Kim Little, Leah Williamson, Rafaelle Souza and Lina Hurtig will also be missing.
Juventus are second in Arsenal’s group after beating Zurich and taking a point against Lyon. With a double against Juventus, a point would be a good result and make Arsenal favorites to qualify from the group, while a win would put Arsenal in pole position to win the group. Juventus, however, will be a tough opponent. Although they have fallen from their highs in Serie A, with Juventus four points behind leaders Roma, having dropped 7 points, their recent record in Europe is very good as Juventus finished ahead of Chelsea in the group stage last year.
For Arsenal, the immediate question is how to replace Beth Mead. Mead is the top scorer so far this season, and her counter-pressure is also vital to Jonas Eidevall’s game. To make things more difficult, Eidevall is without Kim Little, Leah Williamson and Rafaelle Souza. With the core of the team essentially changed, Eidevall admitted that Arsenal might play a little differently.
Replacing Mead positionally could end up being pretty simple. Noëlle Maritz, who has been kept out of the starting line-up by the excellent Laura Wienroither, could play at left-back, and Katie McCabe could play further up the pitch, with Caitlin Foord moving to the right or McCabe playing as an inverted side. Or, ultimately, Eidevall could change systems.
With Mead out, Arsenal will need to replace their targets. At this point, this must be Vivianne Miedema’s responsibility. Miedema was poor in Arsenal’s 3-2 defeat against Manchester United, attempting just 5 passes in the 30 minutes he was on the pitch and one shot on target. Having had a full two-and-a-half week break from football, Miedema simply needs to step up – of all Arsenal’s strikers, she is the one who, with two goals and one assist, has been underwhelming his prodigious talent.
Expected lineup (4231): 1. Zinsberger; 26. Wienroither, 3. Wubben-Moy, 7. Catley, 16. Maritz; 13. Wälti, 12. Maanum; 15. McCabe, 11. Miedema, 19. Foord; 25. Blackstenius
Subs: 18. Marckese (GK), 40. Williams (GK), 5. Beattie, 8. Nobbs, 23. Iwabuchi, 59. Agyemang, 61. Earl, 62. Reid
WHAT: Juventus Women v Arsenal Women, UEFA Women’s Champions League
WHERE: Juventus Stadium, Turin
WHEN: Thursday, November 24 12:00 PDT | 3:00 PM EDT | 20:00 GMT
I WILL SEE: YouTube
Source: Juventus vs Arsenal Women: how to watch Champions League live