After a rough start to the season, the Blues have won two straight games by a combined score of 6–1. First, it was a rout of Birmingham Town, and last weekend the Toffees stormed into the Madejski Stadium and put three goals past Reading.
The scoring has been impressive, but what’s most exciting from the past two games is the continuity of the starting XI; nine of the 11 players to start over the last two fixtures featured in both games.
There were myriad reasons why the Merseyside outfit struggled through the first two games, and formation management was one of them. Manager Willie Kirk was still tinkering with the starting XI when the Toffees dropped to 4–0 losses to Manchester City and Chelsea.
Kirk also has been consistent with his substitutes, as the Scottish manager has used a rotation of Valérie Gauvin, Grace Clinton, Poppy Pattinson, Rikke Sevecke and Hanna Bennison.
Arsenal host Everton after starting the season 4–0–0. The Gunners have scored 16 goals and conceded just two, both of which came in a 3–2 victory over Chelsea. Arsenal has averaged over four goals per game in its other fixtures, netting 13 times in three outings. Among those matches was a 5–0 thrashing of Manchester City, last season’s runners-up who have already inflicted a four-goal thrashing of the Blues.
The only blemish on Arsenal’s otherwise spotless record was a 4–1 defeat in the Champions League group stage to Barcelona, last season’s champions. After suffering a blowout defeat, the Gunners will be ready to regroup come Sunday. The Blues will have their hands full with Kim Little (four goals), Vivianne Miedema (four) and Beth Mead (three).
In the penultimate WSL fixture last season, Arsenal converted in the 90+4’ to steal three points from the Toffees. The close 2–1 loss for the Blues was a marked improvement from the 4–0 drubbing the Gunners threw down earlier in the campaign. With an improved roster, we should see a scoreline similar to the final meeting of the season come Sunday.
Competition: FA Women’s Super League, Matchweek 5
Date and start time: Sunday, October 10th at 10:00 a.m. ET / 3:00 p.m. BST
Stadium: Meadow Park, Borehamwood, England, United Kingdom
How to Watch/Listen
TV: N/A - United States; BBC Two - United Kingdom; Sportsnet - Canada, Optus Sport, Viaplay
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