29 October 2022

Jonas Eidevall says rotation is key to Arsenal’s form as they eye WSL history

29 October 2022

Arsenal could make Women’s Super League history on Sunday as they chase a new record of 13 consecutive wins when they host West Ham.

Jonas Eidevall said after last weekend’s victory over Liverpool that equalling the record Arsenal already jointly held with Manchester City “doesn’t bother me that much”, but it would still be a big marker as the title race takes shape.

Arsenal are level on points with Manchester United after four games, with Chelsea also on 12 points having played a game more, and that, rather than the prospect of records, is keeping the pressure on Eidevall’s side.

Forward Vivianne Miedama returned after two games on the bench when Eidevall made seven changes for the midweek 3-1 Champions League win over Zurich, and the boss said rotation was key to Arsenal’s form.

“It’s a testament to the whole squad for preparing but also, for everyone working with the players,” he said.

“We are making sure that we have a day-to-day operation where we are preparing players to be ready to go on the pitch, so that part I’m pleased about and it’s very much needed to do that with the playing schedule.”

Chelsea are on a long winning streak of their own since an opening defeat to Liverpool, and, after thrashing Vllaznia 8-0 on Wednesday, will go for a seventh straight victory in all competitions when they host an Aston Villa side who have run them close in the last two meetings, both 1-0 Chelsea wins.

“We know how tough Carla (Ward)’s team are going to make it at the weekend,” general manager Paul Green said. “We had that last season against them, it was probably the most tricky game that we had at home all season.

“We only got the last minute winner as everyone remembers through Sam Kerr and the celebrations that happened after that goal, deep into injury time.

“We know how difficult it’s going to be, but we’ve got to try and use that momentum from midweek, try and carry that over into Sunday’s game and get another victory at Kingsmeadow.”

Manchester United travel to Everton for a match Marc Skinner said could be their toughest task of the season to date.

“I’ve been really impressed,” he said. “It’s no surprise that Brian (Sorensen) has come in and done an excellent job and changed the style of play – it’s much more with the ball now, they’re very good at moving it and finding pockets of space.

“We need to be very careful how we approach that but as with any team there are ways to exploit them.”

Manchester City will be sporting a different look when they host Liverpool as they switch to burgundy shorts for the home kit.

The club had initially announced they would make the switch next season to help players feel more comfortable when on their periods but it will instead happen immediately.

“I’m sure pretty much everyone would agree we’re moving things forward,” manager Gareth Taylor said.

“There’s plenty of considerations now for female athletes which are important for them to be the best versions of themselves.”

Tottenham forward Ellie Brazil will miss out on a return to old club Brighton after she sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage to her left knee last weekend.

Reading and Leicester, two sides yet to pick up a point this season, will meet in Sunday’s other match.

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