Preview: Arsenal will hope to build on first 2021 win vs Birmingham

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Arsenal will travel to Birmingham City in hopes to build on their first 2021 win last time out against Aston Villa.

Coming off the back of a defeat to Manchester City, Carla Ward will be looking to pick up her squad, as well as some points. It may prove difficult for the Midlands outfit, recently moving to St Georges Park meaning they’ve lost that ‘home feeling’ advantage.

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Birmingham City

Failing to scoop three points since their 1-0 win over their derby rivals, Birmingham have yet to find their rhythm.

Despite their lack of wins, they managed to steal vital points from draws – Everton and Brighton the latest equal share. Taking two points from their last five games, the Blues are hoping to record their first win of 2021.

Arsenal

The Gunners will go to St George’s Park with confidence in abundance. Their latest result being a dominant 4-0 over Aston Villa.

Joe Montemurro’s side will need to build on their recent win if they want to push for third place – Manchester United fighting the same battle.

Although they picked up a win, it was their first since December last year. Reflecting on their form since, it’s been a below par run for the London side.

Ones to watch

Birmingham City

Republic of Ireland international Ruesha Littlejohn has been a stand-out in recent games for the Blues. Her work from the front has been a dangerous asset for her side. As well as this, Littlejohn’s eye for a key pass is critical in Birmingham’s forward play.

Naturally a midfielder, she has both the ability of going forward as well as defending. Implementing both to cover for her teammates when needed. Whether it’s a goal or a well-worked defence press, the 30-year-old is bound to make an impact.

Arsenal

Captaining her side to an emphatic win, Jordan Nobbs put in a stellar performance last weekend. It’s nothing new that her work rate is always the highest on the pitch. With three goals and three assists in five starts, the England international is unarguably Arsenal’s MVP this season.

In terms of mentality, Nobbs is often chosen to wear armband due to her leadership. She has the ability to get the best out of her team, grinding out much-needed results. Pockets of space are often found by her, usually resulting in a key scene of play.

Head-to-head

The last time these two sides fought it out, Arsenal came away with a 3-0 win. A special game in many senses, as it was the first game fans were allowed back since the pandemic struck. This advantage won’t be available, so will the Gunners still manage to come out on top?

It was an authoritative afternoon for the home side. Fantastic goals from Caitlin Foord and Jill Roord set a great cushion, and a penalty from Kim Little settled it.

They controlled the game in all aspects – possession, passes and shots on goal. The away side were often suffocated by the fast pace of their Dutch goal-machine, Vivianne Miedema has still to score against Carla Ward’s side.

On her growing list of goals, she’ll be looking to add Birmingham after tomorrow’s fixture.

Where to watch

You can watch the match live from St George’s Park on The FA Player – a 2:00pm kick off GMT. If you can’t watch it live, you can follow our live updates on Twitter.

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