WSL: Man City to face Arsenal as they look to close the gap on top three

Manchester City teammates celebrate a goal with hugs.
Manchester City teammates celebrate during the FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup Quarter Final match against Bristol City on 19 January 2022. (Photo by Charlotte Tattersall/Getty Images)

The Academy Stadium will play host as Manchester City welcome Arsenal on Sunday evening. 

This fixture is a must-win game for the home side if they are to stand any chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season. 

Their opponents currently sit in pole position heading into this match but a win for Gareth Taylor’s side can put them within three points of the top spot. 

Manchester City

The Sky Blues have made an impressively strong start to the year in comparison to the beginning of the season. They have won their last four fixtures in all competitions and have scored a total of 17 goals along the way.

City have enjoyed back-to-back away wins against Brighton and Aston Villa respectively. 

In early January, they travelled down to the Pirelli Stadium to play a re-arranged fixture against Leicester in the Continental Cup. A 17-year-old Khiara Keating deputised between the sticks and by keeping a clean sheet, she helped her team progress into the knockout stages of the competition. 


Jonas Eidvall’s side have had a mixed bag approach to the second half of the season. Their league dominance came to an end when they suffered a surprise 2-0 loss to Birmingham City. Since then, the Gunners have experienced a couple of postponements to their fixtures for various reasons. 

However, Arsenal remain the only English side left in the Champions League after securing a place in the quarter-final. The two-legged tie against Wolfsburg will take place in late March. 

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Last time out

Both teams were in action midweek as they vied to claim a spot in the Conti Cup semi-finals. Manchester City were at home to Championship side Bristol City. Elsewhere, Arsenal welcomed the red side of Manchester to Borehamwood. 

Four-time winners City progressed through to the next round after a Bunny Shaw brace and a Vicky Losada goal cancelled out the early scare from Bristol. Alex Greenwood handed the visitors the lead after 16 minutes on the clock when she deflected a cross into her own net.

Alessia Russo of Manchester United celebrates with teammates.
Alessia Russo of Manchester United celebrates victory with teammates after the FA Women’s Continental Tyres League Cup Quarter Final match against Arsenal. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Arsenal were knocked out of the competition on Wednesday evening after Alessia Russo headed home from a Katie Zelem free-kick to secure the victory for Man United.

Form guide

Manchester City (all competitions) 

Last 5 — WWWWW 

Goals scored: 18

Goals conceded: 14

Clean sheets: 3 

Arsenal (all competitions) 

Last 5 — LLLWL

Goals scored: 5 

Goals conceded: 10

Clean sheets: 1 

Previous encounters

The last league meeting between these two sides came back in September 2020. Arsenal were completely dominant at Meadow Park and won the game 5-0.

However the last time Manchester City were the home side, Caroline Weir’s stoppage time strike secured a 2-1 victory for Gareth Taylor in December 2020. 

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Predicted XIs

Manchester City

Taieb; Bronze, Houghton, Greenwood, Stokes; Losada, Weir, Stanway; Hemp, Shaw, Beckie. 


Zinsberger; Martiz, Williamson, Beattie, McCabe; Little, Nobbs, Walti; Blackstenius, Mead, Miedema 

Team news

Manchester City

Taylor shared in his latest press conference that he has no fresh injury concerns ahead of Arsenal. 

He did reveal that goalkeeper Karima Taieb could potentially return to the starting lineup after missing the past three games through injury. 

There was an update provided on felllow goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck, in which Taylor shared she has had a couple more training sessions but the weekend will come to soon for her to feature. 

Esme Morgan, Chloe Kelly, and Karen Bardsley all remain sidelined. 

Alanna Kennedy and Hayley Raso are unavailable due to their representation of Australia in the Asia Cup tournament. 

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Jonas Eidevall will be boosted by the returns of centre-back Leah Williamson and attacking threat Tobin Heath. Both came on against Manchester United on Wednesday evening as second half substitutes after recovering from injuries. 

New signings Stina Blackstenius and Laura Wienroither could be in contention to make their Women’s Super League debuts.

However, the visitors will be without Australian trio Lydia Williams, Steph Catley, and Caitlin Foord, as well as Mana Iwabuchi, who are all participating in the Asia Cup.

Player to watch

Georgia Stanway (Manchester City)

Footballer Georgia Stanway of Manchester City takes a shot.
Georgia Stanway of Manchester City takes a shot during the FAWSL match against Birmingham City on 12 December 2021. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Georgia Stanway has scored five goals across all competitions in her last six appearances for the club. The England midfielder also won the Barclays FA WSL Goal of the Month award after her emphatic strike against Birmingham City.

She could become only the third player to score in five consecutive WSL appearances after Toni Duggan (2015) and current Arsenal star Nikita Parris (2018). 

Arsenal stats

  • Beth Mead has created the most chances for her teammates in the WSL this season (28) 
  • She has recorded (34) assists in the WSL and is only one behind the all-time record set by Karen Carney (35)
  • Kim Little has been directly involved in four goals (two goals and two assists) in her last five WSL games against Manchester City
  • The former Scotland international is set to make her 250th appearance for the club, if she features for Arsenal against Manchester City. She is the only player out of the current squad to reach that mile stone

Where to watch

The match is available to watch via Sky Sports Football/Showcase & Ultra HD for UK viewers. Coverage will begin at 18:00 GMT. with kick-off scheduled for 18:45 GMT.

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