Preview: In-form Manchester City vie to punish Arsenal on the road

Copyright: Nick Potts

Arsenal are set to host fellow title contenders Manchester City at Meadow Park on Sunday at 2.30pm.

Arsenal are currently four points below their opponents with a game in-hand and two games in-hand on second place opponents Manchester United. 

They have the league’s all-time top scorer in their ranks, along with this season’s most creative player in terms of assists. Vivianne Miedema with 12 goals and Katie McCabe with seven assists respectively. 


The Gunners have had recent postponements in the Women’s Super League meaning they haven’t played a match since their 1-1 draw away at Reading on January 17.

“It’s exciting for the league that these head-to-head games are season-defining. I think it’s fantastic,” Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro said.

READ: Chelsea ready up to host Brighton in WSL

“We can’t do anything about it [recent postponements]. We just have to make sure we are ready. We’ve been trying to stimulate [game situations] in training as preparation.”

The opposition

Manchester City have made an impressive start to 2021 and remain unbeaten in the WSL across January. City will be looking to extend their lead and hope to close the gap on league leaders Chelsea.

Captain Steph Houghton recently made history in the Women’s Super League as she became the first player to make 150 appearances in the competition.

“We just have to win the game,” Gareth Taylor stated. “Staying in the game early on is important. This team has showed real resilience and managing the game in the early parts will be important.”

Form guide

Arsenal: DWLWD

Goals scored: 11

Goals conceded: 3

Manchester City: WWWWW

Goals scored: 23

Goals conceded: 2

Previous meetings

These two sides have met on four occasions over the past year. Twice in the league back in February and December last year in which Manchester City won both encounters with a score of 2-1. 

Sam Mewis celebrates scoring her team's second goal.
Sam Mewis celebrates scoring her team’s second goal against Arsenal during the Vitality FA Women’s Cup semi final match at the Academy Stadium, Manchester. (Photo by Martin Rickett)

They also met in November in the semi-finals of the FA Cup in which Manchester City progressed through to the final after scoring twice in the first half.

Arsenal’s only recent victory over Manchester City was the 2-1 win back in January to knock them out of the semi-finals of the Continental Cup.  

Ones to watch


Malin Gut in action for Arsenal | (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Malin Gut has cemented her place in the team after featuring seven times this season after signing for Arsenal back in July. 

Her fellow teammates have praised the young midfielder, including her captain Kim Little. The Scot said: “Her play is very selfless but technically good and has a really good eye for forward passes.”

Gut has recorded a pass completion of 85% this season which will be key when providing accurate balls for Arsenal’s forward players.

She also has the second highest percentage of aerial duels won with 69% which will help her team when challenging for the ball on set pieces. (Stats via FBref)

Manchester City

Manchester City's Chloe Kelly dribbles with the ball.
Manchester City’s Chloe Kelly during the FA Women’s Super League match at Leigh Sports Village. (Photo by Martin Rickett)

Kelly has really settled well into her new club and has featured regularly under Gareth Taylor. Since making the switch from Everton during the summer.

The 23 year old, has featured in all 12 games this season providing her team with 6 assists and has found the net on six occasions.   

Chloe can supply her team with an attacking threat as she can use her pace to beat defenders, and create opportunities for herself and team-mates. 

Team news

Arsenal boss Montemurro has confirmed he will be without defenders Catley and Schanderbeck at the weekend who are ruled out through injury.

Manchester City will be boosted by the return of Beckie, Morgan and Park who didn’t feature against West Ham United.

However the game could be potentially to soon for Mewis and Stokes who are coming back from injuries.

Gemma Bonner and Megan Campbell remain sidelined.

Where to watch:

Arsenal v Manchester City kicks off at 2.30pm and will be broadcasted via BT Sport.  You can also buy the match program from the Arsenal FC store.

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