WSL: Birmingham City aim to cause another upset for Arsenal

Veatriki Sarri of Birmingham City is congratulated by her teammates.
Veatriki Sarri of Birmingham City is congratulated by her teammates after scoring against Arsenal at St Andrew's Trillion Trophy Stadium on 9 January 2022. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Birmingham City are currently bottom of the Women’s Super League table. In January, however, they caused the biggest uproar in the league so far. A 2-0 win over first placed Arsenal saw them pick up a vital three points.

This Sunday, both teams will meet again and Darren Carter’s side is looking for another success against the Gunners.

When speaking to the media on friday, the Birmingham manager addressed the difficult situation of his club. The team is stuck in the relegation zone and with a gap of eight points between them and Leicester City, safety seems far away. However, Carter remains optimistic.

“The belief is still there, obviously, we know we’ve got points to make, or we’ve got some ground to make up,” he said. “But while there’s points on the board and games to be played, we can mathematically do it.”

Team news

The manager confirms that Birmingham are currently plagued by multiple injuries.

“We’ve got a few that I’ve missed and it wasn’t ideal last week”, says Carter. “We lost Emily Ramsey the day before to a bit of a freak accident in trai

“And then we lost obviously Sarah Ewens and Louanne Worsey who had to come off. We may be missing a couple for Sunday.”

FA Cup success as cornerstone?

A 1-0 win against Championship side Durham on Sunday saw Birmingham progress into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. After in-depth reflections on this game, Carter’s squad will take several learnings into their next match.

“We had to be physically ready, which I thought we were for we physically matched them throughout the game”, Carter explained. “It was probably just the possession, stuff that was missing within mislaid surpasses — we were a little bit sloppy, maybe on transition.”

In regard to the effect of the win, the manager added “The players go in there for getting a win. Don’t underestimate getting through to a quarter-final of the FA Cup. That was the reward for them going there and showing some real determination.”

The opponent

When asked what to expect from the Gunners, Carter highlighted their high-scoring offence. As it stands, Arsenal have scored the most goals in the Women’s Super League this season with 38.

“It’s not surprising because of the quality of players they have. And when teams are going through a little bit of a rough patch, you always know that they’re going to come good, because of that quality.”

Carter said that Arsenal will obviously fancy themselves at home and continue their good form. He added that they, however, also need points in order to keep themselves at the top of the table and fight for the title.

“We’re expecting a tough, tough game,” the boss admitted. “They’re going to ask us a lot of questions. And we’ve got to make sure that we’ve got the answers and hopefully pose them a few.”

How to follow

The match between Birmingham and Arsenal kicks off at 12:00 GMT. The UK audience can follow the game live on BBC, while international fans can access it on the FA player.

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