2 min Campbell looks to go near post, but ends up driving it into the side-netting, raising an arm in apology. But Liverpool have started well.
2 min Lawley moves down the left and slings over a decent cross; Wubben-Moy gets a good flick on it, taking it away from Stengel, but Liverpool parlay the situation into a corner.
1 min The ref is Anthony Backhouse, or Anthony Shed as some call him.
1 min The players take the knee, and off we go! For those watching in black and white, Liverpool are in red and Arsenal in baby pink.
The players are out and so is the sun.
I don’t totally get that, I must say. I understand that’s Liverpool’s system, but to me that’s allowing Arsenal to dominate in midfield with the extra player, and also overload out wide – think Chelsea v Man United yesterday, until Graham Potter brought on Kovacic for Cucurella.
BBC reckon Liverpool are playing 3-4-3, with Fahey, Flaherty and Campbell at the back and Koivisto, Hinds, Holland and Matthews in midfield.
Beard says his side have been strong at home and are looking forward to the game because they enjoy playing the top teams. Eidevall, meanwhile, says it’s been a tight turnaround, but the team have plenty of self-confidence; on Miedema, he tells us that the performance in Lyon was the best under him, so Maanum deserves to keep her place.
It’s less minging in Liverpool than in London, where it’s been hosing it down all morning. I daresay Arsenal will be happier about that than their hosts.
Back to Charles Antaki’s point about Miedema, I thought she might come back in up front, with Maanum staying in and perhaps Blackstenius dropping out. But you can’t argue with a 5-1 win in Lyon – I hope the team celebrated by getting involved in the local cuisine.
I guess Liverpool will look to defend deep and stay narrow in midfield, forcing Arsenal to go around the sides. That’ll mean work for Wienroither and McCabe, who’ll need to supply the width while Mead and Foord head towards goal, while their midfield three keep the ball moving to try and pick holes in the Liverpool back four.
So how do you stop Arsenal? Also, what’s 22 divided by seven?
Email! “Well, it worked last time,” says Charles Antaki. “Miedema on the bench and the team beating the European champions 5-1. There’s a joke to be had, I guess, about her liking the deep-lying role and now getting her wish, lying so deep she’s off the pitch; but one can understand her bemusement at Maanum getting an outing against a team who really shouldn’t need her pile-driver style. And if the team win again, Miedema will be asking herself, then what?”
Yes, I’m sure her conversation with Eidevall was an interesting one. No doubt she’ll be back in at some point, but it seems unlikely she’ll be happy being left in reserve for the biggest games.
As for Liverpool, I think they’ll play 4-3-3 today, as opposed to the 3-4-3 they tried in narrow defeat at Spurs last time out. To effect that, Matt Beard makes two changes in personnel: Kearns and Furness drop out, with Campbell and Holland coming in.
OK, I was wrong: Miedema remains on the bench, which for a killer of her calibre must sting hard. But when you do what Arsenal did in midweek, it makes a fair amount of sense to change nowt, which is exactly what Eidevall has done – or hasn’t done.
Arsenal (a non-negotiable 4-3-3): Zinsberger; Wienroither, Wubben-Moy, Catley, McCabe; Little, Maanum, Walti; Mead, Blackstenius, Foord. Subs: Marckese, Williams, Beattie, Maritz, Reid, Nobbs, Miedema, Iwabuchi, Agyemang.
Liverpool (what looks like a 4-3-3): Laws; Koivisto, Flaherty, Fahey, Matthews; Campbell, Hinds, Holland; Lawley, Stengel, Daniels. Subs: Cumings, Kirby, Robe, Roberts, Kearns, Wardlaw, Furness, Humphrey, Silcock.
Morning all, and, well, good luck Liverpool. No, this isn’t your implacably neutral MBM expressing partiality, rather the milk of human kindness, because Arsenal are on one. So far this season, they’ve won three out of three in the league, scoring nine and conceding none then, in midweek, they went to Lyon and devastated the champions of Europe by an obscene margin of 5-1.
And it’s not just the players who are feeling themselves, though they are. In midweek, Jonas Eidevall left out the great Vivianne Miedema – who on earth does that? – for Frida Maanum, and was rewarded with exactly the kind of driving performance he anticipated. So today, Miedema will presumably return absolutely rabid to ensure her manager never dares do that again. Yeah, good luck Liverpool.
But Liverpool have game of their own. On the opening weekend of the season, they inflicted a major shock upon Chelsea, coming from behind to defeat the champions of England, and though they’ve lost twice since, they’ll want to get in amongst it and make the game as nasty as possible. So stick with me, because this should be a lot of fun.
Kick-off: 12pm BST