The brand new WSL marketing campaign is simply days away however for Arsenal and Manchester City the main focus is elsewhere. First, the pair play first-leg ties within the ultimate Girls’s Champions League qualifying spherical with a spot within the new group stage at stake.
Metropolis are in Spain, the place they face a Actual Madrid crew making their debut within the girls’s competitors. Arsenal meet Slavia Prague at residence. Glasgow Metropolis are additionally concerned, taking part in Servette in Switzerland tomorrow night.
The revamped competitors has been expanded and upgraded. There may be even a newly commissioned bespoke anthem, mirroring the Handel adaptation by Tony Britten which is the calling card of the boys’s competitors.
Extra pertinently for homeowners, there may be additionally a brand new centralised TV deal (with streaming platform DAZN), extra entries from the larger leagues, and extra assured matches – in the event that they qualify.
Chelsea, final season’s runners-up, obtain direct entry as WSL winners, together with holders Barcelona, and the champions of France and Germany – Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich. Co-incidentally this was final seasons’ ultimate 4. The opposite dozen groups within the group stage should to qualify.
Arsenal, having completed third in WSL, have already been by way of one spherical of qualifying, despatching Okzhetpes, of Kazakhstan, 4-0, and PSV Eindhoven 3-1, in a mini-tournament in Moscow. Throughout this section Celtic, Swansea Metropolis, Glentoran and Dublin’s Peamount United – had been knocked out.
Now they face Czech runners-up Slavia, grateful to have prevented Lyon, champions for the earlier 5 seasons previous to dethronement final spring – it was a four-to-one likelihood within the draw. Arsenal defeated Slavia 13-2 on combination two seasons in the past and can count on to progress.
Whereas having to compete in Europe earlier than the season begins is commonly a nuisance, it has given new coach Jonas Eidevall the chance to see his gamers in a aggressive atmosphere earlier than WSL begins. Since Arsenal begin in opposition to Chelsea on the Emirates on Sunday that’s invaluable.
Learn how to watch the UWCL
- Arsenal vs Slavia Prague – Tuesday 31 August, 7.30pm
- Actual Madrid vs Manchester Metropolis – Tuesday 31 August, 8pm
The 38-year-old Swede arrived from Rosengard the place he gained three titles both aspect of a spell working alongside Henrik Larsson at males’s membership Helsingborgs. He additionally led Rosengard to the quarter-finals of final season’s Champions League and has recognized the competitors as one Arsenal needs to be aiming to win.
“To see if we will win the Champions League is likely one of the causes I got here to Arsenal,” he mentioned. “We now have an opportunity in opposition to any crew on the planet and are going to do our greatest to seize that likelihood.”
In midfield he’s with out Danielle van der Donk, now at Lyon, and the injured Jordan Nobbs, however Mana Iwabuchi, recruited from Aston Villa, has settled shortly. The Japanese already seems to be to be constructing a fruitful partnership with Kim Little and Vivianne Miedema – whose retention was as invaluable as any switch coup. Arsenal additionally introduced Nikita Parris again to the WSL from Lyon.
Metropolis, in contrast to Arsenal, had been seeded, however have the harder draw. Actual are in solely their second season underneath the Merengues banner however are intent on making swift progress. A distant second to Barcelona final season they’ve since signed the prolific Esther Gonzalez from Levante.
Nevertheless, influential Swedish midfielder Kosovare Asllani, as soon as of Metropolis, is unavailable having contracted Covid-19. Metropolis ought to keep away from going out to Spanish opposition for the fourth season in succession though Lucy Bronze, Ellen White and Chloe Kelly are all absent.
With their US internationals Rose Lavelle, Sam Mewis and Abby Dahlkemper having all returned to the States Metropolis have been busy recruiting. The web has been forged broad with internationals from Spain (Vicky Losada, from Barcelona), Jamaica (Khadija ‘Bunny’ Shaw, from Bordeaux) and Australia (Hayley Raso, from Everton and Alanna Kennedy from Tottenham).
Elsewhere former Arsenal coach Joe Montemurro, who started his profession as a participant with Australian membership Brunswick Juventus, can be aiming to steer Juventus of Turin into the group levels for the primary time. They face Albania’s Vilaznia of their first leg tomorrow.