Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Women’s Champions League clash between Wolfsburg Women and Arsenal Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
After 90 minutes of action, Wolfsburg Women and Arsenal Women remain on level terms as they both turn their focus towards the second leg of their Women’s Champions League quarter-final encounter, which takes place at the Volkswagen Arena on Thursday.
The hosts are dreaming of lifting the Champions League trophy for the first time since 2014, while the Gunners are hoping this is the season they can win Europe’s elite club competition for just the second time in their history.
Wolfsburg would have been disappointed to return to Germany with a 1-1 draw after they spent the majority of the first leg in front.
The current Champions League top-scorer Tabea Wassmuth put the She-Wolves ahead in the 19th minute, but with the visitors closing in on victory, Lotte Wubben-Moy scored what could prove to be a pivotal goal to level the tie.
Any frustration from conceding that late equaliser dissipated in the first half against Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend, as Tommy Stroot‘s side put four past their opponents in the opening 45 minutes.
Jill Roord scored either side of a Lena Lattwein goal before Pauline Bremer rounded off a clinical first half performance and though Eintracht Frankfurt grabbed a late consolation, Wolfsburg eased to a 4-1 win to retain their place at the top of the Frauen-Bundesliga table.
After scoring 17 goals in their previous four competitive home games, Stroot will hope his side can continue to find the net at will on Thursday, as they look to secure their place in the final four.
Arsenal, meanwhile, would have been buoyed by their late equaliser last week, but they were unable to build upon that result at the weekend after the North London derby was postponed following a COVID-19 outbreak in the Tottenham Hotspur squad.
With the Gunners unable to play, Chelsea took full advantage, beating Leicester City 9-0 to move above Arsenal into top spot of the Women’s Super League.
Although Jonas Eidevall would have been disappointed with the weekend postponement, he would have been pleased with the fact that his side have been able to enjoy an unexpected rest ahead of the second leg in Germany.
The Gunners head to the Volkswagen Arena in a confident mood after avoiding defeat in their last 11 contests in all competitions.
However, having lost 4-1 away to Barcelona and Hoffenheim in the group stage, Arsenal’s away form in this season’s Champions League may offer cause for concern.
Wolfsburg Women Women’s Champions League form:
Wolfsburg Women form (all competitions):
Arsenal Women Women’s Champions League form:
Arsenal Women form (all competitions):
Meanwhile, Alexandra Popp and Wassmuth will both return to the squad after dropping to the bench at the weekend, with Stroot keeping his key players fresh ahead of the second leg.
After making her first Champions League appearance for Arsenal last week, Stina Blackstenius will be hoping to play a match-winning role on Thursday.
Wolfsburg Women possible starting lineup:
Schult; Wilms, Hendrich, Janssen, Rauch; Oberdorf, Lattwein; Popp, Roord, Huth; Wassmuth
Arsenal Women possible starting lineup:
Zinsberger; Maritz, Williamson, Rafaelle, Catley; Walti, Little, Miedema; Heath, McCabe, Blackstenius
We say: Wolfsburg Women 2-1 Arsenal Women
Just like the first leg, we expect Thursday’s contest to be hard fought and remain in the balance for most of the encounter, but with home advantage on their side, we expect the two-time Champions League winners to edge out the Gunners at the Volkswagen Arena.