Arsenal Women’s team gears up for a challenging Champions League semi-final encounter against Wolfsburg on Sunday, April 22, at VfL Wolfsburg Arena in Germany. The injury-hit Gunners face an uphill battle, with key players sidelined due to various injuries.
Manager Jonas Eidevall is aware of the challenges, acknowledging the absence of defender Leah Williamson, who recently sustained an ACL injury. Williamson’s teammates, Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead, were ruled out earlier in the season with the same injury. Eidevall admits that Williamson’s absence is a significant blow, but stresses the importance of looking forward as a club.
The injury list doesn’t end there for Arsenal. Captain Kim Little is out for the rest of the season with a hamstring problem, while Caitlin Foord and Lina Hurtig will also miss the first leg. However, Katie McCabe will be available after serving a suspension during the Manchester United defeat.
Despite the setbacks, Arsenal remains in contention for a Treble, illustrating the quality and depth of their squad. Eidevall urges his team to focus on delivering a strong performance in Germany before returning to London for the second leg at the Emirates Stadium on May 1.
Wolfsburg boasts an impressive European pedigree, having reached at least the quarter-finals every year since 2013 and winning the competition in 2013 and 2014. Arsenal knows the threat posed by Tommy Stroot’s side, having been eliminated by the German team in last year’s quarter-finals.
The Wolfsburg attack is formidable, featuring players like Lena Oberdorf, Jill Roord, and Ewa Pajor. However, they will be without captain and star striker Alexandra Popp due to injury. Arsenal midfielder Jen Beattie, who played in the 2013 semi-final against Wolfsburg, expressed her excitement at still being a part of the Champions League journey.
Wolfsburg comes off the back of a DFB Pokal semi-final 5-0 victory over Bayern Munich and a quarter-final win against Paris St-Germain in the Champions League. Arsenal will need to dig deep and rely on standout players like Katie McCabe and Stina Blackstenius to overcome the odds and secure a favorable result in Germany.
The first leg of the UEFA Women’s Champions League semi-final between VfL Wolfsburg and Arsenal will kick off at 14:30 BST on April 22, with live text coverage available on the BBC Sport website.