The game will be played Sunday at the Keepmoat Stadium at 3pm Live on BBC for those who won’t make the trip. Arsenal Ladies v Bristol Academy. It will be a repeat of the 2011 final that saw the Vixens qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history. Things have changed a lot since 2011 with many new players at Bristol and a new coach at Arsenal.
So what can we expect from both side ? Bristol will be hoping for a return to full fitness for Laura Del Rio who should partner her fellow Spanish forward Natalia Sanchon. On the wing Natasha Harding and Nikki Watts or Annie Heatherson. 2 central midfield players Lucy Staniforth and Alex Windell although Angharad James might be in contention. In defence, it should be the usual back 4 Dykes, Rose, Matthews and Yorston with Siobhan Chamberlain in goal.
Bristol is an attacking side with the Spanish duo up front who combine well together supplemented by a fast right winger Harding. Staniforth in midfield is good on the ball and controls play. Yorston bring also a lot of the attacking play from her left back position. They should score a couple of goals but might concede more…
Arsenal has been using the same starting 11 for a while now. News of Fahey ACL injury has filtered through although no there was no official announcement unlike Chelsea and Birmingham for Rafferty and Unitt.
Yankey was back as a sub and should be in contention for a start besides this it should be the same 10 other players really.
Byrne, Scott Grant Flaherty Beattie, Houghton Nobbs Little, Davison White Yankey. Personally I would prefer Steph at left back, Jayne in midfield to add some missing leadership on the pitch and Jenny up front either at the start or as a sub as she has a different profile. The usual Arsenal subs should be there and maybe Kelly Smith if her injury has healed, otherwise it will be Spencer, Tracy, Bailey, Ludlow,Bragg, Bruton as usual and little prospects of coming on as per recent games.
So it will be a very good battle in midfield and those attacks v defense should be super entertaining.
My prediction Arsenal 3 Bristol 2