UWCL Preview: Arsenal vs Paris Saint-Germain

Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain go head to head on Saturday night in the UEFA Women’s Champions League with a 7pm BST time kick off time at Real Sociedad’s Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian.

Arsenal last played in the Champions League in 2014 and are the only English team to have won the trophy back in 2007 thanks to an Alex Scott goal against Swedish side Umeå IK over two legs.

Photo: @ArsenalWFC 

On Saturday Arsenal are expected to line up in a 4-3-3 formation with Leah Williamson and Jennifer Beattie as centre-backs. Saturday could see Steph Catley make her debut at left-back after signing earlier this summer from Melbourne City.

At right-back Noelle Maritz a summer signing from Wolfsburg could also be handed her debut or Katie McCabe and Lisa Evans who played in the full-back roles last season could retain their places from the very start.

However McCabe and Evans can also play as wingers as both are very familiar to that role and have played there for most of their careers but have adapted to the full-back role impeccably.

Swiss International Lia Wälti, Jordan Nobbs and captain Kim Little make up the midfield three with Jill Roord who impressed in her debut campaign as another option to bring in.

Malin Gut who is Wälti’s understudy in the Swiss national team was also brought in by Joe Montemurro this summer to add depth in that part of the pitch.

Going forward Caitlin Foord who put pen to paper at the Gunners during the January transfer window could be set to make her Champions League debut, she scored on her Gunners debut against Lewes in the FA Cup on Febuary 23.

Netherlands International Danielle van de Donk could start on the wing she has scored in 3 of the 4 champions league games so far.

Leading the line Vivianne Miedema who is the current top goalscorer in the competition with ten goals will he looking to add to her phenomenal goal tally.

In all competitions the Netherlands record goalscorer at just 24 has hit 29 this season before the coronavirus pandemic ended the Women’s Super League season, she was top of the leagues goalscoring charts racking up 16.

As for Paris Saint-Germain they play in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation, depending on the players that are available.

Kadidiatou Diani would be the French sides key player but she could miss Saturday’s clash due to an injury she sustained against Bordeaux in the Coupe De France semi-final.

In 2019-20 before the season was suspended due to the Coronavirus pandemic Diani had netted 12 goals in 16 appearances for the French side she also has netted two champions league goals.

The 25-year-old forward has scored 10 goals in 56 caps for the French national team.

She has also been a member of two World Cup squads as well as France’s squad for the 2016 Olympics and 2017 Euros.

Ramona Bachmann recently signed from Chelsea could make her debut this weekend for the club, she scored a double against the Gunners in the 2018 FA Women’s Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

Last time out PSG lost the Coupe De France final against Lyon losing 4-3 on penalties following a 0-0 draw.

PSG have never won the Champions League but have been in two finals, losing 2-1 against Frankfurt in 2015 and on penalties against Lyon in 2017.

Arsenal have beaten Fiorentina and Slavia Prague on the way to the last eight as for PSG they have saw off the challenge from Portuguese side SC Braga and Icelandic outfit Breidablik UBK.

Swiss referee Esther Staubli will take control of the contest she took charge of he 2015 UEFA Women’s Champions League Final so is regarded as one the most high profile referees in the Women’s game.

The winner will play the winners of Lyon and Bayern Munich in the semi-final on Wednesday.

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