Two of the big four lock horns at an expectant Emirates Stadium this Saturday for a mouthwatering meeting in the Women's Super League. 

Both sides have already lost three league games this term, meaning their title hopes lay very thin with a win for either side essential to keeping their faint hopes alive. 

Man United had to rely on veteran Rachel Williams off the bench in the FA Cup against Southampton, with the striker netting a headed double off the bench following Lexi Lloyd Smith cancelling out Ella Toone's early opener. 

Arsenal were dumped out the competition by United's cross town rivals, Man City thanks in part to a Laia Alexandri goal, but largely due to goal keeping heroics by Khiara Keating who pulled out three wonder saves in added time to preserve City's progress to the Quarter finals.

  • Team News: 

Arsenal:

The Gunners are one of the sides hampered by players in International action at the Gold Cup, with Emily Fox joining up with the USWNT for the tournament in her homeland.

Centre half, Amanda Illestedt and forward, Vivianne Miedema both missed the cup rout over London City Lionesses, the former with illness and the latter with a slight knee irritation, which remains to be seen on both parts whether they will beat the fitness race to be back for Saturday. 

Laura Weinrother continues to step up her rehabilitation and recovery to return from an ACL injury, having returned to very light training. 

Manchester United:

Like their opponents, Man United have long term injuries and will have Gold Cup absentee's, however, unlike the Gunners, their respective player will be available for the clash at Emirates Stadium.

The player in question is Brazilian, Geyse. She will be available for the clash against the Gunners which is something Jonas Eidevall will need to think about.

Aside from the long term injuries, Marc Skinner revealed that the only other absentee from the matchday squad is Jayde Riviere, who took a knock last weekend and will be unavailable to feature for United. 

  • Predicted line-ups:

Arsenal

Zinsberger (GK), McCabe, Williamson, Wubben-Moy, Catley, Walti, Pelova, Mead, Lacasse, Ford, Russo. (4-3-2-1).

Manchester United

Earps (GK), Blundell, Le Tissier, Turner, Evans, Zelem, Ladd, Geyse, Toone, Galton, Parris. (4-2-3-1).

Key Players:

Arsenal - Victoria Pelova

Victoria Pelova is coming up to a year with Arsenal, having joined in the Summer of 2023 from Ajax. 

The loveable, 24 year old Dutch International has been an ever present cog in the Arsenal team this term. Constantly churning out seven or eight out of ten performances in each of her appearances this term, 

In a brilliant interview with The Athletic, Pelova confessed that she had a soft spot for The Gunners for going on eleven years before she shined, making her place in N5 feel right, feel like home. 

Having formed a formidable league partnership this season with Swiss national, Lia Walti, seven goal contributions (six assists and a goal) in nineteen games is no mean feat, especially for somebody who sits in the pivot and dictates.

Now Kim Little has returned from injury, Pelova can now add to her armoury the ability to learn even further from one of the game's, and Arsenals greatest which will only allow her to flourish even further under Jonas Eidevall. 

Manchester United - Nikita Parris

The conversation could easily be framed around how Nikita Parris, the 28 year old in the form of her life this term, has missed out on the latest Lionesses squad for the upcoming friendlies. 

18 games, 15 goals. Fantastic stats, no two ways about it. The former Lyon winger has finally seemed to have found her home and a system she thrives in.

Averaging 1.2 shots on target per ninety minutes with a goal every 86 minutes, she has four in her last two league games, braces against Aston Villa and Brighton, with ultimatley led to United picking up six from six points available, and cutting the gap to Arsenal to just four.

Parris will be key in the potential cutting of the gap to just one, with her pace a skill Marc Skinner should put to good use, especially on the counter, as we've seen Spurs, Chelsea and Aston Villa, the latter two at the Emirates have joy with against Eidevall's side. 

  • Match details:

Where is the game being played:

Arsenal host Manchester United at a sold out Emirates Stadium on Saturday 17th February 2024. 

What time is kick off:

The game will get underway at 12:30pm

How can I watch?

For UK Viewers, this game will be available to watch on Sky Sports Premier League.