Following London City Lionesses’ league win against Leicester City on Sunday, there is just a short time to prepare for a series of challenging fixtures, including Arsenal this Wednesday.
When questioned on how the team will prepare for this busy period of exciting matches, the Lionesses’ Head Coach Phillips explained “Each game is as important as the last. How we prepare for each game will allow us to be consistent from game to game.”
The two sides also met in last season’s FA Women’s Continental League Cup group stage, where teams from both The Barclay’s FA WSL and The FA Women’s Championships are drawn into groups ahead of the knockout stages. Last time out Arsenal went away with a comfortable 5-0 win.
In Arsenal’s last fixture before the international break, they beat their North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, 6-1. And with no FA WSL matches scheduled this weekend just gone, due to the Vitality FA Women’s FA Cup Final, they will be eager to get playing again.
What challenges will the Lionesses face when playing against Arsenal?
Phillips replied “It’s a good opportunity for us to test ourselves from a competitive standpoint. It’ll be great to play an opponent of such quality and we will have to bring our best game.”
Arsenal have got off to a 100% start in the league winning all 5 of their matches, scoring 29 goals and conceding just 4. With so much fire power many of their FA WSL opponents have suffered big losses (West Ham lost 1-9 for instance) how will the Lionesses look to prevent a similar outcome?
“We’ll prepare ourselves for their attacking threats and their ability to score goals. But, something we speak about a lot in meetings and in training is that we have to be difficult to break down and difficult to play against; and that has to do with how hard we work, our competitive mindset, our response to situations”, responded Phillips.
But it’s not been all wins for Arsenal they lost their first cup group game to Chelsea 4-1. With the possibility of Arsenal resting some key players for the game against the Lionesses, Phillips said “The focus won’t be on as much who they’re going to have out or what it’s going to look like, but how we’re going to counteract some of their attacking movement.”
The Lionesses’ confidence is high after Sunday’s win which saw 19 year old Annie Rossiter make her first start for The Pride this season.
She’s looking forward to the challenge and the excitement of the games coming up against Arsenal and Chelsea saying “They’re big games, with big players. You learn so much from being actually on the pitch with them.”
You can follow the build-up to Wednesday’s game at 19:30pm along with live match updates via the London City Lionesses Twitter feed (@LC_Lionesses).
Written by Will Oxenham Babb