Arsenal vs Wolfsburg Women's Champions League preview: Where to watch, starting line-ups
Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Wolfsburg travel to the Arsenal Stadium for the first leg of their quarter-final on Wednesday.
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Arsenal welcome Wolfsburg to their men's stadium for the first leg of their UEFA Women's Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday, with the visitors cherishing some happy memories of past trips to London.
Wolfsburg reached their record tenth straight quarter-final with a 4-0 defeat of Chelsea in December, having started their campaign in the south of the English capital with what proved a useful 3-3 draw. They also won the first of their two titles in 2013 at Stamford Bridge, having prevailed 2-0 at Arsenal in the semis as part of a 4-1 aggregate victory in these clubs' only previous European meetings. The German side also go into this game on a strong run of form in 2022 and boast two former Arsenal favourites in Jill Roord and Dominique Janssen. Captain Alex Popp is available following her return from a long-term knee injury.
Arsenal, themselves setting a quarter-final record with their 14th appearance at this stage, will hope for better fortunes than in their previous European game at the Arsenal Stadium, a 4-0 loss to Barcelona in the group stage. With former Wolfsburg stalwart Noëlle Maritz in defence, however, the Gunners have looked strong of late in domestic action, helped as well by two key new signings: defender Rafaelle Souza (who is a fitness doubt) and striker Stina Blackstenius, who has formed an excellent understanding with Vivianne Miedema. Leah Williamson's return from an autumn injury is a massive boost too.
Last six games (most recent result first): WWWWWD
Last match: Arsenal 4-0 Coventry United, 18/03 (FA Women's Cup quarter-finals)
Where they stand: 1st in FA Women's Super League, FA Women's Cup semi-finals
Last six games: WWWWWW
Last match: Wolfsburg 3-0 Hoffenheim, 19/03
Where they stand: 1st in Frauen Bundesliga, German Cup semi-finals
In: Stina Blackstenis, Rafaelle Souza, Laura Wienroither
Out: Teyah Goldie, Alex Hennessy, Halle Houssein, Anna Patten, Viki Schnaderbeck
In: Sveindís Jane Jónsdóttir
Out: Sara Doorsoun-Khajeh, Sofie Svava
Arsenal: Zinsberger; Wubben-Moy, Williamson, Catley; Maritz, Little, Wälti, Miedema, McCabe; Blackstenius, Mead
Wolfsburg: Schult; Wedemeyer, Hendrich, Janssen, Rauch; Oberdorf, Popp; Wassmuth, Lattwein, Huth; Roord
View from the camps
Jonas Eidevall, Arsenal manager: “Wolfsburg are a top team, of course, btu we play top teams in the league as well, Chelsea and Manchester City are top European teams. When we played Barcelona, they were an anomaly, an outlier. So we know it’s going to be an even game against Wolfsburg – a top team, and the best team will win over two legs. They play differently to the way the teams we usually play do, a different style of us to handle. They are very good on the counterattack and we haven’t played a team this season as good on counterattacks. But our style of football, I don’t think Wolfsburg have been exposed to that either. So that excites me."
Kim Little, Arsenal captain: "We are in a good place with our performances and results in the past few months. But the Champions League is a very different competition and we need to be aware of that. Our Champions League performances at the end of last year weren’t good enough and we need to be mindful of that and the different sort of game that the Wolfsburg game will be. We have to be mindful of upping our performance. We are very aware of their physicality and their ability to play in a high line in the top games."
Tommy Stroot, Wolfsburg coach: "We played Chelsea and we saw how high the level was. It’s all about individual quality in pretty much every position and they got some new players in the winter break. We have to be very careful. These are the moments why we do all this: great teams, great atmosphere. Sometimes while you are doing everything you don't notice it but you do afterwards, definitely."
Jill Roord, Wolfsburg midfielder: "It’s a special game, and extra special for myself, but I am trying not to overthink it, just enjoy it. It’s a dream come true for myself [to play at Arsenal Stadium]. There are two top teams involved. Arsenal have great individual qualify but I trust in my own team and if we perform like against Chelsea I am confident for tomorrow.”
Where to watch
Every game in this season's new-look UEFA Women's Champions League from the group stage onwards is broadcast live in most territories on streaming platform DAZN, together with YouTube. The YouTube stream will also be embedded in the UEFA.com MatchCentre and on UEFA.tv for all UEFA Women's Champions League games, with highlights to follow at midnight CET.