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Jan 27, 2022 at 7.30pm UK
Arsenal WomenArsenal Women
Brighton WomenBrighton & Hove Albion Women
Miedema (55'), Mead (60')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Koivisto (15')
Brazil (24'), Le Tissier (54'), Williams (60')

Preview: Arsenal Women vs. Brighton & Hove Albion Women - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Arsenal Women vs. Brighton & Hove Albion Women - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Women's Super League clash between Arsenal Women and Brighton & Hove Albion Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Both Arsenal Women and Brighton & Hove Albion Women are aiming to break their poor run of form with victory on Thursday, when the two sides meet in the Women's Super League at Borehamwood.

The Gunners have held onto their top spot all season but need to be wary of Manchester United and Chelsea, who are both within touching distance of the league leaders, while the Seagulls' dip in form has seen them drop to eighth place.

Match preview

Jonas Eidevall's side ensured that they did not endure two WSL defeats in a row with a 1-1 draw last time out against Manchester City, relying on a late equaliser from substitute Tobin Heath.

Arsenal were left frustrated by the manner in which Man City's opening goal came about in that game, after the ball had hit the referee in the build-up, but a spirited comeback is something the Gunners will look to take into Thursday's fixture.

This week's hosts have won five out of five matches at Meadow Park in the league, but they will want to bounce back in front of their own crowd after last time out on their own patch they were knocked out of the League Cup by Manchester United.

That draw on Sunday against the Citizens ended Arsenal's three-game losing streak across all competitions, but it also meant that they have only won once in their last seven matches, since losing the FA Cup final at the beginning of December.

Eidevall is sure to need to help his side regain their title-winning form that they began this season with, as Manchester United and Chelsea are uncomfortably close, from Arsenal's point of view, to catching them up.

Hope Powell's side also earned a single point on the weekend, holding Arsenal's rivals Chelsea to a goalless draw at the People's Pension Stadium, ending their run of six straight defeats in all competitions.

Goalkeeper Megan Walsh had to be in her best form as the Blues bombarded her goal with shots, but the Seagulls did have the opportunity to go up the other end of the pitch and create chances of their own, meaning that they could be slightly disappointed that they did not come away with more than a point.

That will give them much-needed confidence heading into this week's match against the league leaders, knowing that they can take points from the division's heavy hitters.

Brighton have scored two more goals in their five away matches this season than they have done so in seven games on home soil, suggesting that they could cause Arsenal's defence some problems.

This will be the first meeting between these two sides in the WSL this season, but they did face each other in the FA Cup semi-final in October, when the Gunners came out on top with a 3-0 win thanks to goals from Kim Little, Beth Mead and Leah Williamson.

Arsenal Women Women's Super League form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D

Arsenal Women form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Brighton & Hove Albion Women Women's Super League form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Brighton & Hove Albion Women form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Team News

Arsenal centre-back Williamson made her return from injury against Manchester United last week, but she was forced off at half-time on Sunday against Man City; although, that was believed to be more of a precaution than a serious concern.

New signing Rafaelle could start in place of Williamson, alongside Lotte Wubben-Moy, who also came into the side on the weekend, replacing Jennifer Beattie in the heart of defence.

Heath has only managed four WSL appearances for the Gunners since arriving in September, mainly due to injury, but she is now returning to full fitness and could be ready to start on Thursday, potentially coming into the lineup for Nikita Parris.

Powell could name the same starting 11 that earned a point against Chelsea, meaning that the away side will operate in a 3-4-3 formation which could switch to a 5-4-1 system when Arsenal are attacking.

Danielle Carter will continue to lead the line for Brighton, and she will be supported by Inessa Kaagman and Kayleigh Green in the final third, while Emma Kullberg, Victoria Williams and Danique Kerkdijk make up the back three.

Arsenal Women possible starting lineup:
Zinsberger; McCabe, Wubben-Moy, Rafaelle, Maritz; Little, Nobbs, Maanum; Mead, Miedema, Heath

Brighton & Hove Albion Women possible starting lineup:
Walsh; Kullberg, Williams, Kerkdijk; Le Tissier, Whelan, Connolly, Koivisto; Green, Carter, Kaagman

We say: Arsenal Women 2-1 Brighton & Hove Albion Women

Brighton are expected to be able to put Arsenal under a bit of pressure, especially with the Gunners' defence showing some vulnerabilities in recent weeks.

However, Eidevall's side showed great character to earn a point against Man City on Sunday and that should give them enough of a boost to secure three points on Thursday.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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