Arsenal v Okzhetpes Champions League match preview

Arsenal players watch on during the penalty shoot out during the Continental Cup match at Meadow Par

Arsenal players watch on during the penalty shoot out during the Continental Cup match at Meadow Park, London. - Credit: PA

Arsenal start their Champions League campaign against Kazakhstan based side Okzhetpes tomorrow (11am kick-off).

It's the first competitive game of the Jonas Eidevall era in Moscow with the winners set to face PSV Eindhoven or the hosts Lokomotiv Moscow in the second round of the mini tournament.  

Jordan Nobbs and Viktoria Schnaderbeck have travelled to Russia with the team but won't feature due to injury.

Nobbs suffered an ankle injury in the opening pre-season win against Chelsea while Schnaderbeck continues work on an injury from last season.  

Eidevall has described the injury as a "sprain" but didn't give a timescale of when she would be returning however did add she was doing well.  

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Malin Gut will also miss the match due to a long-term injury she sustained near the end of last season.  

Leah Williamson, Lotte Wubben-Moy, Nikita Parris, Kim Little, Steph Catley, Caitlin Foord, Lydia Williams, Vivianne Miedema and Mana Iwabuchi were all at the Olympics so their time will likely be managed.  

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Williamson is out of the game due to family issues and hasn't travelled to Russia with the rest of the squad.  

Frida Maanum is expected to make her competitive debut for the Gunners especially after impressing over pre-season in the games against Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.  

The Norwegian is expected to start alongside Little with Wälti out of the game with a minor knock but may be fit for the game on Saturday should Arsenal qualify.

Anna Patten impressed at Spurs in the final pre-season game so should well be deployed in that area once more to replace the Swiss international.  

Fellow summer signing Simone Boye Sorensen could also start and make her competitive debut at centre-back alongside Wubben-Moy.  

Sorensen also had an impressive pre-season as she is a leader at the back and will be a crucial squad member for the Gunners this season and she can also play in midfield if that is needed.  

Manuela Zinsberger could keep her place in goal with Williams not having many training sessions under Eidevall since returning from the Olympic games and Zinsberger has also played the two pre-season matches.  

Okzhetpes won't be well known to fans in the UK but they do have a few well known internationals including Natalia Morozova and midfielder Marina Federova.  

Arsenal will play with a high tempo and press as has been deployed in pre-season so that style is what is expected on Wednesday and with the quality that the Gunners have should really be too much for the side from Kazakhstan.  

Arsenal were last in Champions League action in August 2020 when they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain but there is a real optimism with the Arsenal faithful that this will be a successful season.  

This is the first time in history that the two sides will meet and will commence the start of a huge season for Arsenal Women.  


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