On Sunday, 22 April, Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall and his team will face VfL Wolfsburg in the Champions League semi-final at the VfL Wolfsburg Arena in Germany. The kick-off is set for 14:30 BST and there will be live text coverage on the BBC Sport website. Eidevall has acknowledged that the team will miss injured defender Leah Williamson, who joins Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead in missing out due to the same injury. He has said that “of course” they will miss her, but that it is important to look forward as a club.
Arsenal have had a difficult season with injuries, with captain Kim Little out for the rest of the season with a hamstring problem, Caitlin Foord and Lina Hurtig also missing for the first leg, and Katie McCabe suspended for the midweek defeat at Manchester United in the Women’s Super League. Despite this, they remain in contention for a Treble.
Wolfsburg have a strong European pedigree, having won the Champions League in 2014 and reaching at least the quarter-finals every year since 2013. They have already knocked out Paris St-Germain in the last eight and thrashed Bayern Munich 5-0 in the DFB Pokal semi-final last weekend. Arsenal know all about their threat, having been knocked out of last year’s tournament by them at the quarter-final stage. Wolfsburg also faced the Gunners on their way to claiming the Champions League in 2013, winning both legs of the semi-final to triumph 4-1 on aggregate.
Gunners midfielder Jen Beattie was involved in that tie and has said that the feeling of playing in the Champions League has “accelerated beyond imagination”. She is pleased to still be part of it and experience these big games. Wolfsburg’s attack is one of the best in Europe, featuring Lena Oberdorf, Jill Roord and Ewa Pajor, although they are set to be without captain and star striker Alexandra Popp through injury.
Eidevall has said that his side must put in a huge performance on Sunday to get a good result to take back to London. He has reminded them that no matter what happens, it is only half-time.