Spurs joint-manager Karen Hills says of Alex Morgan: “It’s not really a major setback, you’ve got to remember it’s only five months since she gave birth. She’s doing really well in training, looking fitter and sharper every day. Her tweet said it all, she’s really excited to get started.”
Joe Montemurro has said the number of injuries in his squad is a concern. “We need to have a look at practices and our scheduling,” says the Arsenal manager, who is keen to maintain the team’s early-season momentum despite the lengthy list of absentees. “We know what this game means to our fans,” he concludes.
In Sunday’s early WSL games, Manchester United are 3-1 up at West Ham with Alessia Russo on the scoresheet twice for the visitors. Everton have made a 100% start to the season but fell behind at home to Brighton; Izzy Christiansen has got the hosts level at half-time.
Bristol City v Birmingham and Reading v Man City kick off at 2pm; Aston Villa’s game against Chelsea, due to be played this afternoon, was postponed after a Villa player tested positive for Covid-19.
The Arsenal bench shows the extent of their injury problems, with Joe Montemurro naming just four substitutes – two of whom, Ruby Mace and Anouk Denton, are just 17 years old. Jordan Nobbs, Kim Little, Steph Catley, Jill Roord, Noelle Maritz, Leonie Maier and Lisa Evans are all unavailable.
Arsenal (4-3-3): Zinsberger; Schnaderbeck, Williamson, Beattie, McCabe; Gut, Wälti, Van de Donk; Mead, Miedema, Foord.
Subs: Williams, Wubben-Moy, Mace, Denton.
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Spencer; Percival, Harrop, Zadorsky, Neville; Kennedy, Filbey; Davison, Quinn, Addison; Dean.
Subs: Whitehouse, Leon, Green, Williams, Worm, Ayane, Sulola.
Hello and welcome to a north London derby that may have come at the wrong time for Tottenham. Spurs have picked up one point from their first four games while their local rivals have started with four wins, scoring 23 goals and already looking like serious title contenders.
Today’s game also comes too soon for Alex Morgan. Spurs’ summer signing has reported a “small setback” in her preparations for a first competitive outing in a year. Morgan has said she “can’t wait to get on the field with this team,” and you sense the feeling is mutual. She will be watching from the stands; her team must try to make it bearable viewing.
Spurs may be the underdogs today, but have been competitive in tough recent fixtures, losing by the odd goal to Everton and Manchester United. Jordan Nobbs heads an extensive Arsenal injury list, and the visitors have reason to hope this will be closer than last month’s FA Cup quarter-final, which the Gunners won 4-0. Kick-off is at 2.30pm, BST.
at 8.31am EDT