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Oct 14, 2021 at 8pm UK
Arsenal WomenArsenal Women
Little (21'), Heath (45'), Miedema (52'), Williamson (86')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Preview: Arsenal Women vs. Hoffenheim - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Women's Champions League clash between Arsenal Women and Hoffenheim, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Seeking to bounce back from their opening-day defeat to Barcelona, Arsenal Women prepare for battle with Hoffenheim during their second Women's Champions League group stage fixture of the season.

Jonas Eidevall's side went down 4-1 to the European champions last week, while their German counterparts eased to a 5-0 win over Danish side Koge in Group C.

Match preview

Jonas Eidevall, now in charge of Arsenal Women, pictured in 2019© Reuters

The Jonas Eidevall revolution in North London is gaining momentum by the week in the Women's Super League, but Arsenal were brought crashing back down to earth in the Champions League during a 4-1 defeat to Barcelona on matchday one.

Frida Maanum scored a memorable goal for the Gunners in Catalonia, but they were blown away by their hosts - with renowned names Lieke Martens and Alexia Putellas finding the back of the net - but they made an immediate return to winning ways in league action at the weekend.

Goals from Katie McCabe, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Maanum saw Arsenal ease to a comfortable 3-0 success against Everton to cement their position at the top of the WSL rankings, with the Gunners now the only side in the division with their 100% win record still intact.

The defeat to Barcelona was a humbling experience for Arsenal as their 20-game unbeaten run across all competitions came to a bitter end, but they have won their last eight on the bounce at home as they endeavour to replicate the feats of the 2006-07 European Cup-winning squad.

Meanwhile, Hoffenheim were on the correct end of the scoreline in a Champions League thrashing on matchday one, as the German powerhouses put five unanswered goals past Danish outfit Koge to storm to the top of the rankings.

Tine De Caigny netted twice while Katharina Naschenweng, Nicole Billa and Luana Bulher also struck in a comfortable success for Gabor Gallai's crop, but they were the ones to be humbled in domestic action during their recent battle with Bayern Munich.

While Billa managed to find the back of the net for a third consecutive game in all competitions, Hoffenheim ultimately fell to a 3-1 defeat to the Bavarian giants, with that result marking the end of their 13-game unbeaten run across all tournaments.

Die Kraichgauer now find themselves in fifth place in the top flight as they seek to build on back-to-back third-placed finishes in the last two seasons, but they have bigger fish to fry on Thursday night, with Arsenal in no mood to suffer any further setbacks in Europe.

Arsenal Women Women's Champions League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

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

Hoffenheim Women's Champions League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Hoffenheim form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Team News

Arsenal's Kim Little celebrates scoring their first goal against Aston Villa in the Women's Super League on October 3, 2021© Reuters

Eidevall has a number of players walking a tightrope for this game, with McCabe, Beth Mead, Jordan Nobbs, Nikita Parris and Caitlin Foord all one booking away from a continental suspension.

McCabe only lasted 56 minutes in a more advanced role against Barcelona but is not in any danger of losing her place, while star striker Vivianne Miedema was also hooked early doors and will hope to right the wrongs of last week here.

Manuela Zinsberger's penalty save from Putellas last time out was one of 10 stops that she made on the night, and Eidevall also expects Lia Walti, Anna Patten and Jen Beattie to all be in contention for Thursday after the trio missed out at the weekend.

Hoffenheim duo Gia Corley and Franziska Harsch only lasted 45 minutes of the weekend's defeat to Bayern, with the latter's starting spot now under threat from Chantal Hagel.

Billa - the 2021 Women's Footballer of the Year in Germany - should once again be joined up top by De Caigny, with 19-year-old Corley potentially making way for a more experienced head this week.

Arsenal Women possible starting lineup:
Zinsberger; Maritz, Williamson, Beattie, McCabe; Walti, Little, Maanum; Mead, Miedema, Foord

Hoffenheim possible starting lineup:
Tufekovic; Linder, Buhler, Specht, Naschenweng; Feldkamp, Dongus, Hagel; Corley; De Caigny, Billa

SM words green background

We say: Arsenal Women 3-1 Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim are more than capable of making this a difficult day at the office for Arsenal with De Caigny and Billa leading the charge, but it is difficult to see their North London trip being a memorable one.

Eidevall's side may have been taught a footballing lesson by Barcelona, but we have confidence in the WSL leaders to get off the mark in Europe at the second attempt this week.

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Tottenham Hotspur's Kit Graham in action with Brighton and Hove Albion's Megan Connolly in the Women's Super League on October 10, 2021
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