Jonas Eidevall on huge Chelsea Cup clash

Ben Phillips reports from Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall‘s media conference ahead of tomorrow’s huge FA Cup 5th Round tie at Chelsea (25/2/23).

Above: Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall who spoke to the media yesterday ahead of his team’s FA Cup tie at Chelsea tomorrow. Photo: Arsenal Women.

Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall’s preparations for their vital FA Cup last sixteen tie at Kingsmeadow against holders Chelsea come with added complications following the international window.

Eidevall confirmed as he spoke to the media yesterday that not all of his players are back yet from the international break. Under new FIFA rules players are allowed an extra 24 hours before returning to clubs, with Eidevall commenting: “We’ve had one day less preparation and many players in different continents, not just Europe, and FIFA rules allow them to have 24 hours and longer to be back at clubs. It is a challenge for both clubs though” (Chelsea are also impacted).

Ahead of his preparations ahead of the fixture against last season’s double winners, the Arsenal coach was asked what lessons he and his team learned from their previous encounter with Chelsea.

“It’s the beauty of the game and you play against each other and you evolve and both teams have played different games after that. Also, its never going to be exactly the same games and there will be elements in it that we have a lot of good use to use against them on Sunday.”

Above: Caitlin Foord takes on Chelsea’s Niamh Charles when the two sides last met. Photo: Hannah Parnell for Impetus.

Arsenal managed to come through the international break pretty much unscathed in terms of players picking up injuries with only a couple of concerns for this weekend’s fixture.

Sabrina D’Angelo had to come off representing Canada after sustaining an injury that the Arsenal medical team are needing to investigate further. Forward Lina Hurtig also had an injury and couldn’t play for Sweden. With regards to long term injury victim Beth Mead, the Gunners boss said: “Beth is doing fine and the reports I am getting from our medical team is that Beth’s recovery is progressing as it should be and she will be back for us next season”.

Arsenal hasn’t had the best start to 2023 results-wise and asked what factors have contributed towards the poor run, Eidevall said: “We also have to say look at the playing schedule, we went in to play late Sunday night against West Ham, playing midweek then a Saturday at lunchtime, I think is a really tough playing schedule and I can’t see any other women’s team in England currently been asked to play on a schedule like that for a whole season.

“When the fixture schedule gets that congested there is a disadvantage for a team that is forced to play those games, this can’t be Arsenal all the time that get into this situation, it should be divided amongst more clubs.”

Arsenal wil now go into a double header against Chelsea playing them on consecutive weekends in cup fixtures. After playing in the fifth round of the FA Cup, they will face each other on 5th March at Selhurst Park in the Conti League cup final.

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