Jonas Eidevall has provided an injury and availability update on Lina Hurtig, Rafaelle, Leah Williamson, Kim Little, Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema ahead of Arsenal’s heavyweight clash with Manchester United.
The table-topping Gunners have won six from six this term, but face third place United at the Emirates on Saturday with a somewhat depleted squad.
Arsenal are set to continue to be without four first team regulars, but it was otherwise positive news regarding players who picked up knocks during November’s international break.
Miedema is back, having missed her side’s victory over Leicester after being granted a leave of absence to rest and recharge. Mead is also available following her withdrawal from the England squad on Saturday due to family circumstances.
Nobbs withdrew from the England squad with injury prior to the team flying to Spain for the November international break, while Wubben-Moy pulled out ahead of the Lionesses’ second friendly of the window against Norway. Both are back and available, but Hurtig – who was forced off with injury during Arsenal’s victory over Leicester – is set to miss out on Saturday.
“Lina will not be available, that will be a little bit longer,” Eidevall said. “The other players (Nobbs and Wubben-Moy) should be available for selection.”
First choice centre back pairing Williamson and Rafaelle have both been absent since October with respective foot injuries. Williamson was pictured back on the grass on Friday, and Eidevall confirmed he was hopeful of both players being back in action prior to the Christmas break.
“She (Williamson) is closer than she was before,” said Eidevall. “I think she’s progressing really well. I think it’s realistic in the block that we are that both Leah and Rafa will return here to the team. At what exact opponent, we have to wait.”
Captain Little hobbled off during Arsenal’s win over West Ham at the end of October with what was later confirmed as a knee injury. The Gunners boss was unable to give a time frame for the midfielder’s return, but described her as ‘progressing’.
“Progress, yes. She’s doing very much like you would expect Kim Little is doing,” Eidevall added. “She’s 110% in everything she does and we don’t have any different update in the time scale at the moment, but things are progressing and she’s working really hard and good so I hope she can return in not such a distant future.”