West Ham v Arsenal: Women’s Super League – live

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Plenty is on the line at both ends of the WSL table today as relegation candidates West Ham host title chasers Arsenal.

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West Ham manager Rehanne Skinner was able to breathe a sigh of relief last weekend when her side clinched a 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Bristol City. Skinner insists her players are “capable of creating an upset” against the big WSL teams – and they will certainly need one today.

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Meanwhile, Arsenal cruised to a 2-0 win over Liverpool last week following a dominant performance. January signing Emily Fox was the star of the show and deservedly picked up the Player of the Match award. The right-back will almost certainly be called upon again today, especially in the absence of Katie McCabe who is serving a one-match suspension.

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Kick Off is at 12:30pm GMT.

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Key events

Arsenal bid farewell to long-serving defender Jen Beattie this week. The 32-year-old left North London to join National Women’s Soccer League side Bay FC in California.

In a heartfelt letter to Arsenal fans, Beattie wrote: “I don’t think there was ever going to be a right time to leave Arsenal because it was never going to be an easy decision. I’ve had so many conflicting emotions. When I think of Arsenal, I think of home, and I think of family, and that’s because of all of you.”

The centre-back, who has won four league titles and two FA Cups with Arsenal, also insisted that she will remain a fan of the club, adding: “This might be the end of my journey as an Arsenal player, but as of today, I’m now a fan.

“I genuinely can’t wait to come back to Emirates Stadium and support the team. It’s the most talented group of people I’ve ever been a part of and I’ve no doubt that they’ll go on to achieve whatever they want to. They’ve got the group to do it.”

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A model professional. A credit to The Arsenal.

Once a Gooner, always a Gooner, @jbeattie91 ❤️ pic.twitter.com/7rFBLZzx64

&mdash; Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) February 2, 2024

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The day Arsenal fans have been waiting for has finally arrived. Leah Williamson starts her first WSL game in 291 days – and she captains the side.

Williamson made a cameo appearance from the bench during last week’s 7-0 Conti Cup win over Reading, nine months after suffering an ACL injury. But she’s back in the starting line-up today, much to the joy of both Arsenal and England fans.

The shirt of Leah Williamson is displayed inside the Arsenal dressing room Photograph: Alex Burstow/Arsenal FC/Getty Images

Here are the teams…

West Ham XI: Arnold (C), Smith, Shimizu, Tysiak, Zadorsky, Cissoko, Ziu, Hayashi, Gorry, Asseyi, Ueki. Substitutes: Walsh, O’Hanlon, Bergman Lundin, Snerle, Harries, Mewis, Denton, Cooke, Ademiluyi.

Arsenal XI: Zinsberger, Fox, Wubben-Moy, Williamson (C), Catley, Pelova, Walti, Miedema, Foord, Mead, Russo. Substitutes: D’Angelo, Williams, Ilestedt, Codina, Cooney-Cross, Little, Maanum, Lacasse, Blackstenius.

Updated at 11.44 GMT

Preamble

Plenty is on the line at both ends of the WSL table today as relegation candidates West Ham host title chasers Arsenal.

West Ham manager Rehanne Skinner was able to breathe a sigh of relief last weekend when her side clinched a 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Bristol City. Skinner insists her players are “capable of creating an upset” against the big WSL teams – and they will certainly need one today.

Meanwhile, Arsenal cruised to a 2-0 win over Liverpool last week following a dominant performance. January signing Emily Fox was the star of the show and deservedly picked up the Player of the Match award. The right-back will almost certainly be called upon again today, especially in the absence of Katie McCabe who is serving a one-match suspension.

Kick Off is at 12:30pm GMT.

Updated at 11.33 GMT

The Guardian