Barcelona are the best but don’t scare us, says Arsenal Women manager Jonas Eidevall

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 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Jonas Eidevall has made a dream start to life as Arsenal Women boss, but tonight he will find out just how far his side have come when they take on Barcelona.

The Gunners have been drawn alongside the Women’s Champions League holders in the group stages of this year’s competition and they promise to be formidable opponents.

They defeated Emma Hayes’s Chelsea 4-0 in last season’s final and have started this year’s Primera Division by winning all five of their games, scoring 35 goals and conceding just one in the process.

Arsenal have made an equally impressive start under Eidevall and it is why they head to the Johan Cruyff Stadium tonight full of confidence.

His side have won all nine of their games in all competitions so far — also scoring 35 goals — and they are top of the Women’s Super League, having already beaten Chelsea and Manchester City.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge, with no fear at all,” said Eidevall. “I have belief in this team. It’s important to emphasise Barcelona is the best team — and I mean team in capital letters, the way they are playing and especially in offence. This is what drives us, to see how good we can be and how close we are to the best in the world.

“We are confident we can compete and that’s the mindset we have, to do our best. We know it’s a very good team we are playing against but they’re human, just like we are. They will make mistakes just like we will. It’s a very good team but they are also beatable.”

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Tonight is a big night for Eidevall, but it is also a huge one for UEFA, as the new format of this season’s Women’s Champions League kicks off.

For the first time the competition contains a group stage, with Arsenal and Barcelona joined by Hoffenheim and Koge in Group C. Chelsea are in Group A, while there are two other groups of four teams.

The top two from each group progress to the quarter-finals and UEFA are hoping for increased viewing figures, as for the next two seasons all 61 matches from the group stages onwards can be watched for free on the YouTube channel of broadcast partner DAZN.

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