Eidevall reckons injuries to Arsenal aces have made this season one of the toughest of his career
JONAS EIDEVALL admits Arsenal’s injury concerns have made this season one of the toughest of his coaching career.
The third-placed Gunners visit Kingsmeadow later for a lunchtime duel with leaders Chelsea in their penultimate WSL game this season.
GettyJonas Eidevall’s players will be hoping for a repeat of the display that saw them beat Chelsea in the Conti Cup final[/caption]
GettyA win for the Gunners could see the WSL title race go right to the wire if Man United beat Manchester City later[/caption]
However, they will be without the services of Lia Walti who became the latest first-team player to have their season ended by injury.
Kim Little, Laura Wienroither, Leah Williamson Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema are their other key figures sidelined with hamstring and knee ligament concerns.
But he expects Walti to be fit for the World Cup despite the crocked Gunners ace missing their final two fixtures.
Eidevall, 40, said: “It definitely has been tough.
“It is tough to have players injured because you feel so much for them, but also to constantly have to come up with new solutions and prepare new ways.
“It’s on different levels for me. One is to think forward, think about the next action, but still don’t forget that there is an individual and person behind every injury
“We need to take care and support that person as well as we can.
“Another thing is to find solutions to be flexible in the way that we think.
“When you’re in the middle of it, just keep going one game at a time. There are two more games and then we’re done.”
Walti was carried off on a stretcher during Arsenal’s 4-1 win at Everton on Wednesday after Aggie Beever-Jones’ late tackle caught her ankle.
However Eidevall believes the midfielder will be ready to play for Switzerland, with her team facing the Philippines in a World Cup group stage opener on July 21.
The Gunners boss added: “It’s not a multiple month injury so she should be able to recover well in time for the World Cup which is, of course, very important for her.
“I’m very happy for her that it wasn’t more serious. I was afraid it could be, so this is a relief.”
Arsenal’s clash with Chelsea will be the first time the rivals have faced each other since the Gunners’ 3-1 Conti Cup final win against Blues in March.
And Eidevall expects his players will face a different performance, with their opponents having won their last five games across all competitions, scoring 20 goals.
He said: “We have a flexible mind and will be prepared that it will be a Chelsea team that will look a little bit different than it did the last time out.”
The match will see Pernille Harder and Chelsea captain Magda Eriksson making their final Blues appearances at Kingsmeadow, with the duo leaving the club.
Magda Eriksson and Pernille Harder will play their final game at Kingsmeadow with the duo leaving Chelsea at the end of this seasonGetty
And Emma Hayes is keen to see them get a good send off.
The Chelsea boss said: “I’m proud of Pernille and Mags. As a football club it’s important we send players who meant a lot to us off in the way that we want.”
Hayes’ Blues could retain the WSL crown with a win against Arsenal should Manchester United lose to Man City at Leigh Sports Village today.
ReutersEmma Hayes expects her team to face a tough challenge from Arsenal in their final London derby this term[/caption]
However is keen not to underestimate the threat posed by the Gunners.
She added: : “We haven’t won anything.
“We’ve got to play arguably one of the best teams in Europe this year and that will be extremely challenging.”