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Arsenal boss Jonas Eidevall: Chelsea will not provide ‘mental obstacle’ in final

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Mar 2024

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Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall said Chelsea will not provide a “mental obstacle” for his players ahead of their League Cup final showdown at Molineux on Sunday.

Chelsea, who are bidding to complete a quadruple in Emma Hayes’ last season in charge, beat the Gunners 3-1 in the Women’s Super League just a fortnight ago.

However, Arsenal did see off the Blues in the reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium in December, and were also victorious in last season’s League Cup final between the two sides.

Chelsea, who booked their place in the Champions League semi-finals earlier this week, are the favourites to win at Molineux.

But speaking ahead of Sunday’s showpiece, Eidevall, said: “I don’t think there is any mental obstacle for us saying that we couldn’t beat Chelsea because we’ve done so on numerous occasions.

“But there also shouldn’t be any complacency going in. We’re playing against a very good team and they’ve beaten us before, so it’s really about coming down to the best team on the day.

“Preparation plays a huge part in that and that’s what we’re focusing on. The feeling is good, we’re courageous, we’re brave and we’re going after it.”

Hayes is set to end a successful 12-year tenure in the summer to become head coach of the United States women’s team.

The 47-year-old has won six Women’s Super League titles and lifted the FA Cup five times during her time in charge.

Commenting on his rivalry with Hayes, Eidevall, who has been manager at Arsenal since 2021, said: “We’ve really enjoyed the games from a challenge perspective, and it has been really exciting to be involved in.

“But rivalries in elite football will continue to come, and when one ends, another one emerges. I don’t think there will be any shortage of rivalries in the WSL.”

While Sunday’s game could mark the final realistic chance of a trophy for Arsenal – who have fallen six points adrift of Chelsea and Manchester City in the WSL with five games left – Hayes’ side are fighting on all fronts, with an FA Cup semi-final meeting against Manchester United and a European last-four date with Barcelona to follow next month.

“Sometimes you don’t know what competition you’re in when you’re in our dressing room, let alone what day it is,” said Hayes.

“But let’s be clear, we will see two top-level teams (on Sunday). Both are capable of winning the games, and both have their own qualities.

“You’ve got to show up and present yourself in the way that gives you the best chance, particularly the first part (of the game). If you don’t, it can make it a little bit difficult.”

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