Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s live coverage of the Women’s Super League north London derby as Arsenal look set to break the league’s attendance record when they host Tottenham at the Emirates this afternoon.
The Gunners have now sold 51,000 tickets. The previous WSL record, 38,262, was set in 2019 when the same teams met at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Gunners boss Jonas Eidevall believes that fans being prepared to invest in such unprecedented numbers sets a vital benchmark for the league’s future and he is keen for it to be no one-off.
“Remember it’s 50,000 sold tickets,” he said. “It’s not giveaways, it’s not sold for a discounted price. It’s sold tickets. And I think that’s really, really special, because that means doing this the way the club has done it it’s sustainable.
“It shows that the interest there is for real. That’s the investment that we as a team, as a club have done but also past generations or past teams have done to put us onto this stage here, that’s phenomenal.”
Arsenal, last season’s runners-up, are favourites to win this afternoon’s derby, boasting England stars including Leah Williamson, Beth Mead and Lotte Wubben-Moy from the Lionesses’ historic summer.
They enter the clash off the back of a thumping 4-0 victory over Brighton, but Eidevall was quick to quash any seeds of complacency.
“It starts at zero,” he said. “If you think that you are entitled to win, or if you’re expected to win, that will stress you right away. That’s not the way to go about a football game.
“You have to respect the opponent. You have to respect the game.”
Rehanne Skinner’s Spurs are also looking to pick up another three points after beating Leicester 2-1 on the opening weekend.
They will be without Rosella Ayane, who is out for about four weeks after fracturing her foot against Leicester. It is, admitted Skinner, “another blow” to a side with “not necessarily a full lack of availability, but certainly not 90 minutes fit for some players.”