Kim Little upbeat ahead of Arsenal’s Women’s Champions League quarter-final test

Arsenal women’s captain Kim Little believes her side have enough to beat Paris St Germain in the Champions League quarter-final on Saturday.

The competition is set to resume on Friday, having been paused since March, with all matches now taking place in northern Spain.

The Gunners are the only British team to have lifted the coveted trophy, in 2007, and this is the first time they have been in the Champions League since 2014.

Although Arsenal have not played any competitive football since the Covid-19 global pandemic in March, PSG competed in the French Cup semi-finals and finals, which they lost to Lyon, but Little does not expect it to be a disadvantage.

“I think we try not to look at it like that,” the 30-year-old told the PA news agency.

Kim Little File Photo
Kim Little File Photo

“I think the circumstances are what they are and they’ve obviously been able to play competitive matches.

“But for us, we’ve just had to deal with the situation we’re in and prepare as best as possible and I think going into Saturday that’s not something we’ll be considering.

“We know that we’re in a good place and that we’re ready to compete with PSG.”

Having not qualified for next season’s competition after coming third in a revised Women’s Super League, Arsenal will have to win the tournament in Spain to have a place in the following tournament.

When asked what she expects from the French side, Little said: “We’ve done a fair bit of review of them now from our coaches and they’re obviously a good team, have been a big team in European football for a long time and they’ve got lots of good international players and French players.

“So we’re definitely aware of their capabilities and strengths but we definitely believe we’ve got enough to match them and to win.

“I definitely think it will be an exciting match on Saturday.”

As with the men’s tournament, all the quarter-final ties will be single-leg affairs taking place behind closed doors, although Little does not feel the lack of atmosphere will be an issue for Joe Montemurro’s team.

She continued: “We played one of our recent games at Villa Park so that was within a stadium with very few people, so I suppose that was a little bit of preparation – but I think it’s not something we’ve focused on too much.

Chelsea v Arsenal – FA Women’s Continental League Cup – Final – City Ground
Chelsea v Arsenal – FA Women’s Continental League Cup – Final – City Ground

“It’s just about what we do on the pitch and to motivate ourselves as much as possible internally and with each other and I think we do that anyway, so that comes pretty naturally.

“So we’ve not done too much or taken into consideration no fans but it will obviously take away from the games a little bit in terms of the atmosphere and feeling.

“But obviously it’s being televised and people can watch from home and hopefully that’ll add to the excitement.”

:: Little was speaking to the PA news agency as a member of Team VISA as part of VISA’s efforts to futureproof women’s football and grow the game.