18 min: Tufekovic took a whack there and is receiving some treatment in her six-yard box. She’ll be OK. In the meantime Arsenal take some instructions from the side. They’ve felt their way into the game after a sketchy start.
16 min: On the opposite flank Mead, coming into the game for the first time, is bundled over near the right corner of the box. This is a great position and potential McCabe range, albeit at an angle. She whips one in low, you suspect part going for goal and part looking for a snick, and it’s bravely held by the keeper Tufekovic under pressure from Wubben-Moy.
14 min: Heath does well now, gliding away down the left before backheeling towards Nobbs, who wins a corner. From that, Maanum has a go at emulating her weekend cracker against Everton from range. Not this time.
12 min: A bit better from Arsenal, who work the ball forward smoothly before Heath, out on the left, is outmuscled and they are forced back. This little spell of possession should do them good.
9 min: De Caigny, Hoffenheim’s Belgian forward, lashes a half-volley not far over from 20 yards after more good work from Brand. Arsenal are not having things remotely their own way early on.
7 min: Arsenal a little wayward under pressure, Williamson spraying a pass out of play from defence. Shortly afterwards Billa tries to get in behind but is flagged offside – incorrectly, I think.
6 min: Hoffenheim do look sharp. Brand tries a slaloming run through the middle but it’s ultimately snuffed out. Nice early tempo here with both sides having a go.
4 min: Arsenal respond quickly and force a corner, which is headed away at the back post with Miedema lurking.
3 min: Should be 1-0 to Hoffenheim! The defence get in a mess after a left-sided cross is nodded down and Billa, the dangerous centre-forward, swivels before shooting wide from a great position.
2 min: Hoffenheim are clearly happy to press high with aggression. As Arsenal worked the ball across their back line, there were six away players hunting in their defensive third.
Peeeeeep! Away we go!
Hoffenheim, right to left, kick us off.
The Hoffenheim team, in blue, look very relaxed. Lots of laughing and bonhomie before they come out. But now Arsenal emerge onto the pitch, led by Kim Little – we’re kicking off soon!
Not too long til things get underway in Borehamwood, where Arsenal play their home games. The pitch is being forked and looks in fine condition. Fans are trickling in. The teams are gathering in the tunnel area …
In Group D, meanwhile, Bayern Munich have beaten Hacken 4-0 to move onto four points from two games. Good start to the night for Bundesliga fans …
In fresh Group C news, Barcelona have just won tonight’s other game 2-0 away at HB Koge. It puts them out on six points from six, although that’s not a particularly convincing scoreline given we know Hoffenheim hit the Danes for five. The second goal was an added-time penalty. Should Arsenal be warned?
Read Suzanne Wrack’s interview with Beth Mead to get you in the mood for the match.
Arsenal have been firing domestically – five wins in five and playing some super football under Jonas Eidevall. Now all they need is to get their Champions League group stage campaign up and running. There was little shame in losing 4-1 to a staggeringly good Barcelona team first time out – Barca are, as Chelsea discovered, head and shoulders above the rest of Europe – but it does means they could use three points against Hoffenheim here.
The German side finished third in last season’s Frauen Bundesliga and have begun their Group C obligations in rattling good form, thumping HB Koge 5-0. So victory and a narrowing of the goal difference would go down a storm here for the Gunners, who *should* have enough to win but Hoffenheim are known for being a bold, adventurous side who will look to play on the front foot and ask questions. Given that Arsenal are too, this should be a fun one!
Stay close for buildup and then, yes, minute-by-minute (is) updates! And by all means get your emails and tweets flooding in too.