Preview: Arsenal Women v Reading Women
Sports Mole preview Sunday’s Women’s Super League clash between Arsenal Women and Reading Women, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.
After suffering a surprise loss to Birmingham City last weekend, Arsenal Women will be looking to find their way back to winning ways on Sunday, when they host women reading.
As for the Royals, they go into the weekend in sixth place and will be aiming to extend their unbeaten run in the Women’s Super League to seven games.
Arsenal went off the rails in their first game of the new year, losing 2-0 to Birmingham City – the Gunners’ first league defeat this season.
Following this disappointing performance, Jonas Eideval will await a response from his players as they seek to get their league campaign back on track.
Despite losing last weekend, Arsenal are still four points clear at the top of the WSL, although Chelsea are one game short of the Gunners.
Eidevall will be grateful his side return to the comforts of home on Sunday, with the Gunners yet to drop points at home in the league this season.
The defeat to Birmingham marked the first time Arsenal have failed to score in the league this season, although the Gunners are still the league’s top scorers, having netted 30 goals and the firepower will need to be fully exposed on Sunday. if hosts want to make the most of a fit reading side.
No WSL side have collected more points (16) in the last six games than Reading, and the Royals will put their six-game league unbeaten streak on the line when they take on the league leaders on Sunday. .
The Royals may have feared their season would involve a relegation fight after starting the campaign with four straight league defeats.
However, since losing 3-0 to Everton on October 3, the Royals have embarked on a remarkable run which has seen them win five of their last six WSL encounters.
After ending 2021 with a shock 1-0 win over Chelsea, Reading started the new year by edging out struggling Leicester City with an 11th-minute strike from Natasha Dowie guided the Royals to the three points.
Kelly Rooms will be fully aware of the difficult task ahead of their side on Sunday, but having kept five clean sheets in their last six league games, Reading will certainly be confident of troubling Arsenal.
Arsenal Women’s Super League form:
Form Arsenal Women (all competitions):
Women’s Super League Reading Form:
Women’s Reading Form (all competitions):
Arsenal’s weekend started on a high note with the announcement that Stina Blackstenius has arrived at the club, and the Swedish international could be included in the squad for Sunday’s encounter.
Tobin Heath and Leah Williamson have both returned to training this week, although the pair may only be fit enough for places on the bench.
The Gunners will have to do without the services of Caitlin Food, Lydia Williams and Steph Catley, all of whom are currently with the Australian national team competing at the Asian Cup.
As for visitors, Sanne Troelsgaard will start again after making his debut for the club last weekend.
After their win last weekend, Chambers could name an unchanged roster for Sunday’s contest.
Dowie will be Reading’s main goal threat as they aim to find the net for the third straight game.
Possible starting line-up for Arsenal Women:
Zinsberger; Maritz, Wubben-Mooy, Beattie, McCabe; Maanum, Little, Nobbs; Parris, Miedema, Mead
Reading Women possible starting composition:
Molony; Harding, Evans, Cooper, Woodham; Harries, Vanhaevermaet, Troelsgaard, Eikeland; Dowie, Rose
We say: Arsenal Women 2-2 Reading Women
Arsenal will be looking for a positive response after losing last weekend, but we believe an in-form Reading side have enough quality to hold the league leaders to a point on Sunday.