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Mar 2, 2022 at 7.15pm UK
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Preview: Arsenal Women vs. Reading Women - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Arsenal Women vs. Reading Women - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Women's Super League clash between Arsenal Women and Reading Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Since this article was published, this game has been called off due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Reading squad. A new date for the game will be confirmed in due course.

After suffering a surprise defeat to Birmingham City last weekend, Arsenal Women will look to return to winnings ways on Sunday when they play host to Reading Women.

As for the Royals, they head into the weekend in sixth place, and will be aiming to extend their unbeaten run in the Women's Super League to seven games.

Match preview

Arsenal slipped up in their first game in the new year as they fell to a 2-0 defeat away to Birmingham City - the first loss that the Gunners have suffered in the league this season.

Following that disappointing performance, Jonas Eidevall will be looking for a response from his players as they look 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 do possess a game in hand over the Gunners.

Eidevall will be grateful that his side return to home comforts on Sunday, with the Gunners yet to drop points at home in the league this term.

The defeat to Birmingham did represent the first time that Arsenal have failed to score in the league this season, although the Gunners are still the highest scorers in the league, having racked up 30 goals and that firepower will need to be on full display on Sunday if the hosts are to get the better of an in-form Reading side.

No team in WSL has collected more points (16) in the last six games than Reading, and the Royals will put their six-game unbeaten league run on the line when they face the league leaders on Sunday.

The Royals may have feared that their season would involve a relegation fight after they started the campaign with four consecutive league defeats.

However, since losing 3-0 to Everton on October 3, the Royals have embarked on a remarkable run that has seen them win five of their last six WSL encounters.

After ending 2021 with a surprise 1-0 victory over Chelsea, Reading began the new year by edging out struggling Leicester City as an 11th-minute strike from Natasha Dowie guided the Royals to all three points.

Kelly Chambers will be fully aware of the tough task that awaits her side on Sunday, but having kept five clean sheets in their last six league matches, Reading will certainly be confident of troubling Arsenal.

Arsenal Women Women's Super League form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L

Arsenal Women form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Reading Women Women's Super League form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Reading Women form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Arsenal's weekend started on a positive 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 cope without the services of Caitlin Foord, Lydia Williams and Steph Catley, who are all currently with the Australia national team competing at the Asia Cup.

As for the visitors, Sanne Troelsgaard will start once again after making her debut for the club last weekend.

Following their victory last weekend, Chambers could name an unchanged lineup for Sunday's contest.

Dowie will be Reading's main goal threat as she aims to find the net for the third game in a row.

Arsenal Women possible starting lineup:
Zinsberger; Maritz, Wubben-Mooy, Beattie, McCabe; Maanum, Little, Nobbs; Parris, Miedema, Mead

Reading Women possible starting lineup:
Moloney; 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 think that an in-form Reading side have enough quality to hold the league leaders to a point on Sunday.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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