by Andrew Crawshaw
With Matchweek 1 having all games deferred following the death of the late Queen, for most teams this will be their third competitive game. The matches are
Saturday 12:30 – Aston Villa v West Ham
Aston Villa have won both of their first two games and currently sit third in the table. West Ham are one of the few teams to have played three games and have won one and lost two. They played against Chelsea on 28 September and lost 3 – 1. I think this game will be a third win for Aston Villa
Sunday 12:00 – Everton v Chelsea
On paper a close match, both teams have a similar P3, W2, L1 record and a plus 3 goal difference. Chelsea having both scored and conceded more than Everton. Emma Hayes, the Chelsea manager, is recuperating after having an emergency hysterectomy and so has handed over on pitch matters to her assistant Denise Reddy. I’m sure that all ‘Untolders’ will join me in wishing her a full and complete recovery. What effect that will have on Chelsea is difficult to assess but they have the strongest team in the league and I would expect them to have too much firepower for Everton on Sunday. Of interest will be the performance of our young Brazilian Gio Queiroz who is on loan at Everton.
Sunday 12:00 Manchester United v Brighton
Manchester United are second in the league with two wins from two, Brighton are mid table with one win and a loss. This looks as though it should be a comfortable home win for United.
Sunday 13:00 Manchester City v Leicester
Both of these teams are pointless so far, City having lost two and Leicester three. Leicester have looked really poor so far this season and I can’t see that changing in this game. City have too many good players to stay at the foot of the table for long and I will be very surprised if they don’t register their first win in this game.
Sunday 13:00 Spurs v Liverpool
Two teams harbouring hopes of getting into the top three by the end of the season and thereby qualifying for the Champions League next season. I think that they will both struggle to achieve their dreams this year. Both will almost certainly finish in the top half of the table. This match is difficult to predict a winner, both have scored two and have conceded 4 and 5. I think this will be a low scoring draw
Sunday 18:45 – Reading v Arsenal
Bad news for Arsenal on the injury front. We knew that our Brazilian centre back Rafaelle is out for a number of weeks with a broken metatarsal following heavy (and poor) challenges against both Spurs and PSV. Sadly she is now joined by fellow Centre Back Leah Williamson who has an ankle injury sustained in training. Leah will also be out for several weeks. Our manager Jonas Eidevall has already ruled her out of the November internationals. This means that both Lotte Wubben-Moy and Jen Beattie will almost certainly start on Sunday. Our other Centre Back Anna Patten is on loan at Aston Villa and Jonas confirmed that we can’t recall her until the January transfer window opens (should we wish to do so).
We follow up this game with a Champions League game away to European Champions Lyon on Wednesday evening and Jonas confirmed he wouldn’t be resting players ahead of that game. It is typical though that our match is the last to be played this weekend before the midweek Champions League game and we then have to go again at midday next Sunday. The people in charge of the fixture lists certainly aren’t doing us any favours.
I believe that the rest of the team have returned from their International duties unscathed and it is probable that one of our midfielders will be earmarked to step into the back line should it be necessary.
Reading are rooted at the bottom of the league table with no points having scored 1 and conceded 6 goals in their two matches. Historically though they have usually been a team that we have had to be near our best to beat.
I am wary of risking a repeat of our game last season against bottom-of-the-table Birmingham where we never remotely looked like getting anything from the game and which result probably cost us the league title at the end of the year. I really can’t see a repeat of that happening on Sunday and we should emerge as comfortable winners.
If you can’t get to Reading to watch the match live it is being shown on Sky Sports in the UK.
Here is a reminder of the current WSL table
- Arsenal v Tottenham; the team and some rather jolly recent history
- We are running out of referees, and the reason is the PGMO.
- Arsenal v Tottenham: the key fact the media won’t to tell you – and why they won’t
- Arsenal v Tottenham: different clubs, different managers, different successes
- Arsenal v Tottenham with clubs now getting more cards than they put in tackles!