We have the opportunity to extend our lead at the top of the Women’s Super League table on Sunday as we host Reading at Meadow Park.
THE STORY SO FAR
Following a perfect start to the season with six wins from six outings, Joe Montemurro penned a new long-term contract with the club on Wednesday - and he’ll be hoping to celebrate with all three points against the Royals.
Those six wins include four in the WSL where we’ve scored 21 goals and kept three clean sheets, as well as two in the FA WSL Continental Tyres Cup.
We’ve shown a clinical edge in front of goal over the course of the season so far, scoring five and seven past Liverpool and Yeovil respectively, but the highlight is no doubt our 5-0 win over reigning champions Chelsea last Sunday.
Kim Little opened the scoring in the 21st minute, before both Vivianne Miedema and Jordan Nobbs struck twice to deliver Chelsea’s first defeat at Kingsmeadow since May 2016. We also brought about an end to their 25-game unbeaten streak in the WSL.
Fourth place Reading have picked up two wins and one draw from four WSL outings - and they’ll head into Sunday’s fixture full of confidence, following a 1-0 win over Liverpool last Sunday.
They’re yet to truly find their feet in the final third having only scored five goals in the WSL, but it’s their work at the other end of the field that’s helped to make the Royals such a formidable outfit.
They’ve only conceded one league goal over the course of the season so far - and it came against second place Birmingham City, who’ve started the season in stunning form. No other side in the WSL have conceded fewer goals than Reading.
Former Gunner Fara Williams is the one to look out for on Sunday. An experienced head in midfield, Williams will be looking to stifle our build-up play and block the passing lines around the Royals defence.
THE MANAGERS NOTES
“Reading a very good side and they have players that can unlock defences,” Montemurro told Arsenal.com.
“They have players that can retain the ball and they have players that can finish games off, so we need to be very smart and intelligent in the way that we approach the game. We’re confident, though, so we’ll dig deep, work hard, play our football and make sure that we don’t rest on our laurels.”
ONE TO WATCH
Jordan Nobbs has always been a goalscoring threat from midfield, but with Kim Little absent through injury, the England international may be afforded greater freedom to push forward and support our frontline.
If Nobbs can find those pockets of space on the edge of the box, then she’s bound to make the difference with a moment of quality.
Against an organised and resilient defence like Reading’s, Nobbs will also bear a large amount of creative responsibility in midfield. Her diagonal passes into the path of our full backs could prove vital.
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