Reading vs Manchester City Preview: City likely to carry on unbeaten run

Can the Royals cause an upset to secure their first win of the season?

Reading vs Manchester City Preview: City likely to carry on unbeaten run
Follis' sublime strike was enough to earn her side a point last time out (Credit: Ben Hoskins/Getty)

Reading will be looking to cause a shock when the two sides lock horns for the first time in their WSL history on a rare Wednesday night match. Under the lights at Adams Park for their third home game on the bounce, the Royals will hope they can keep building momentum for their last match – a credible draw against Notts County – and take something off of the WSL 1 league leaders.

Reading’s equaliser against the Lady Pies came just after the hour by way of a fine strike from Emma Follis, who is yet to reach her full potential in the league. If Reading are to start transforming draws into wins, Chambers needs to sharpen the attacking edge in her side, the current selection of attackers available to her are all capable of scoring.

Although even the best attacks have struggled against Karen Bardsley and the City defence year, which has only leaked two goals – Liverpool’s Rosie White the first to score against the Citizens this season as well as Jess Clarke from the spot last month.

Reading continue to look for first win

So far this year the two sides have enjoyed contrasting fortunes, Reading haven't won a single league match while Manchester City haven't lost one yet. Whilst Reading’s maiden season in the English top flight isn’t going as smoothly as they’d like, there is plenty to be positive about.

With six of their nine matches this term having ended in a draw, the Royals sit in seventh spot, level for points with Sunderland but with three games in hand. Kelly Chambers arguably would have liked to see her side with a win under their belt but safety and building for a long-term future should be key for the WSL 1 newcomers.

Follis's sublime strike was enough to earn her side a point last time out (Credit: Ben Hoskins/Getty)
Follis's sublime strike was enough to earn her side a point last time out (Credit: Ben Hoskins/Getty)

City can't keep relying on individual performances

With City yet to lose in the league this year they will travel to Adams Park standing tall with their chests puffed out ready to extend their unbeaten run and further bolster their goal difference. The match will be a second in a run of four over twelve days and Nick Cushing will need to manage his starting XI carefully. With the Citizens already having to navigate through the first-half of the season with three long term injuries to key players (Izzy Christiansen, Megan Campbell and Kiera Walsh).

Cushing won’t want to see any more of his players consigned to the sidelines. With the return of the aforementioned as well as the signing of Dutch international Tessel Middag his squad has slightly more depth but a recent injury to Abbie McManus as well as Kosovare Asllani’s international leave for the Olympics he’s left without many options on the bench.

Although the Citizens are flying high they’ve struggled to find their best form this season, winning some games without looking as coherent as they previously have. If City are to go on and become champions they’ll need to hit full speed sooner rather than later and not just rely on individual performances.