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Preview: Reading Women vs. Everton Ladies - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Women's Super League clash between Reading Women and Everton Ladies, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Reading Women are still in search of their first points this season, and they will be hoping they can get off the mark this Sunday when they welcome Everton Ladies to the Select Car Leasing Stadium in gameweek four of the Women's Super League.

Willie Kirk's side did not have a good start to the campaign, but the Toffees did record their first victory last time out and they will be looking to build on that this weekend, with a top three finish still the aspiration for Everton.


Match preview

Reading Women manager Kelly Chambers pictured in March 2021© Reuters

Reading continued their poor form last Sunday when they travelled to North London where they faced a high-flying Tottenham Hotspur side, who came out on top with a 1-0 scoreline.

Kelly Chambers's side must have thought that they had held on for a point, but just five minutes from time Jessica Naz broke the deadlock to secure three points for Spurs, meaning that the Royals are winless from their first three outings.

During the start of this season, Reading have only managed four shots on target across their games against Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham, and they are the only team to have failed to score a goal in the WSL so far.

That stat does not bode well for Reading moving forward, but Everton have shown defensive frailties this season which Chambers will be targeting as an opportunity for her team to start threatening on the attacking front.

The start of this season completely contrasts to the beginning of last season for the Royals, who managed to pick up six points from their opening three WSL games last season, and they will want to pull away from the bottom of the table to ensure that they do not end up in a relegation fight.

Everton also did not start this campaign well, beginning with consecutive 4-0 defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea, but last time out Kirk's team got back on track with a 3-1 win over a winless Birmingham City side.

Leonie Maier gave the home side a perfect start after 13 minutes in that game but Birmingham equalised to bring the score level at the break, before Hanna Bennison and Rikke Sevecke netted their first goals of the season to secure the three points.

Bennison signed for the Toffees for a club record fee in August and Kirk expressed after the win against Birmingham that there is no pressure on the 18-year-old, despite scoring her first goal, and she still needs time to adapt to life in England.

Everton's start to the season is likely to be behind them now, and after playing two of the title contenders in the first three games, the Toffees will hope that their first win last weekend can set the precedent for the rest of the season, starting with another victory against another winless outfit this Sunday.

Both games between these two sides last season ended in 1-1 draws, but Reading and Everton were busy in the transfer window this summer suggesting that this fixture may follow a different story to the most recent previous meetings.

Reading Women Women's Super League form:
  • L
  • L
  • L

Everton Ladies Women's Super League form:
  • L
  • L
  • W



Team News

Everton Ladies manager Willie Kirk pictured in November 3029© Reuters

New Reading signing Justine Vanhaevermaet made her first appearance against Arsenal but her full debut came last week when the Royals faced Tottenham, and she will start in the front three for the home side on Sunday.

Chambers opted for quite an attacking lineup last time out, selecting Natasha Dowie and Natasha Harding in midfield, and Reading are likely to stick with that in the hunt for their first goal of the season.

Striker Emma Harries did not have the impact she would have wished for in the last game, but she could lead the line for the fourth match in a row and she will be hoping to get off the mark this season with a goal.

Everton forward Nicoline Sorensen suffered a cruciate ligament injury against Birmingham and she faces a lengthy period on the sidelines while she carries out her rehabilitation programme.

Kirk made five changes to the side last time out, and opted for a back four rather than a back five, and he is likely to name the same team after a positive performance and result.

That could see youngster Grace Clinton lead the line again for the Toffees, alongside Toni Duggan and Claire Emslie in a front three, while Valerie Gauvin offers an attacking option from the bench.

Reading Women possible starting lineup:
Moloney; Rose, Evans, Cooper, Bryson; Dowie, Peplow, Harding; Vanhaevermaet, Harries, Chaplen

Everton Ladies possible starting lineup:
MacIver; Turner, George, Bjorn, Maier; Galli, Christiansen, Dali; Duggan, Clinton, Emslie


SM words green background

We say: Reading Women 1-2 Everton Ladies

Everton's defence is not the strongest part of their game and Reading need to use that to their advantage and score their first goal of the season.

However, Everton will be confident after their victory against Birmingham and they are likely to be able to use that to record back-to-back wins and start their climb up the table.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data


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Chelsea's Fran Kirby pictured in August 2020
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