Reading Against West Ham United Begins a Full Women’s Super League Weekend
Reading Against West Ham United, Kick-off 2 pm
Reading host West Ham United on Saturday, April 3, looking to end a run of four matches without a win.
Kelly Chambers’ team produced a resolute display against Manchester City last time out, but a late goal from Chloe Kelly ensured the Royals left the Academy Stadium empty-handed.
The situation is much more precarious for West Ham, who occupy the bottom spot and the sole relegation place in the division with nine points from 16 league games.
They are also winless in each of their last seven league games since beating survival rivals Bristol City 4-0 on December 13.
Despite West Ham’s poor run of form, Olli Harder’s side have put in some spirited displays and gave Manchester United more than a run for their money at Old Trafford last week. They are facing a Reading side that is not in brilliant form themselves and will fancy their chances here.
Chelsea Host Birmingham City, Kick-off 12.30 pm
The Chelsea winning machine keeps motoring on as they continue their assault for trophies on two fronts, with a Continental League Cup already in the trophy cabinet this season.
Emma Hayes’ side are unbeaten in each of their last ten games in all competitions, winning nine of those matches.
They advanced to the Champions League semi-finals with a 5-1 aggregate victory over Wolfsburg on March 31, and the feel-good factor shows no signs of abating in west London.
Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr have formulated a superb partnership upfront. The Chelsea duo have now combined for nine top-flight goals this season – a new record for goal combinations between two players in a single Women’s Super League campaign.
However, it’s a different story for Birmingham, who are winless in nine, although they have recovered from a goal down to claim a point in each of their last two outings, with a 2-2 and 1-1 draw with West Ham and Bristol City.
Carla Ward’s side have shown their resilience in recent weeks after grafting to two hard-earned points in their last two games, but it is hard to see anything other than a comfortable Chelsea victory here.
Everton Take on Aston Villa, Kick-off 1 pm
Aston Villa will be hoping to erase the memories of their painful last encounter against Everton – a bruising 6-0 defeat in this season’s reverse fixture on October 3.
Villa have lost each of their last four Women’s Super League games without scoring a goal, and the 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on February 6 seems like a lifetime ago now.
Meanwhile, Everton have found their groove again after producing a ruthless display to sweep Brighton aside in a 5-0 win last time out.
The Toffees are sitting pretty in fifth with 28 points from 18 games, but Villa are 11th with ten points from 16 games -desperately seeking points to secure their place in the division for next season.
Everton will claim all three points to pile on the misery for Villa, who will remain firmly in the relegation dogfight with another defeat.
Brighton & Hove Albion Host Manchester United, Kick-off 2 pm
Brighton will be looking to bounce back after their record-breaking four-match winning streak came to an abrupt end with that aforementioned 5-0 defeat to Everton last time out.
But that winning sequence has extinguished any lingering relegation fears, and Hope Powell’s team are no longer looking nervously over their shoulders.
The stakes are greater for Manchester United, who know they cannot afford any more slip-ups as they look to hold onto third place and Champions League qualification for next season.
With Arsenal breathing down their necks in fourth, Casey Stoney’s team have no margin for error in their remaining four matches of the season
A more defensively resolute performance from Brighton is expected this time round following that result to Everton, but Manchester United should have enough quality to come away from this one with all three points.
Bristol City Against Arsenal, Kick-off 2 pm
Bristol City host Arsenal looking to continue their steady progress in the Women’s Super League which has seen the Vixens move off the foot of the table and into 10th place.
Consecutive 2-2 and 1-1 draws with West Ham and Birmingham leave Matt Beard’s team with more than a fighting chance of beating the drop but face a much tougher test this time around.
Following back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea, the Gunners have won each of their last four games without conceding a goal to leave them as favourites to claim third place and Champions League qualification.
This is a game which Arsenal should win comfortably and, following the announcement surrounding Joe Montemurro’s imminent departure, the Gunners have even more of an incentive to pick up the three points.
Tottenham Hotspur V Manchester City, Kick-off 2 pm
Tottenham Hotspur welcome Manchester City to The Hive on the back of a torrid run that has seen them go without a win in each of their last seven games.
Rehanne Skinner’s side have lost five of those matches and head into this encounter after a 3-0 north London derby defeat to Arsenal.
Spurs should have enough to avoid the drop, but will eager to stop this rot sooner rather than later.
But Manchester City are not the ideal opponents for Skinner’s team, and will be eager to recover from a disappointing Champions League quarter-final exit at the hands of Barcelona in midweek.
Gareth Taylor’s side have also been in imperious form domestically, winning each of their last 11 league games. Another victory here would see City equal Arsenal’s all-time record winning run in the Women’s Super League, which stands at 12 games.
City will be eager to continue the pace with Chelsea at the top of the table and cannot afford any slip-ups as we head into the final four games of the season. Gareth Taylor’s team should have too much for Spurs and a straightforward win should be on the cards here as they end a weekend that starts with West Ham against Reading.
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