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🔜 Preview | Royals make trip to Birmingham

Reading take on Birmingham City Women on Sunday

23 April 2021

Reading FC Women will be looking to get back to winning ways in their antepenultimate game of the 2020-21 season as they travel to Birmingham City in league action.

Kelly Chambers’ side are coming off a 5 goal, 120-minute thriller against Tottenham last weekend in the Fourth-Round of the FA Cup, in which they lost out due to an Extra Time winner from Spurs.

Prior to that, the Royals had a disappointing loss to West Ham, preceded by an incredibly narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of title contenders Manchester City.

Current results leave Reading in 7th place in the Women’s Super League table, 4 points behind Brighton & Hove Albion in 6th.

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City’s recent form at a glance

It has been an up-and-down season for Birmingham. Their 1-0 win at the Madejski back in October heralded their best form of the campaign with two further wins coming from their next three outings. They have not managed a league win since their 1-0 victory at Aston Villa back on Nov 14th. Five home postponements certainly have not helped their cause and Carla Ward was relieved when her side finally got back into winning ways last weekend with a 5-2 FA Cup win against Championship side Coventry United. With four games remaining, City are in 10th place in the WSL with 2 points more than bottom placed Bristol City. 13 goals have come from their 18 WSL fixtures so far, with Claudia Walker the top scorer with 5 league and 3 cup goals to her name.  

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City’s squad details – mid-season update

Head Coach Carla Ward was busy during the January transfer window. She brought in forward Veatriki Sarrir from her former team Sheffield United. The 22-year-old, who featured in Greece’s qualification matches for the 2019 World Cup, made her Blues debut in last weekend’s cup victory over Coventry United. Meanwhile Ruesha Littlejohn joined from WSL bound Leicester City. Loan signings of the young Chelsea duo Jamie-Lee Napier and Emily Murphy, as well as Georgia Brougham from Everton, strengthened the squad and added potentially exciting quality.

In early February it was announced that 17-year-old midfielder Ruby Mace was joining on loan from Arsenal for the remainder of the season. Making her debut in goal last weekend was 24-year-old Sophie Whitehouse who is on loan from Tottenham. Meanwhile, Scottish international Rachel Corsie has left the club, heading back to the States as a Kansas City player. Another departure was winger Destiny Toussaint who moved to Coventry United.

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Previous meetings with City remembered.

In total there have been 11 league and cup fixtures between the sides since the Royals moved into the WSL in 2016. Interestingly, in none of those meetings has there been more than a single goal between the sides. Including this season’s meeting at the Madejski on October 11th there have been 8 WSL meetings. The Royals have just one league victory to date; Amalie Eikeland netting the only goal in the Adams Park meeting in the 2019-20 season. Four of the other meetings have been drawn, while Claudia Walker’s goal at the Madejski last October resulted in City’s 3rd WSL win over the Royals. The sides have met twice in the FA Cup, City winning 1-0 at Adams Park in 2017-18, but Reading winning 2-1 in the 5th round meeting in 2018-19 with goals coming from Kirsty Pearce and Rakel Honnudottir.

The final meeting was a Spring Series clash in 2017 that ended 1-1. Reading’s visit to Damson Park last season did not take place. Scheduled for Sept 29th it was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch and the curtailment of the season meant the fixture was never played. The previous visit was in early January 2019. Trailing to a Kerys Harrop goal, the Royals equalised with two minutes remaining when Remi Allen’s shot went in via home keeper Hannah Hampton. Just a minute later though City grabbed the winner through Meaghan Sargeant.

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Birmingham City Women v Reading FC Women | Sunday 25th April | 2pm | Sportnation.bet Stadium | Watch all the action LIVE on the FA Player.


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