Manchester City host Reading in the WSL on Wednesday evening as they look to stretch their unbeaten run to 15 matches in all competitions.
Having endured an injury hit start to the season, Gareth Taylor’s side are enjoying a fine run of form, and can move to within two points of rivals Manchester United in the WSL’s final Champions League spot with victory.
They face a Reading side who have already successfully upset the WSL’s elite this season, having beaten league champions Chelsea in December. The Royals will move level on points with City with a win on Wednesday.
When is kick off? Wednesday 16 March, 19:00 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? Academy Stadium
TV channel/live stream? FA Player (UK & international)
Highlights? FA Player, BBC Sport website
Referee? Anthony Backhouse
Gareth Taylor confirmed that Ellie Roebuck is ‘absolutely fine’ after being replaced in the second half of Sunday’s win at Tottenham. The goalkeeper suffered a blow to her shoulder in a collision with Ashleigh Neville, but Taylor admitted she was only taken off as a precaution.
Ruby Mace is in contention to return for City. The young centre-back has slotted seamlessly into the backline when called upon this season, but has sat out her side’s last three outings.
Vicky Losada remains sidelined, having picked up an injury during City’s Manchester derby victory in the FA Cup. Gareth Taylor confirmed the midfielder is still in a brace, but is hopeful she could make her return before April’s international break.
Steph Houghton, Esme Morgan and Chloe Kelly remain long term absentees, with the latter the closest to a return to action.
Top scorer Natasha Dowie missed Reading’s defeat to Manchester United through illness, and is likely to sit out again on Wednesday evening.
Amalie Eikeland was also absent for Saturday’s defeat and is a doubt for this trip.
Man City: Roebuck; Bronze, Greenwood, Kennedy, Stokes; Walsh, Weir, Stanway; Hemp, White, Park
Reading: Moloney; Bryson, Cooper, Evans, Woodham; Vanhaevermaet, Troelsgaard, Rowe, Harding; Harries, Rose
Reading were adventurous during their defeat to Manchester United last time out but looked vulnerable during transitions, with their defence sliced open by the passing of Ella Toone and the speed of United on the counter.
Should Kelly Chambers’ side set up in a similar way at City on Wednesday, Caroline Weir and Keira Walsh could have a field day sending Lauren Hemp scampering in behind the Reading backline, and City could run out comfortable winners.
Prediction: Man City 3-0 Reading