WSL preview: Man Utd travel to Reading live on Sky Sports

Team news and stats for Saturday’s Women’s Super League fixtures as Reading host Manchester United, live on Sky Sports, while Leicester travel to Everton.

Reading vs Manchester Utd – Saturday, 11.30am, live on Sky Sports

Saturday 12th March 11:00am Kick off 11:30am

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Team news: Reading are expected to name the same side that earned a goalless draw against Tottenham last weekend.

Goalkeeper Grace Moloney had not featured since the middle of February before that game, meaning that youngster Rhiannon Stewart filled in between the posts, but Moloney’s return is a welcomed sight for the Royals.

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Highlights of the Women’s Super League match between Reading and Tottenham

Millie Turner continues to be absent from Manchester United‘s squad due to injury, meaning that Diane Caldwell is likely to remain alongside Maria Thorisdottir in defence.

Jackie Groenen came into midfield in place of Hayley Ladd in a 4-0 win over Leicester last time out, and the former could remain in the starting XI operating next to Katie Zelem in midfield.

Alessia Russo is currently United’s leading goalscorer this season, but she moved out wide to allow Martha Thomas to play in the No 9 role on Sunday, and she could retain her place after getting on the scoresheet.

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Highlights of the Women’s Super League match between Manchester United and Leicester City

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  • Reading have won one of their five Women’s Super League matches against Manchester United (D1 L3), a 2-0 away victory in February 2021.
  • Man Utd have never lost away at Reading in the WSL in their two previous visits (W1 D1), winning 2-1 last season under Casey Stoney.
  • Reading have kept six clean sheets in the WSL this season, as many as they managed in 2019-20 and 2020-21 combined. They last kept more than six in the 2018-19 season (7).
  • Manchester United have only won one of their last five away WSL matches (D3 L1) since a three-game winning run between May and October 2021.
  • Reading are unbeaten in six home WSL matches (W5 D1) – the Royals have never gone seven home games unbeaten in the competition previously.
  • Manchester United scored their 100th WSL goal in their 4-0 win over Leicester City last time out – they reached that tally in 51 games, with only Arsenal scoring 100 in fewer games (43) among the 10 teams to reach this tally.
  • Since having 15 shots against Everton in February, Reading have only managed 16 in their last three games and just three on target. Their combined expected goals tally in those three games was just 1.43.
  • Manchester United have scored the most goals via corners in the Women’s Super League this season with nine; only Reading in 2017-18 (10) and Man City in 2020-21 (12) have netted more across an entire top-flight campaign.
  • Martha Thomas has scored more WSL goals against Reading (3) than any other opponent, with all three coming in the same game for former club West Ham in April last year. Indeed, she remains the first and only Scotswoman to net a hat-trick in the Women’s Super League.
  • Manchester United’s Alessia Russo has been involved in 13 goals in 19 WSL appearances (9 goals, 4 assists), although Reading are one of three teams she’s faced and not scored against, along with Aston Villa and Everton.

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We take a look back at some of the best goals from the Women’s Super League so far this season

Everton vs Leicester – Saturday, 5.30pm

Team news: Everton midfielder Lucy Graham has been limited this season due to injury, but she made her first start since December in a 1-0 win over Aston Villa last time out.

Toni Duggan’s return has not quite worked out as she would have wished, having only netted once in 14 WSL appearances this season, but she will continue to lead the line for the Toffees.

Leicester will be without long-term absentees Hannah Cain, Lachante Paul and Kirstie Levell.

Saturday’s visitors have no new injury or suspension concerns and have been boosted by the return of Nigeria international Ashleigh Plumptre.

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Highlights of the Women’s Super League match between Aston Villa and Everton

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  • This is only the second WSL meeting between Everton and Leicester – the Toffees won the first game in November, a 1-0 victory with a goal from Simone Magill.
  • Leicester have lost their last four matches against Everton in all competitions – one in the WSL, two in the Women’s Championship and one in the FA Cup.
  • Everton have lost each of their two home WSL matches under new manager Chris Roberts – the Toffees haven’t lost three in a row at home in the competition since April 2019 under Willie Kirk.
  • Leicester City are the only team to have featured in the WSL but never drawn a match, winning four and losing 12 of their 16 games so far. They are the third side to draw none of their first 16 games in a season, after Doncaster Rovers Belles in 2016 and Arsenal in 2018-19.
  • Everton have won their last three WSL matches against newly promoted clubs, including a 1-0 win versus Leicester earlier this campaign. However, the Toffees have lost more WSL games against promoted clubs than any other side in the competition’s history (seven).
  • Since Lydia Bedford’s first WSL game in charge on December 12th, only Man Utd (5) have won more WSL games than Leicester City (4).
  • Everton have scored just five goals in their last 10 WSL games, after scoring six goals across two games against Birmingham (3-1) and Reading (3-0). Their conversion rate in the last 10 games has been just 4% (5 goals from 117 shots).
  • Only Birmingham (13) and Aston Villa (11) have conceded the first goal in more WSL games this season than Leicester (10). The Foxes have gone on to lose every single game in which they’ve conceded first.
  • Everton’s Kenza Dali has had more attempts without scoring than any other WSL player this season (20 shots), with her last goal in the competition coming back in April 2021 against Reading for West Ham.
  • Leicester City have provided more minutes to players aged 21 or younger than any other WSL side this season (3441), compared to Arsenal, at the other end of the spectrum, who have awarded just 20 minutes to those players.

Here’s how to follow the WSL on Sky Sports…

Sky Sports – All 35 games will be available across Sky Sports’ flagship channels, including Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event.

Sky Sports digital – Follow all the latest from the WSL across and app, including exclusive features and interviews, plus dedicated live blog coverage and in-game clips from games live on Sky Sports. You can watch free match highlights from every WSL game this season on Sky Sports’ digital platforms and YouTube channel.

Sky Sports News – Running 24 hours a day, seven days a week Barclays FA WSL fans can enjoy Sky Sports News (channel 409) rolling editorial coverage of the league and its storylines throughout the season.

Inside the WSL – Hosted by award-winning broadcaster and journalist Jessica Creighton, Inside the WSL is a comprehensive round-up of all things Barclays FA Women’s Super League and women’s football. Airing weekly from Thursday, September 9 on Sky Sports Premier League, the half an hour show will review and preview matches, include in-depth analysis and exclusive player interviews. Viewers can expect gripping behind the scenes access as well as a summary of all the action both on and off the pitch.

Sky Sports Social – Alongside coverage and visibility for the league across all Sky Sports’ main social media channels, a new bespoke Twitter channel @SkySportsWSL will be the home of all Barclays FA WSL content on Sky Sports.

To add all the Barclays FA WSL fixtures to your calendar click here.

Source : Sky Sports