Match Preview

FA WSL
FA WSL
Sunday 8 May 2022
Kickoff at 12:00 BST
Select Car Leasing Stadium
FA Player
Live text, audio and stats at mancity.com
Everything you need to know ahead of Manchester City’s FA Women's Super League game against Reading.

When and where

Gareth Taylor’s side complete our FA Women's Super League season at Reading's Select Car Leasing Stadium on Sunday 8 May with kick-off scheduled for 12:00 (UK).

The game is available to watch live on the FA Player while you can also follow updates and keep across the key moments from the Academy Stadium over on Twitter: @ManCityWomen.

A detailed match report and reaction will also be available soon after the final whistle, while highlights and a full-match replay can be accessed on Monday.

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POTENTIAL PERMUTATIONS

This is our final league game of the season. We are currently third in the table, the final Champions League place, two points ahead of fourth place Manchester United.

Our rivals and challengers for third are away to Chelsea at the same time, so City fans may have one eye on that fixture. However, qualification is in our hands.

Team news

Gareth Taylor makes two changes to the side that thrashed Birmingham in midweek, as Julie Blakstad and Chloe Kelly replace Demi Stokes and Hayley Raso.

Ellie Roebuck takes her place in goal, shielded by a backline of Julie Blakstad, Alex Greenwood, Alanna Kennedy and Lucy Bronze, while Keira Walsh protects the back four in defensive midfield.

Caroline Weir and Georgia Stanway occupy midfield, flanked by Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly, and Khadija 'Bunny' Shaw leads the line upfront.

Vicky Losada makes a welcome return to the bench, having not featured for City since February.

CITY XI | Roebuck, Bronze, Kennedy, Greenwood (C), Blakstad, Walsh, Stanway, Weir, Kelly, Hemp, Shaw

SUBS | Keating, Taieb, White, Angeldahl, Coombs, Mace, Losada, Raso

Gareth Taylor preview

“We have business to finish off on Sunday. One of the strengths of the squad has been that we don't look beyond the next game. We are not secure on Champions League. We have worked hard to get to that position.

“We want to get the job done and that will allow us to go into [next] Sunday with confidence. We are going to try our very best.

“The players have been very diligent and showed great desire. The team have worked so hard in getting us here and everyone is determined to finish the job off properly.

“It’s down to perseverance and hard work. Everyone has worked tremendously hard to turn the season around. We have done that. We’ve got one trophy in the locker and potentially another next week. Everyone wants Champions League football at this Club.

“There is nothing really [for Reading] to play for apart from pride and trying to earn a win. We have to be mindful of that.

“We had success in the home fixture. They are a dangerous team. They work tremendously hard. We need to attack the game in the right manner, make sure we are switched on with and without the ball.

“We understand the danger – not just in terms of qualifying for the Champions League, but also in terms of finishing strongly. We have gone 12 wins in a row and this is chance to build on the record we set last season.”

Form Guide

City come into the clash in imperious form, having won 20 of our last 22 games in all competitions, including our last twelve in succession with a 41-5 aggregate score.

Taylor's side are in third place in the league, knowing a victory this weekend will guarantee Champions League football next season.

Reading sit eighth in the Super League, having won seven of their 21 games. However, they are winless in their last nine league fixtures - a run that stretches back to early February.

Previous Meeting

Two goals in the final 20 minutes earned City a 2-0 win at the Academy Stadium in March, continuing a run of form that was propelling Gareth Taylor's side up the table.

Demi Stokes' first goal of the season broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute before Lauren Hemp tapped home to double City's lead and guarantee a vital three points.

WATCH: City 2-0 Reading: Match highlights

Last time out

City come into this match full of confidence after hitting Birmingham City for six in Manchester on Wednesday night.

Georgia Stanway brace, plus goals from Lauren HempChloe Kelly and Laura Coombs, plus Alanna Kennedy's first goal for the Club took City to within one game of Champions League qualification and relegated our opponents.

Reading endured a goalless draw with 11th place Leicester City on Sunday 1 May but will be raring to go after a full week of preparation.

WATCH: FA WSL highlights: City 6-0 Birmingham

Stats

• City are unbeaten in all bar one of our 11 FA Women’s Super League games against Reading (W8, D2) and have never lost an away FA WSL match against them in six previous visits (W5 D1) – in WSL history, only Arsenal's trips to Bristol City and Liverpool (nine games each) mark better runs on the road without losing.

Gareth Taylor's side have won 14 of our last 17 away FA WSL matches. Our last seven WSL away defeats have been in London, losing none of our last 24 away games outside of the capital (W20 D4) since a 1-0 defeat at Liverpool in May 2018.

Georgia Stanway has scored five goals in 10 away matches this season for City – only two players have scored more than five away from home in a season for City: Nikita Parris in 2018-19 (12) and Pauline Bremer in 2019-20 (6).

Chloe Kelly has scored six league goals against Reading - more than she has against any other side. Only Fran Kirby (7) and Vivianne Miedema (12) have more goals versus Reading in WSL history.

• Reading have lost their last two home FA Women’s Super League games; the Royals haven’t lost three in a row since March 2019. Since a run of seven wins in eight league matches between October and February, the Royals have only collected three points in nine WSL games (D3 L6), with this their longest winless run since winning none of their first 13 WSL games in 2016.

• Kelly Chambers' side have kept seven clean sheets in the WSL this season - their most since the 2018-19 season (seven). They have only kept more in one season, 10 in 2017-18.

• Only Birmingham (13) have conceded more league goals from corners in the WSL this season than Reading (7), whilst only Man Utd (11) have netted more such times than City (9) in the top-flight in 2021-22.

• Deanne Rose has had a direct hand in seven of Reading’s 21 league goals this season (4 goals, 3 assists) – the most of any Royals player – whilst only Fara Williams in 2017-18 (12) managed more in their debut top-flight campaign.

News about Reading v Man City"

Reading v City: Taylor on team news

Gareth Taylor says Vicky Losada is pushing for a welcome return to action in Sunday’s FA Women’s Super League finale against Reading. Read more

Reading 0-4 City WSL: FOLLOW LIVE

City side complete our FA Women's Super League season at Reading's Select Car Leasing Stadium, chasing third place and a Champions League spot. Read more

Training: City gear up for Royals appointment

One last push... View more

Taylor: Blakstad has settled better than we expected

Gareth Taylor says he his delighted with how quickly January signing Julie Blakstad has settled at the club. Watch more

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