Reading vs Chelsea: Women’s Super League Preview, Gameweek 22, 2023
For Reading it is all or nothing against Chelsea in their last game of the season. The Royals are at the brink of getting relegated to the Championship as they are currently last in the Women’s Super League, two points behind Leicester City.
Reading have to win against the Blues while they need Leicester to loose their match up with Brighton in order to stay in the English top flight.
The Royals’ chances of not getting relegated dropped massively after last weekend’s 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur when Justine Vanhaevermaet scored the only goal for Reading.
On the other side, the roles are reversed as Chelsea are fighting to secure their fourth WSL title in a row. Being two points ahead of pursuers Manchester United, a draw could potentially be enough for Emma Hayes’ side as her team are leading by five goals in goal difference – however, a victory is the safe option to again end the current campaign on top of the league.
Last weekend, the Blues came close to clinging the title one week early as they walked away victorious in a strong performance against rivals Arsenal. On the same day, Manchester United almost drew Manchester City in the derby. But a late strike from Lucía García kept the Red Devils’ title hopes alive.
The Royals remain without the service of goalkeeper Jackie Burns who is sidelined with an Achilles tendon injury.
Meanwhile, striker Deanne Rose made her return to the pitch in last weekend’s defeat to Tottenham. The 24-year-old came on as a second-half substitute and will be a high-quality option for Kelly Chambers on Saturday.
The Blues still have to do without Millie Bright and Fran Kirby who are both missing the game because of knee injuries.
Apart from those two, Hayes will have a full squad ready to give it their all on the pitch.
The last match of the season also marks the last game in blue for skipper Magdalena Eriksson and Pernille Harder who will both leave the club at the end of June.
Moloney; Mayi Kith, Cooper, Evans, Mukandi; Eikeland, Moore, Vanhaevermaet, Harries; Troelsgaard, Wellings
Berger; Perisset, Mjelde, Eriksson, Charles; Cuthbert, Ingle; James, Harder, Reiten, Kerr
Reading – Sanne Troelsgaard
As one of the three Royals’ players with the most goals of the season, the hopes of the club lie on potential goal scorers against Chelsea.
Same as her teammates Justine Vanhaevermaet and Charlie Wellings, the 34-year-old Danish international has managed to put the ball past the line four times so far in the current season.
Troelsgaard is also the only Reading player that has already scored against the Blues this year when the Royals lost 3-1 in the FA Cup quarter-final in March.
Chelsea – Pernille Harder
It will be Harder’s last game in the Chelsea jersey, she has shown multiple times that she earned to be part of the team. Even though the Danish international had to cope with mutiple injuries during her time in London she once more stepped up this year after her comeback.
The quality she added to the squad was clearly visible amongst her return as the Blues returned to a playing style involving more passes and creativity in attack with Harder compared to earlier in the season when long passes to Sam Kerr in the front were the main tactics.
Where is the game being played?
The match will take place at the Select Car Leasing Stadium in Reading.
What time is kick-off?
The game will kick off at 2:30pm (BST) on Saturday, 27 May .
How can I watch?
The match will be available to watch live on Sky Sports. Live text coverage will be available on both Reading’s (@ReadingFCWomen) and Chelsea’s (@ChelseaFCW) Twitter accounts.