Arsenal Ladies will start their 2016 League campaign at home to FA WSL 2 Champions Reading Women FC, here is our match preview.
Reading Women have started their season with a 2-0 win over FA WSL 2 side Millwall Lionesses. They struggled to break down the Lionesses defensive set-up with creativity certainly lacking for most of the game.
Having said that, they are more likely to have less ball possession in the league game on Wednesday and will spend more time defending. Therefore, I would not be surprised to see three changes in defence and in midfield from the team that played on Sunday.
There were weaknesses in certain areas on the pitch and hopefully Arsenal will be able to take advantage of them.
This will be our league opener and the Arsenal Ladies need the three points to kick-start their season properly, especially after the lucky escape in the FA Cup with a penalty shootout win. Reading are favourite for many fans for relegation and the FA WSL 2 champions will look to come back with a point or three by hitting us on the counter-attack.
Who would you have: Emma Follis is a right-winger with potential and she will certainly look to be in the England manager’s thoughts in 2016.
Opposition key players: Jade Boho-Sayo, the Equatorial Guinea centre-forward, was superb for the half season she played at Bristol and nearly saved them with her goals. She is strong and powerful and knows how to put the ball in the back of the net. A rare commodity in the FA WSL.
Talented goalkeeper Mary Earps also moved from Bristol to showcase her ability and hopefully get a chance with England. She is very dynamic and explosive.
Arsenal: Van Veenendaal; Scott, Stoney, Rose, Williamson; Williams, Losada, Nobbs; Carter, Pablos Sanchon, Van De Donk
Reading: Earps; Jane, Bartip, McGee, Scott; Hines, Rowe, Bruton; Follis, Boho-Sayo, Ward
Playing both sides
Kayleigh Hines, Molly Bartrip, Lois Roche, Laura May-Walkley all played for the Arsenal Youth teams and Academy
Lauren Bruton and Helen Ward played many seasons at Arsenal Ladies and won countless medals.