21 min: Kuyken, the teenager, comes back to sweep up some Reading danger. The home team are being held at arm’s length. And the hail and rain keeps coming. It’s brutal.
18 min: Miedema takes up the ball and goes on a windy solo run; she had nobody in support. A backheel to close it reveals her lack of options and a bit of tiredness. Meanwhile, it is hailing, and the hailstones look as big as pebbles. Grim conditions perhaps the reason for a game that has not caught fire just yet.
16 min: Reading win a throw on the right flank. They line up for this one like a rugby line-up. Harding then launches it behind her, and the ball finds its way back to Peyraud-Magnin too easily.
15 min: Kelly Chambers is wrapped up warm, and her subs are sat under a blanket. It’s 5 degrees in Wycombe together and a little windy.
13 min: A foul on Little results in a quickly taken free-kick but Arsenal do look to be taking things slow, happy to retain the ball. Bartram has to come across to stop the ball getting to Miedema.
11 min: That was Miedema’s 23 goal in all competitions this season, and she is hunting more.
10 min: Reading’s build-up is somewhat slow, and Arsenal are defending with some comfort.
9 min: Reading, at last, have an attack and Brooke Chaplen was given a brief sight of goal before the ball was cleared.
8 min: Meade and Veje, who supplied Miedema for the goal, are finding far too much space on the flanks for Arsenal.
6 min: Miedema again looks to be causing problems, but Beth Meade’s pair of crosses are cleared, and hurriedly. Then Williamson is penalised for a foul.
4 min: That was exactly the opposite of the start Reading manager Kelly Chambers, who expressed her worries about her team before this game, didn’t want. Brings back memories of that 6-0.
Miedema finds space in the box to collect a cross from the left, takes the ball down and scores with ease. That didn’t take long.
1 min: Reading have lined up with a diamond formation, while Arsenal are playing 3-4-3. Looks like they fancy goals.
Kick-off: Adams Park, Wycombe, looks resplendent if not exactly full. The sound of Faithless’s Insomnia booms out. If I am not mistaken, Faithless are local heroes from the Thames Valley. Anyway, away we go.
Reading have lost not won a match since November, and lost 6-0 in the last WSL meeting between the teams.
The major team news for Arsenal is the absence of manager Joe Montemurro, who laid up in bed with the flu. Aaron D’Antino, also an Australian, will be masterminding matters from the dug-out.
It is getting tight at the top. That 2-1 Chelsea win at Arsenal a couple of weeks ago removed all margin for error for today’s away team. They have played a game less than current leaders Manchester City but two recent defeats removed the advantage they once held. And Chelsea, who had previously given up on the title, are lurking with serious intent, and host Birmingham later this afternoon. Arsenal have to steady themselves before there is another fortnight off for the FA Cup.
Reading, in fifth place, but way off the battle for the title, welcome new signing Rakel Hönnudóttir to the squad, though the striker only begins today’s match on the bench. And here are the teams.
Reading FC Women (@ReadingFCWomen)
⚡️ Team News ⚡️
New Signing Rakel Hönnudóttir is named on the bench! pic.twitter.com/0byneCBy85
Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC)
📝 The teams are in! Here’s how we line up against @ReadingFCWomen…
STARTING XI: Peyraud-Magnin; Williamson, Quinn, Mitchell; Bloodworth, McCabe, Little, Kuyken; Mead, Miedema, Veje