By James Wood

2nd Apr, 2021 | 8:20am

West Ham Women: Reading preview as Hammers attempt to escape relegation zone

West Ham are on the road again this weekend as they travel to the Madejski Stadium to face Reading in a huge WSL clash. 

The Hammers are in desperate need of points after another loss last weekend. Manchester United ran out 2-0 winners in their first WSL match at Old Trafford.

The loss leaves Olli Harder’s side rock bottom of the WSL, with no league win since December 13. Something has to give, two wins and three draws in 16 league games is very concerning.

Harder will be hoping for a big improvement from his side. They allowed United to dominate the play at Old Trafford last weekend and only saw 26% of possession. This sort of performance simply won’t do in the long run, the Hammers need to start picking up some points desperately.

West Ham are still set to be without Adriana Leon and Lois Joel. Both players are recovering from bone fractures in their feet – they’ll still be out for some time yet.

They’ll also be without German defender Lauren Vetterlein. She was given a red card in last weekend’s defeat and will be suspended for this clash.

Reading aren’t on the best of runs themselves. They’ve had one win in their last five, coming against Man United almost two months ago.

It’s a significant afternoon for our hosts. This will be the last time Jess Fishlock plays for the club before returning to OL Reign. The Welsh midfielder has played a significant role in Kelly Chambers’ side this season and was even nominated for the December Player of the Month award.

Victory for the Royals would see them move above Brighton into sixth spot. Reading are already 11 points clear of bottom-placed Hammers. They’ll be looking to make it their first win in four tomorrow, and will be confident of doing so.

They picked up their second league win of the campaign in the reverse fixture back in October. A Lauren Bruton header was enough to defeat the Hammers 1-0 at the Dagenham and Redbridge Stadium.

Reading had their keeper Grace Moloney to thank – she tipped Leon’s second-half effort onto the post, before saving a Kenza Dali penalty just after the hour mark.

Hopefully, we can turn a corner tomorrow at the Madejski Stadium. Kick-off is at 02:00pm, come on you Irons!

In other West Ham news, here is what our women’s expert makes of our new huge new January signing.