Preview: Aston Villa v United Women

Thursday 28 September 2023 10:45

Manchester United Women take on Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday lunchtime to kickstart our 2023/24 WSL campaign.

The Reds will be looking to build on last season's achievements, which included qualification to the Champions League for the first time via our highest-ever league finish in the WSL (second) and points tally (56).

Marc Skinner has added nine players to his squad over the summer, who will all hope to play a key role in both the league and Europe.

Keep reading for all the essential information ahead of this weekend's big match...

Skinner: Bring on game one


Read our season-preview Q&A with United Women boss Marc Skinner, ahead of Sunday’s opener at Aston Villa.


Tickets for this weekend's clash remain available to purchase, with the game taking place away from home at Villa Park. Prices start at £12 for adults, £9 for under 18s and £6 for under 14s.

Alternatively, the game will be shown live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website for fans in the UK.

You can access live radio commentary from the United App, where we will also update you with team news, as well as half-time and full-time summaries, followed by a match report. 


Summer signing Emma Watson will be unavailable after suffering an ACL injury while on international duty with Scotland. The 17-year-old is currently undergoing treatment and rehabilitation at Carrington with the support of our medical teams. 

Marc Skinner may provide further updates on his squad for the weekend during his press conference on Friday, with several of our new recruits likely to be involved in the West Midlands.

Villa were busy in the transfer market in order to improve upon their fifth-placed league finish last season: this included the signings of former United Women players Kirsty Hanson and Adriana Leon.

Another of their notable additions is Dutch no.1 goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar, who is expected to make her debut in between the sticks against United. 

Watson shares a positive update with supporters


United Women's young midfielder has displayed her positive mental attitude after suffering an ACL injury.


The Reds have enjoyed a positive pre-season against quality opposition in the form of Leicester, Everton, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and most recently a 1-0 victory over Tottenham. This has allowed Skinner to welcome back several players who were involved at the 2023 World Cup in Australia, as well as embedding our new signings into the squad and his style of play. 

For the home side, Villa prepared for the new season with five friendly matches, including an entertaining 3-3 draw with Spanish side Villarreal earlier this month. Their other pre-season opponents were WSL sides Bristol City, Everton and Tottenham from the WSL and Women's Championship outfit Southampton. 

Highlights: United Women v Tottenham Hotspur Video

Highlights: United Women v Tottenham Hotspur

See how the Reds wrapped up pre-season with a friendly against Spurs at St George's Park...


Villa and United produced a five-goal thriller in this fixture last season as Millie Turner's dramatic injury-time winner secured a fine comeback victory on the road. The home side were leading at half-time thanks to Rachel Daly's double either side of Leah Galton's equaliser. Nikita Parris netted from close-range after the break before Turner powered home a header with time running out. 

We ran out 5-0 winners in the league fixture at Old Trafford in 2022/23, courtesy of goals from Katie Zelem, Galton, Alessia Russo, Ona Batlle and Rachel Williams.

The two sides also met in the League Cup group stages last season with Villa winning 4-3 on penalties, after the game finished 1-1 in normal time. Parris scored her first first goal for the Reds before Daly equalised in the second half. 

Highlights: Aston Villa v United Women Video

Highlights: Aston Villa v United Women

Highlights | Watch the action from United Women's dramatic five-goal thriller against Aston Villa in the WSL...


Our game is the first of six to take place during matchday one of the new WSL campaign. See the full schedule below...

Sunday 1 October

Aston Villa v UNITED (12:30)
Everton v Brighton (13:00)
Arsenal v Liverpool (14:00)
Bristol City v Leicester (14:00)
West Ham v Man City (15:00)
Chelsea v Tottenham (17:30)

All kick-off times are in BST.


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