Match preview: Leicester v United Women
Manchester United Women can make it four wins from four in the new WSL season with Sunday’s trip to Leicester City.
Kick-off is at 15:00 BST and this weekend’s fixture is the first of three in eight days for Marc Skinner’s side, with a league visit to Everton next Sunday coming after a midweek away tie at Durham in the League Cup.
So, here is all the information you need ahead of our next test, as United bid to continue our recent momentum in the Women’s Super League…
HOW TO WATCH AND FOLLOW
A limited number of tickets remain available and can be purchased via Leicester City’s website. Supporters in the UK not at the King Power Stadium can watch the match live via The FA Player, while you will able to find the team news, plus half-time and full-time updates in the United App. There will also be coverage that you can follow via our women’s team’s dedicated Twitter account (@ManUtdWomen).
Having avoided the drop last season, the Foxes have endured a difficult start to the new campaign but will be vying to pick up their first points of the 2022/23 WSL term on Sunday. Lydia Bedford’s side have suffered defeats to Tottenham, Aston Villa, Everton and Manchester City since the summer, but did show winning quality to open their League Cup campaign with victory at Blackburn Rovers, at the start of October. Among Sunday’s hosts’ ranks is on-loan United winger Carrie Jones, plus former Reds Abbie McManus and Jess Sigsworth.
Marc Skinner confirmed in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday afternoon that the Reds will again be without forward Alessia Russo, following an injury that the England international sustained before her nation’s fixtures earlier this month.
Grace Clinton is back on the grass but also won’t be available for the Leicester match according to Marc, while long-term absentee Aoife Mannion is continuing her rehab from a knee injury.
Our head coach also confirmed that the club won’t take any risks with defender Ona Batlle, who is recovering from a concussion sustained in the closing stages of last weekend’s win over Brighton. Hannah Blundell is back in individual training after being withdrawn as a precaution in that match.
As for the hosts, Jones is ineligible to face her parent club, while former Reds defender McManus hasn’t featured yet this season but returned to the matchday squad from injury for last weekend’s defeat at Manchester City. Goalkeeper Demi Lambourne was close to a return for that game at the Academy Stadium, but did not feature. Hannah Cain, Lachante Paul and Georgia Brougham have been long-term absentees, as has ex-United striker Sigsworth.
Sunday’s meeting will be the eighth in the fixture’s history, with the first coming back in February 2019. The Reds have won five of the previous seven clashes, including both of last season’s WSL contests (3-1 away, 4-0 at home). The sides did also meet in the group stage of the Continental League Cup, with the Foxes triumphing on penalties at Leigh Sports Village following a 2-2 draw after 90 minutes.
The hosts are going in search of their first league win of the new campaign following defeats in each of their opening four WSL matches. The East Midlands outfit did kick off their Conti Cup campaign with three points at Blackburn earlier this month, however.
United drew at Aston Villa in our League Cup opener before a penalty-shootout loss, but have been triumphant in all three of our WSL outings so far this campaign. It means Skinner’s side occupy the division’s top spot, ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea on goal difference, going into this weekend’s round of matches.
Our game is one of six across the WSL this weekend – here is the schedule in full…
SATURDAY 22 OCTOBER
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City (11:30 BST)
Aston Villa v Everton (12:30 BST)
SUNDAY 23 OCTOBER
Liverpool v Arsenal (12:00 BST)
Leicester City v UNITED (15:00 BST)
West Ham United v Reading (15:00 BST)
Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea (18:45 BST)