Preview: Liverpool v United Women
Manchester United are back in action this weekend, for what will be our final outing of the 2022/23 Women’s Super League season.
On the back of a dramatic 2-1 win in the Manchester derby at Leigh Sports Village last time out, our attention now turns to a trip to Merseyside to round off our 22/23 campaign.
Maximum points last weekend secured the Reds a best-ever finish in WSL, with a guarantee of ending the season in one of the top two spots – and securing European football for the first time in the club's history.
While the league title remains firmly in the hands of holders Chelsea, Marc Skinner’s side are still in with a chance of lifting it in the event that the Blues lose to Reading and we beat Liverpool, or if they draw and we score six uncontested goals against Matt Beard's side.
Ahead of a tense final round of fixtures, here are the key things to know as we draw the curtains on a memorable season...
HOW CAN YOU WATCH AND FOLLOW THE GAME?
With the title still yet to be decided, both United and Chelsea saw their respective games picked for television broadcast. While the Blues are on Sky, the Reds will be shown live on BBC One, the BBC iPlayer, and the BBC Sport website, with kick-off at 14:30 BST.
We will also be covering the game in the United App, providing team news, HT and FT updates, followed by a match report.
The away allocation is completely sold out, but there are a final few tickets remaining that are available to buy here.
Skinner is expected to have all but two players available for selection for our final WSL game of the current campaign. Maria Thorisdottir is a long-term absentee, having been ruled out for the remainder of the season following our FA Cup quarter-final tie against Lewes.
Revealed in Marc’s press conference for this weekend, Aoife Mannion is also set to miss the Liverpool clash having suffered a small MCL injury in training but the boss is hopeful it will require no more than a few weeks of recovery ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
For Saturday’s hosts, they have recently welcomed both Leanne Kiernan and Niamh Fahey back into regular first-team action after lengthy spells on the sidelines through injury. Melissa Lawley will be among their absentees, having recently undergone surgery making her unavailable for the final game of the campaign.
The Reds come into this game unbeaten in the league since mid-March, when Chelsea narrowly beat us 1-0. Since then, we’ve registered huge victories over Aston Villa, Arsenal, and more recently Manchester City.
Hayley Ladd’s sublime long-range strike opened the scoring against our neighbouring rivals with just two minutes on the clock, before an equally unbelievable finish levelled things, courtesy of Filippa Angeldahl. Just as we have done so many times this season, Skinner’s players scored a late winner to snatch all three points, with Lucia Garcia’s strike earning our first-ever WSL win over City.
Liverpool, meanwhile, come off the back of two impressive results against Manchester City and Aston Villa on their way to a mid-table finish. Aston Villa’s Kirsty Hanson, on loan from United, was at the double in that away clash, as well as Rachel Daly. But a brace from Katie Stengel, and Natasha Dowie’s strike before half-time, ensured a hard-fought point in the Midlands.
Press conference: Liverpool v United Women
Press conference | United Women boss Marc Skinner previews the WSL's final day, when the title race will be decided...
WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME WE MET?
Fixtures between United and Liverpool are scarcely shy of goals, which rang true last time we went head-to-head at the turn of the year. The Reds ran rampant in front of the LSV faithful, slotting six unanswered goals past the Merseyside outfit. Garcia opened the scoring inside ten minutes before Alessia Russo and Ladd followed up to make it 3-0 before the half. Emma Koivisto was on the end of an unfortunate own-goal just after the hour mark, while Martha Thomas and Rachel Williams came off the bench to complete a six-goal triumph.
Here is how the weekend is shaping up for a decisive weekend of football at both the top and bottom of the Women’s Super League…
SATURDAY 27 MAY
UNITED vs Liverpool
Chelsea vs Reading
West Ham vs Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester City vs Everton
Brighton vs Leicester City
Arsenal vs Aston Villa
*All kick-off times are at 14:30 BST.