Match preview: Aston Villa v United Women
Manchester United Women will be bidding to begin this season's FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup group stage in fine fashion, as we prepare to take on Aston Villa at the Poundland Bescot Stadium on Saturday.
Our Group B opener follows on from back-to-back wins to start the new WSL season for Marc Skinner's Reds, who most recently triumphed 2-0 away to West Ham on Sunday.
Summer signing Lucia Garcia opener her account for the club just five minutes into the second half, with Hannah Blundell also netting her first United goal shortly after. With attention now turning to our first cup outing this season, the team will hope to carry our recent form into this weekend's clash with the Villans.
Here's everything you need to know ahead of this Saturday's showdown...
Highlights: West Ham v United Women
Here's another chance to see action and reaction from our first away game of the new WSL season...
HOW TO WATCH AND FOLLOW
A number of tickets are still available for the game against Aston Villa at the Poundland Bescot Stadium, also the home ground of Walsall FC, with entry priced at £10 for adults. Under 18s can be admitted from £7.50 and tickets for under 14s are also available for just £5 in the West Midlands.
With the match not set to be broadcast live on television, fans will be able to stay right up to date with all of the action in the 12:30 BST kick-off, by following updates throughout the afternoon via the United App and our dedicated women's team's official Twitter channel: @ManUtdWomen.
Speaking prior to last weekend's victory over the Hammers, United boss Skinner insisted that both Rachel Williams and Aoife Mannion remain absentees for the foreseeable future and are therefore set to be unavailable once more, for this clash.
Midfielder Grace Clinton (illness) missed our most recent victory but will be in line to make her competitive debut for the club, if she is fit enough to return, following her summer move from Everton.
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United Women centre-back Millie Turner is happy to be back playing after her injury concerns last season.
Winning promotion to the WSL back in 2019/20, Villa have remained in the top flight of women's football for the past two seasons.
Tenth and ninth-place finishes have since followed, the latter of which was the team's first term under manager Carla Ward.
United winger Kirsty Hanson is currently on a season-long loan with the Midlands side, as she looks to benefit from consistent game-time in this campaign.
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Having also won their opening two WSL fixtures so far this season, including a terrific 4-3 opening-weekend success over Manchester City at Villa Park, Ward's side will be brimming with confidence heading into Saturday's encounter.
Lioness and European champion Rachel Daly already has three goals to her name and will be bidding to improve on her tally against United this weekend, following her summer move from Houston Dash in the NWSL.
Following up with an equally impressive 2-0 victory over Leicester City last time out, Villa currently occupy third position in the WSL table at present.
Failing to lose or concede in any of our previous six meetings with the Villans, Skinner's side will head into this weekend's clash hoping to continue that run.
Prior to drawing our last contest 0-0 in April, at the Poundland Bescot Stadium, we emerged 5-0 winners in last season's reverse fixture on home soil, thanks to goals from Ella Toone (2), Katie Zelem, Martha Thomas and Lucy Staniforth.
United triumphed 2-0 and 3-0 in the first-ever WSL encounters between the sides in 2020/21, having racked up 12-0 and 5-0 wins from the two Championship contests in our inaugural 2018/19 term.
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Marc Skinner's Reds take all three points from our first away match of the new WSL season.
Our clash is one of 10 League Cup group-stage games taking place this weekend, as the competition kicks off for 2022/23. Here is the schedule in full...
SATURDAY 1 OCTOBER
Aston Villa v UNITED (12:30 BST)
SUNDAY 2 OCTOBER
Sunderland v Liverpool (11:30 BST)
Durham v Sheffield United (12:00 BST)
Birmingham City v Brighton & Hove Albion
Lewes v Charlton Athletic
Reading v Tottenham Hotspur
Blackburn Rovers v Leicester City
London City v West Ham United
Coventry United v Southampton (15:00)
Bristol City v Crystal Palace (15:00)
All kick-offs are 14:00 BST unless stated.