Preview: MU Women v West Ham at Old Trafford

Manchester United Women will grace the Old Trafford pitch for the first time in their short history, when West Ham Women come to visit.

The Reds will trot out on to the hallowed turf of the Theatre of Dreams at 11:30 GMT on Saturday, in what is sure to be an exciting and memorable occasion for all concerned, even if it will still be played behind closed doors due to the ongoing pandemic.

Following the loss to rivals Arsenal in the fight for the crucial final Champions League spot last Friday, Casey Stoney’s side will be looking to put things right when the Hammers come to town.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the historic day at Old Trafford...

Highlights: West Ham 2 United Women 4Video

WHERE CAN I WATCH IT?

The match, which kicks off at 11:30 GMT, will be shown live on FA Player in the UK. You can watch a rerun of the game, in full, on MUTV from 13:30 GMT on Saturday.

FORM GUIDE

It’s been a difficult spell for United post-Christmas in the WSL, with four of our seven games in 2021 ending in defeat. Our most recent win came against Aston Villa at Leigh Sports Village on 7 March, when Kirsty Hanson, Jess Sigsworth and Katie Zelem all scored to seal a solid 3-0 triumph. Let’s hope we can bring that home form across to the Theatre of Dreams this weekend.

The visitors find themselves rock bottom in the WSL. The capital club have won just twice all season, with their latest victory arriving way back in December, against Bristol City. Since then, Olli Harder’s side have suffered four defeats and two draws and in their last game they conceded a 94th-minute equaliser to Birmingham City's Ruby Mace, to draw 2-2 at Victoria Road.

TEAM NEWS

Tobin Heath, Ivana Fuso and Leah Galton are out with long-term injuries and unfortunately won’t be involved at Old Trafford. Young forward Alessia Russo will also miss out, but is edging closer to a return to the side following a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD

This is the third time we will face West Ham in the top-flight of English women's football. In our first encounter, it was the Hammers who came out on top, winning 3-2. Hanson and Lauren James found the back of the net on the first day of December in 2019, but Katharina Baunach’s two late goals sealed a win for the hosts that day.

In the reverse meeting this campaign, back in October, the Reds fired four past the hosts as we won 4-2 in the capital. Russo netted a brace before our American duo of Christen Press and Heath showed exactly why United wanted them by scoring the two other goals in our win in London.

WHO ELSE IS IN ACTION?

In addition to the Old Trafford clash, there are plenty of interesting fixtures coming up in the WSL this weekend, including a North London derby…

SATURDAY 27 MARCH

UNITED v West Ham (11:30 GMT)
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal (15:30 GMT)
Manchester City v Reading (17:30 GMT)

SUNDAY 28 MARCH

Brighton & Hove Albion v Everton (12:30 BST*)
Chelsea v Aston Villa (14:30 BST)
Birmingham City v Bristol City (16:00 BST)

*The clocks will go forward one hour in the UK on Sunday.

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