Preview: Leicester City v United Women
Manchester United will be on the road for the first time in the 2021/22 Women’s Super League on Sunday (12 September), with a trip to newly promoted Leicester City.
The Reds will be looking to carry on from where we left off on the WSL's opening weekend, following a 2-0 victory over Reading at Leigh Sports Village.
The visit to the Foxes (KO 14:00 BST) is our first away fixture of the new campaign and our final game before a short hiatus for September’s international break.
So, with the countdown on to Sunday’s match in the Midlands, here’s everything you need to know…
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE MATCH?
It was great to see the return of our home fans during our opening-night victory over the Royals last Friday and, at the weekend, we will hopefully be joined by you travelling Reds at a competitive away fixture for the first time since February 2020.
Tickets are currently on sale for the match at the Foxes’ King Power Stadium and can be bought online with adults priced at £7, while seniors and under-18s tickets are £3.50. They can also be purchased at the gate on the day of the game, while car parking at the ground is available to book in advance here. Please note that United fans will only be able to buy tickets for Block A1 of the stadium, as there will be segregated seating between home and away supporters.
If you are not going to the game, you can follow proceedings from the Midlands via our Official App where we will have team news, half-time and full-time updates for you, along with a match report on there, and on ManUtd.com, after the final whistle. Highlights from the 90 minutes will also be shown the following day on MUTV.
It is expected that head coach Marc Skinner will have a healthy-looking squad to choose from, like last weekend, but whether that is still the case or not will be confirmed by the boss during his pre-match press conference on Friday.
Jackie Groenen made her return to the pitch in the final half-hour of the win against Reading, having missed most of pre-season due to her summer exploits with the Netherlands at the Tokyo Olympics, and therefore the midfielder could potentially be in line to build up her match fitness further with more minutes on Sunday.
The game is set to be a historic outing for Jonathan Morgan’s side, as their first-ever home outing in the WSL. The Foxes are currently settling into life as a WSL side for the first time in their history following an impressive promotion-winning season in the FA Women’s Championship last term, in which they went up as champions, losing just twice all season in the league.
Top scorer and Salford-born forward Natasha Flint played in United’s Centre of Excellence as a youngster and spearheads a Leicester attack that scored 17 more goals than the next best team in the second tier last season. Defensive solidity was also a key for Morgan’s side in 2020/21, keeping 10 clean sheets in the league, six of which came in their last seven matches.
The Foxes have made additions at both ends of the pitch in the off-season in preparation for the campaign, including familiar faces and former Reds Abbie McManus and Jess Sigsworth, who both made the permanent switch from United to Leicester over the summer.
Off the back of a pre-season which involved tests against the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea and Birmingham City, Leicester go into Sunday’s meeting with the aim of picking up their first-ever WSL victory, having narrowly lost out to Aston Villa on the opening weekend.
As for United, Skinner and co will arrive in the Midlands looking to make it two wins from two ahead of the international break, following last Friday’s 2-0 victory over Reading. Kirsty Hanson and Ona Batlle’s goals ensured we would follow up an unbeaten pre-season campaign (two wins, two draws) with three points to kick-off the new season.
Sunday’s match will be our fifth meeting with the Foxes and first since they got the better of us in last season’s Women’s FA Cup fifth round, emerging as 3-2 winners in our season finale at Leigh Sports Village back in May.
Prior to that, we only had happy memories of the fixture, with our biggest-ever win coming against Leicester – an 11-1 thumping in the 2019/20 Continental Cup group stage – while our only two meetings in the league came a season earlier, when we completed a double (6-1 at home, 7-0 away) over the Midlands side in the FA Women’s Championship.
Our trip to the King Power Stadium is one of six fixtures in this weekend’s round of Women’s Super League matches. Here is how the schedule looks…
SATURDAY 11 SEPTEMBER
West Ham United v Aston Villa (11:30 BST)
SUNDAY 12 SEPTEMBER
Chelsea v Everton (12:30 BST)
Birmingham City v Brighton & Hove Albion
Leicester City v UNITED
Reading v Arsenal
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur (18:45 BST)
All kick-offs are 14:00 BST unless stated.