Preview: United Women v Leicester City
Manchester United return to Women’s Super League action this weekend with the visit of Leicester City to Leigh Sports Village.
The fixture with the Foxes comes off the back of our FA Cup exit to Manchester City in our first game after the February international break last Sunday, and therefore Marc Skinner’s Reds will be looking to produce a response against a side that we’ve already faced twice this season.
So, whether you’re coming down to LSV or planning to follow from afar, here’s everything you need to know ahead of our next outing…
HOW TO WATCH
Tickets are available to purchase for our first game of the month, at Leigh Sports Village, here, priced at £6 for adults and £3 for both under-16s and over-65s.
This weekend’s match is the team's only home fixture at Leigh in March because our next, the visit of Everton, will be played at Old Trafford on Sunday 27 March. Tickets are also on sale for that, at the same prices, now.
If you won’t be in the stands this weekend, the game will be broadcast live on the FA Player, while you can get the team news first on the Manchester United App, where we will also have updates at half-time and full-time, plus further pre- and post-match coverage come Saturday.
Marc Skinner will provide the latest update on how the Reds are shaping up for this weekend’s test during his matchday preview, which we will bring to you later this week. United developed no obvious injury concerns during last weekend’s derby defeat, and the boss will be able to confirm if that was the case, when he does his usual pre-match interview with MUTV. Prior to last Sunday’s game, Skinner said that January signing Jade Moore had been back on the grass and is “progressing nicely” as she works towards a return from a knee injury, but it seems like this weekend will still come too soon for the midfielder to make her United debut.
As for the visitors, they will be without defender Ashleigh Plumptre due to an illness, although fellow centre-back Sophie Howard will be in contention to play after her recent red card against Chelsea was rescinded. Former Red Jess Sigsworth and forward Lachante Paul will also be absentees.
The Foxes are currently enjoying their first-ever season in the Women’s Super League having topped the second tier last season. Following an understandably difficult transition to the top flight, the Foxes underwent a change in management with former England Women’s youth-team head coach Lydia Bedford taking over the reins at the King Power Stadium in December. Sitting eight points clear of the league’s sole relegation place following a positive run of recent form under their new coach, Leicester have been known to deploy a three-at-the-back system under Bedford, with a squad that contains former senior Reds Abbie McManus and Jess Sigsworth.
Prior to defeats at the hands of Manchester City in the WSL and FA Cup respectively in our last two outings, Skinner’s side had gone five games without a defeat in the league, dating back to November. United overcame Brighton, Aston Villa, Birmingham and Tottenham in that run before drawing away to leaders Arsenal in January.
Leicester also approach Saturday’s encounter looking to erase memories of an FA Cup exit last time out. The Foxes went down 7-0 to Chelsea last weekend, but all four of their league wins this season have come within their last six matches in the competition. That includes victories in their two most recent WSL games away to Birmingham City and at home to West Ham.
This is the third time that the teams will meet this season, following United’s victory in September’s reverse fixture, and Leicester’s triumph on penalties in a Continental Tyres League Cup group-stage clash before the turn of the year.
It will be the seventh game between the two sides over the years, with the Reds taking the spoils on the majority of the four contests prior to this campaign. United completed a double over the Midlands side in the 2018/19 Championship before registering our record home win (11-1) in a 19/20 League Cup meeting, while the Foxes took the spoils in May 2021’s FA Cup fifth-round tie, also at Leigh Sports Village.
Our game is one of five fixtures across the Women’s Super League this week. Here’s how the schedule looks in full…
SATURDAY 5 MARCH
Aston Villa v Brighton & Hove Albion (11:30 GMT)
UNITED v Leicester City
SUNDAY 6 MARCH
Arsenal v Birmingham City
Reading v Tottenham Hotspur (14:00 GMT)
THURSDAY 10 MARCH
West Ham United v Chelsea (19:45 GMT)
All games kick off at midday GMT unless stated.