Continental Cup preview: United v Man City
Group-stage points and local pride will be at stake when Manchester United Women host Manchester City Women for a second derby in the space of five weeks, this time in the Continental League Cup.
The action will begin at 19:00 GMT this Wednesday evening and in the meantime, here's everything you need to know ahead of a huge game...
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE GAME?
CAN I GET A TICKET?
Tickets and hospitality for this game are on sale to all supporters now, online only via manutd.com/womenstickets. Disabled supporters requiring the use of accessible seating can call 0161 524 0211 to check availability.
Although United Women were only formed three years ago and began life one league below City, there have been seven competitive meetings so far. In fact, those fixtures are condensed into an even tighter timespan as the first derby clash came in September 2019 following the Reds' promotion from the Championship. The Blues won that historic encounter 1-0 and have triumphed in a total of three derbies, while United have two victories - both of which were in the Continental Cup, including last season's 4-3 penalty shoot-out success when their group game ended 0-0. Last month, the rivals served up the second of their two 2-2 draws as Lucy Staniforth, Alessia Russo and then City's Ellen White all scored in a frenetic seven-minute spell towards the WSL derby's denouement. Khadija Shaw's first-half opener came just after her Blues team-mate Georgia Stanway was sent off.
The Reds have drawn the last four games in a row, a sequence that started at home to City and continued on the road against Durham in the Continental Cup and then Spurs and Everton in the WSL following the international break. On each occasion, United have been pegged back from winning positions, so Skinner will be particularly keen to keep the lead if his side go in front once again in the derby. Meanwhile, the Blues have played five games since we last met, all of them resulting in either heavy defeats or handsome wins. Gareth Taylor's team have beaten Everton 5-1 and Durham 3-0 in the Continental Cup, and they also won 4-1 away at Leicester City in the WSL, but Chelsea inflicted two big home losses - 3-0 in the Women's FA Cup semi-final and, last weekend, 4-0 in the league.
Skinner told us on Tuesday afternoon that he will be without four players. "Hayley [Ladd] has still got a slight illness so she'll be missing this game and Martha Harris has an issue with her foot," he revealed, "and then we've just got Millie [Turner] and Jackie [Groenen] who are still out."
His opposite number Taylor revealed Jamaican striker Shaw could return after a three-match absence due to a foot injury. The City boss told club media: "We've potentially got 'Bunny' back for a period in the game, which helps."
United v City is one of 10 Continental Cup group-stage games being played this Wednesday evening. The other nine are as follows and kick off at 19:30 GMT unless stated:
Brighton & Hove Albion v London City Lionesses (19:00 GMT)
Durham v Leicester City (19:00 GMT)
Liverpool v Blackburn Rovers Ladies (19:00 GMT)
Birmingham City v West Ham United
Bristol City v Lewes
Watford v Tottenham Hotspur
Charlton Athletic v Coventry United
Aston Villa v Sheffield United
Crystal Palace v Reading (20:00 GMT)