Preview: Aston Villa v United Women

Saturday 23 April 2022 10:00

Manchester United Women return to WSL action this weekend, following the recent international break, bidding to increase our chances of a top-three finish this season.

The Reds have just three games until the completion of the 2021/22 campaign and are unbeaten since the beginning of February. Our most recent outing brought a 1-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion, and Marc Skinner's side will no doubt be looking to build on that.

Given United easily brushed aside the Villans earlier this season in a 5-0 home victory, there's the chance of a double being chalked up on Sunday evening.

Here’s all the information you need ahead of the clash…

Highlights: United Women v Brighton Video

Highlights: United Women v Brighton

See how United Women edged out Brighton at Leigh Sports Village, courtesy of Leah Galton’s strike…


Match tickets are no longer available but Sunday's game will be shown live on the FA Player, from kick-off at 18:00 BST. You can also follow updates on our official women's team Twitter account, @manutdwomen, and there'll be team news plus half-time and full-time summaries in the United App.


Assistant manager Martin Ho confirmed to club media earlier this week that United will be boosted by the return of three key players this weekend, ahead of our crucial three game run-in, with Champions League qualification for next season still very much at stake.

"Diane [Caldwell], Kirsty Smith and Lucy Staniforth will all come back into the squad so we've had a really good training week with a really healthy group,'' said Ho. "They've trained really well and all three of those players will come back into the fold."


Coming into the encounter, Carla Ward’s Villa side find themselves ninth in the WSL table at present, having beaten Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in their last outing on 3 April.

With a mere 13 goals so far this season, the Villans currently have the second-lowest tally in the division, with top scorer Ramona Petzelberger finding the net only three times. The West Midlands outfit have recorded six wins in 19 games, with just one of those coming at home.

Ton-up for Toone


Ella Toone became the first ever United Women player to reach 100 appearances in Sunday's win over Brighton.


United head into the clash with confidence following an unbeaten domestic run that now stretches over almost two months. Victories against Leicester, Reading, Everton and Brighton, plus a draw against West Ham, have given us a total of 13 points from the last 15 available. England international Alessia Russo has been in terrific scoring form, finding the net four times in our last five games, as she looks to continue climbing the WSL goal charts.


Recording a terrific 5-0 home victory back in December, Skinner’s team hit the front in the opening 15 minutes at Leigh Sports Village, with Ella Toone and Katie Zelem both netting. Lucy Staniforth, Martha Thomas and Toone once more completed the scoring on the evening, as the Reds completed the calendar year of 2021 in blistering style. 

United boast a staggering record against the Villans, having won all six previous meetings by an aggregate scoreline of 29-0. The last time we faced them away, a goal each from Galton and Toone gave us a 2-0 win in the WSL.

Our clash is one of six games to be played across the weekend, with league leaders Chelsea and also our local rivals Manchester City returning to action too.

Brighton v Birmingham

Everton v Arsenal (13:00)
Man City v Leicester 
Reading v West Ham 
Tottenham v Chelsea (14:30)
Villa v UNITED (18:00)

All games kick off at 14:00 BST unless stated.