Preview: Manchester United Women v Blues Women

Preview: Manchester United Women v Blues Women

Blues Women travel to face Manchester United in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League on Saturday lunchtime.

Darren Carter’s side carry plenty of momentum into their first away trip of 2022, having picked up their win of the season against league leaders Arsenal last weekend.

Blues are previously winless in their three BFAWSL meetings with the Red Devils, most recently losing 0-2 at St. Andrew’s earlier this season in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Marc Skinner’s side are yet to play in 2022, with their fixture last weekend against West Ham United postponed to due to COVID-19 cases in the Hammers’ camp.

Most recently, they put five past our Second City rivals at Leigh Sports Village and have picked up three consecutive victories.

THE OPPOSITION:

The hosts come into the fixture in fourth, two points behind Tottenham Hotspur, who occupy the final UEFA Women’s Champions League spot.

Victories in their last three league games have eased pressure on the former Blues boss after an inconsistent start to the campaign. 0-2 wins against both Brighton and Everton and a resounding 5-0 victory against Carla Ward’s side edged them closer to the top three.

A successful December for the Red Devils saw Skinner named as the BFAWSL Manager of the Month. Playmaker Ella Toone was also named as the BFAWSL Player of the Month and is United’s current top goalscorer with five goals and four assists to her name.

Ella Toone has been a standout for the Red Devils this season.

Ella Toone has been a standout for the Red Devils this season.

LAST TIME OUT:

Blues Women put in an impressive display to defeat league leaders Arsenal 2-0 at St. Andrew’s last weekend. Libby Smith got her side off to a flying start after three minutes, keeping her composure to finish off Lucy Quinn’s through ball. Just before the break, Veatriki Sarri started and finished off a move to double Blues’ advantage. The result saw Blues climb off the bottom of the table and above Leicester City.

Man United put five past our Second City neighbours before the Christmas break to round off an impressive month. Ella Toone and Katie Zelem put the hosts two-up inside 15 minutes, before second-half goals from former Blue Lucy Staniforth, Martha Thomas and a second for Toone secured a dominant win.

Libby Smith celebrates after putting Blues ahead against Arsenal last weekend.

Libby Smith celebrates after putting Blues ahead against Arsenal last weekend.

WE MEET AGAIN:

Blues Women 0-2 Manchester United Women, 03 October 2021.

Leah Galton fired the visitors ahead from close range in the last meeting between the two sides. Before Ella Toone added a second, finishing off from Hannah Blundell’s cutback to the England international.

Lucy Whipp challenges with Man United captain Katie Zelem during our meeting earlier this season.

Lucy Whipp challenges with Man United captain Katie Zelem during our meeting earlier this season.

BLUES TEAM NEWS:

Emily Whelan returns to the side having missed last weekend through illness. Marie Hourihan misses out through injury. Cecilie Sandvej is missing following a minor procedure of over the Christmas period. Arabella Suttie and Lily Simkin remain longer-term absentees.

Emily Whelan is in contention following her return to training.

Emily Whelan is in contention following her return to training.

WATCH LIVE:

The fixture will be live on the FA Player - Click here.

MATCH OFFICIALS:

Referee: Kirsty Dowle

Assistant Referee: Ceri Williams

Assistant Referee: Emily Carney

Fourth Official: Abigail Byrne