HomeFootball NewsManchester City vs Manchester United: WSL Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch...

Manchester City vs Manchester United: WSL Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

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The State of Play

These two teams have gone in contrasting directions in 2023-24. After finishing two places below Manchester United last season, Manchester City find themselves 12 points clear of their local rivals and in a two-horse race with Chelsea for the Women’s Super League title. Both are sat level on points with Chelsea’s superior goal difference currently giving them the edge. But Man City are coming off the back of ten WSL wins in succession and confidence within their squad must be soaring.

Manchester United have endured a difficult campaign that has seen them regress in terms of league position. Currently fourth-place and trailing third-placed Arsenal by six points, the Red Devils continue to struggle maintaining any sort of consistency. They did at least get back to winning ways in the WSL last time out, beating rock-bottom Bristol City by two goals to nil.

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Team News

Gareth Taylor has a big decision to make regarding whether to bring Chloe Kelly into the starting line-up, especially after Mary Fowler found the net against Brighton last time out. The expectation is that England international Kelly will get the nod, having scored in each of City’s two wins against United so far this campaign.

Marc Skinner could name the same starting XI who defeated Bristol City last time out, with forward Nikita Parris leading the line and Ella Toone operating just behind her. Both Hinata Miyazawa and Emma Watson are back running on the grass after both suffering long-term injuries, but neither will feature here.

Expected Line-ups

Manchester City: Keating; Casparij, Aleixandri, Greenwood, Ouahabi; Park, Hasegawa, Coombs; Fowler, Shaw, Hemp

Manchester United: Earps; Riviere, Le Tissier, Turner, Blundell; Zelem, Naalsund; Garcia, Toone, Malard; Parris

What they Said

Manchester United star Nikita Parris on her side’s lack of consistency: “We were competing last year. This year we haven’t maintained those high standards. It’s alright being up there and competing for one season but you have to be up there consistently. That’s where we need to push forward as a team. It won’t happen overnight but that’s our aim.”

“We’re definitely not where we want to be. The reality is we need points to go on our side and games out of our control to go our way. We have to take care of business and, in all honesty, we haven’t, especially in the big games.”

When and How to Watch

This match will be played at Etihad Stadium in Manchester on Saturday March 23rd and kicks off at 12:30pm UK time. It will be televised live on BBC One in the UK and can also be streamed live via the BBC iPlayer and/or the BBC Sport website.

Prediction

It’s going take something special to stop Manchester City right now when taking into account their current form. They’ve found a formula that combines defensive stability with attacking potency and should see them dominate their inter-city rivals. Expect an 11th consecutive WSL triumph here for Manchester City and a third win in all competitions over Manchester United this season.

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