This Saturday, Manchester City will travel the short distance to the Leigh Sports Village where they face rivals Manchester United in the fourth round of the Women’s FA Cup.
The game will be a meeting of familiar foes, with this being the two clubs’ third encounter of the season so far.
Manchester City hosted Manchester United on the opening day of the FA Women’s Super League season, for a showpiece game in front of 31,214 spectators at the Etihad Stadium. City ran out 1-0 victors thanks to a moment of brilliance from Scotland international midfielder Caroline Weir. It was a wonderstrike from 25 yards, breaking the deadlock in the early moments of the second half. The goal was enough for City to secure the win but not without some testing moments from United who certainly shown their worth, proving that in their debut season in the FA Women’s Super League, they’d most certainly be able to compete at the top level. This was no sooner proved than in the two clubs’ next meeting in the FA Women’s Continental League Cup, when they met in Group C of the competition at Leigh Sports Village back in October. Casey Stoney’s side made the most of their opportunities when they came along. United’s first goal came from a brilliantly struck free-kick from captain Katie Zelem in the opening minutes of the first half. The hosts were able to then double their lead in the second half through Jess Sigsworth, who netted after connecting with a Kirsty Hanson cross. It was a performance that resulted in a dip in form for Manchester City and provided a surge of confidence for United.
Both teams will be looking for that all-important win on Saturday as progression will see either team through to the fifth Round of the Women’s FA Cup. City will be expected to right the wrongs of their last meeting, having found their most clinical edge through Pauline Bremer and Ellen White combining up front in recent games. United will have to be quite compact in order to keep City at bay. Stoney’s side will have to take their moments as and when they come along. It’s important for City not to give anything anyway, especially in dangerous areas as United have been able to capitalise in recent games from the dead ball.
Manchester City will be without Canadian winger Janine Beckie who has joined her international teammates as they begin preparation for the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament which will get underway shortly in Texas and California. Beckie, will be unavailable for a few weeks and manager Nick Cushing will need to rethink his team selection in her absence as a regular starter for the team.
Saturday’s meeting will kick-off at 12.45pm and admission will be available from the Leigh Sports Village ticket office situated outside the stadium. Fans will also be able to watch the match live on the BBC Red Button and the FA Player app.
By Emma Meredith-Shone (@Emma_Shone)