Sheffield United Women are set to make their first visit to Manchester and the Academy Stadium on Wednesday when the Blues take on Ellie Roebuck’s former club in the Continental Cup.
The Blades competed in what was formerly the WPL Midlands One, now the WNL Division 1 Midlands and recorded thirteen wins last season. Since former assistant manager Carla Ward was appointed in January following the departure of Dan O’Hearne, the club applied for the FA Women’s Championship and made the successful transition to a second tier club earlier this year.
Ward built up the team and brought in players such as Doncaster Rovers Belles Sam Tierney and Rebecca Rayner, Liverpool FC Women’s Ellie Fletcher (on a season long loan) and Alethea Paul from Manchester City’s development squad along with former Sheffield FC Ladies teammates Danielle Cox, Jodie Michalska, Sophie Jones, Chloe Dixon and captain Ellie Gilliatt.
This week it was announced Lisa Ryan has suffered a ruptured ACL and Fletcher a MCL tear so neither will be available while Alethea Paul has returned from a minor injury.
The Blades have had a mixed start to the season, securing five wins against Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Leicester City and Lewes with the club currently sitting at sixth in the FA Women’s Championship following their 1-1 draw with Millwall Lionesses.
This year’s Continental Cup is the club’s first time in the competition and they sit fifth in the Group One North going into this weeks game with the Blues.
Man City Women are top of the group after recording three wins over Birmingham City, Leicester City and Bristol City, the club also heading into the game off the back of a big 2-0 win over WSL leader Arsenal.
The team are almost all fully fit as Lauren Hemp, Pauline Bremer and Karen Bardsley took part in training for the first time since injury last week, with Bardsley expected to be a part of the game day squad. Demi Stokes played nearly ninety minutes at the weekend while Megan Campbell is still out with her long term injury and Caroline Weir may be a doubt after possibly picking up a knock against the Gunners.
Kick off at the Academy Stadium is at 7pm on Wednesday December 5th with tickets available.