Manchester City Women welcome neighbours and City rivals United to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon as they look to continue their winning run against the high-flying reds. City are just three points behind United after an incredible winning run that has seen them claim victory in their last nine games in all competitions, with Wednesday night’s 2-0 Conti-cup win at Liverpool being the latest. But United aren’t prepared to sit back and let the blues make it ten straight wins without a fight.
United have won seven of their eight WSL matches so far this season, including an impressive 3-2 win at Arsenal. United led 1-0 at half-time, but found themselves 2-1 down with 17 minutes remaining. The reds came back to level, before Alessia Russo scored a last-minute winner. The euphoria of that victory replaced the agony of losing their first game of the season at home to Chelsea two weeks earlier.
Despite their high status in the WSL table, United were dumped out of the League Cup in midweek. Despite beating Everton 4-2 in the group stage, United won’t be able to make up the points to finish as the highest runners-up. Even if they win their final game against Sheffield United, they will finish the group on eight points, one behind Liverpool’s nine.
Who to watch.
United’s England strike force of Russo and Ella Toone poses the biggest threat to City. Russo has four goals from six games so far and has attempted 14 shots. Her shot accuracy is 50% and has a goal conversion rate of 29%. Toone has scored three from eight matches and, with 73%, has a much higher shot accuracy than her strike partner. She has had eleven shots on goal and her shot accuracy is 27%.
In the middle of the park, City will need to be aware of Katie Zelem. The midfielder has created 14 chances from eight games, with five being taken. She has completed 399 of her attempted 513 passes and has a pass accuracy level of 78%. Toone has weighed in with four assists, and has a pass accuracy of 83%, a statistic only better by Fran Kirby (86%), Stephanie-Elise Catley (89%) and City’s very own Laura Coombs (85%) City will also need to be wary of Leah Galton, who has scored and assisted with three.
Who’s the boss?
Marc Skinner is at the helm at United and has an impressive record. Since taking the reign in July 2021, Skinner has presided over 41 games, winning 24 and losing just seven, giving him a win percentage of 58.5%. An impressive statistic that City will look to dent on Sunday.