Manchester City Women travel to the Midlands to face a top-of-the-table encounter that looked unlikely for the last couple of seasons. Leicester City Women are the opposition and the Foxes have surprised everyone at the start of the new season.
Promoted two years ago, the Foxes initially struggled to get any points on the board and looked odds-on for relegation in both seasons. However, in each, they rallied and managed to secure their WSL future.
With some new faces, the Leicester girls are only in second place behind the blues on goal difference, and a win against Gareth Taylor’s side will send them back to the summit.
Similar can be said of City, who have also had a tremendous start to the season. Wins over West Ham and Bristol City, together with the hard-fought draw with champions Chelsea has seen the blues hit top spot and Taylor must now keep this momentum going.
Leicester were very active during the summer transfer market and signed a host of players, notably goalkeeper Janina Leitzig from Bayern Munich, Jutta Rantana from Swedish side Vittsjo GIK and Lena Petermann from Montpellier. The two outfield players are Leicester’s top scorers with two goals each.
Both teams go into the match with an identical record - played three, won two drawn one and whoever comes out as victors, if there is one, will retain their unbeaten record and be top of the table on week four.
Leicester have beaten Bristol City (4-2) and Everton (1-0) before getting a credible 1-1 draw at United last weekend.
City thrashed Bristol City in their last home game, going 5-0 up by half-time, but failed to break the visitors down further in the second half. The blues only away game so far this season was the 2-0 opening day win at West Ham, where goals by Lauren Hemp and Jill Roord gave City a comfortable first win of the season.
The blues are almost at full strength for the trip to Leicester, with Demi Stokes the only absentee. Winger Lauren Hemp, who missed last weekend’s win over Bristol City, has returned to training and is in contention following a shoulder injury. Leila Ouahabi also returns after serving a three-match ban after being sent off at West Ham.
Remy Siemsen will be unavailable for the Foxes, but manager Willie Kirk will be pleased to have no other injury concerns ahead of the clash with City.
This will be a tough match for City, something that we’ve never said before when facing Leicester. Willie Kirk has got them playing and made some terrific signings over the summer. I still fancy City to win, but I don’t think it will be as comfortable as last weekend.
Prediction: Leicester City Women 1-2 Manchester City Women