Manchester United and Aston Villa sit second and third respectively within the WSL desk after two rounds of fixtures to date in 2022/23. However their first assembly of the season comes with the beginning of the Continental Cup group stage.
Marc Skinner’s United have crushed Studying and exorcised some demons in opposition to West Ham, whereas Carla Ward’s Villa pulled off an enormous shock in opposition to Manchester Metropolis and adopted it up in opposition to Leicester.
They start the competitors in Group A alongside Everton, Durham and Sheffield United. Villa, arguably the WSL’s most improved staff since 2021/22, didn’t make it out of the group stage final season, whereas United reached the semi-finals.
No membership aside from Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester Metropolis have ever lifted the Conti Cup, with every of the final 4 shared by Chelsea and Metropolis alone.
Each golf equipment might be chasing a optimistic consequence right here to additional nurture their early season momentum and go into the October worldwide break on a excessive.
When is kick off? Saturday 1 October, 12:30 (BST)
The place is the match being performed? Bescot Stadium
TV channel/dwell stream? MUTV (joins sport from 12:45)
Referee? Melissa Burgin
Summer season signing Tash Harding is not able to function however is making progress. The sport can be too quickly for Chantelle Boye-Hlorkah, whereas Villa stay with out long-term trio of absentees Simone Magill, Remi Allen and Ruesha Littlejohn.
There aren’t any guidelines stopping mortgage gamers from turning out in opposition to their dad or mum membership, which means Kirsty Hanson might function. Carla Ward has vowed to take the Conti Cup extra significantly this season than she has prior to now, but additionally hasn’t dominated out rotation to present others participant probabilities.
Marc Skinner plans to rotate his beginning XI for this one after choosing the identical staff for the WSL wins over Studying and West Ham. That would imply first begins for the likes of Adriana Leon and Nikita Parris, and a United debut for but to function France centre-back Aissatou Tounkara.
Teenage midfielder Grace Clinton is obtainable after lacking out final weekend by means of sickness. Rachel Williams remains to be out however will return to full coaching subsequent week, with long-term absentee Aoife Mannion nonetheless on the right track to be again enjoying in January.
Aston Villa (4-3-3): Leat; Mayling, Patten, Turner, Pacheco; Dali, Corsie, Gregory; Lehman, Daly, Hanson
Man Utd (4-3-3): Baggaley; Batlle, Tounkara, Turner, Blundell; Zelem, Moore, Boe Risa; Parris, Thomas, Leon
The video games between these two golf equipment final season have been very totally different, with United profitable handsomely at house however Villa digging in and holding on for a 0-0 draw within the reverse fixture. However given how each groups have began the season this may very well be a really entertaining watch, even when there is a component of rotation as a consequence of it being a cup contest.
United will go in as favourites, however it’s unlikely to be a one-sided sport.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Man Utd