The first Manchester derby at Old Trafford has been a long time coming for both of the city’s women’s teams.
While the fixture itself will be a historic occasion, it comes at a pivotal point in the season for both clubs.
For City, this is a game they cannot afford to lose. Gareth Taylor’s side have lost back-to-back fixtures against Arsenal and Brighton and are already six points behind leaders Chelsea. No team has ever lost more than two matches and still gone on to win the WSL.
Taylor admitted his side now must go unbeaten to be in with a chance.
‘Of course, to be in with a shout, absolutely,’ Taylor said. ‘Remaining unbeaten now is the objective for the rest of the season and it always has been. That’s what I want to see from the players. I’ve seen the whites of their eyes that they’re ready for this game and that they are ready to do the business this weekend.’
Taylor perhaps added extra and unnecessary pressure on his shoulders with his comments about Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall after his side’s 2-1 defeat. Taylor accused his opposite number of ‘bullying’ the fourth official, comments which Eidevall claimed bordered on ‘slander’.
It created a storm that Taylor and City could have done without. But City’s biggest problem has been their failure to convert chances - an issue that has persisted from last season. Taylor’s side had 35 shots against Brighton, with 13 on target - but most of these were straight down the throat of goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley. City should have beaten Brighton and they should probably have beaten Arsenal. They cannot afford to be as wasteful against United.
The Red Devils have had no such problems with converting chances recently, with 19 goals in their last four games. But Marc Skinner’s sideRead on m.allfootballapp.com