Manchester United will play at Old Trafford for the second time this season on Women’s Football Weekend when West Ham make the trip up north.

The Hammers were the visitors the very first time United hosted a game at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ back in 2021, but Covid-19 restrictions then made for a very different occasion without fans.

Marc Skinner’s side lost ground in the WSL title race with a narrow defeat to Chelsea earlier this month, slipping to second place in the table, but their fate in terms of finishing in the top three and qualifying for the Champions League still rests firmly in their own hands.

United also returned to winning ways in their most recent outing with a 3-1 win over Lewes to book a place in the Women’s FA Cup semi-finals for the first time ever.

West Ham come into this one having not had a particularly good season by the standards they set themselves off the back of finishing in the top half of the WSL in 2021/22.

After winning three of their opening five WSL games, Paul Konchesky’s Hammers have only won two of the 10 they have played since and come into the weekend without a victory in five in the league.

When is kick off? Saturday 25 March, 17:30 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? Old Trafford
TV channel/live stream? Sky Sports Main Event/Football, Sky Showcase (UK), FA Player (International)
What time does TV coverage start in the UK? 17:00 (GMT)
Referee? Emily Heaslip

January signing Lisa Naalsund is set to miss a number of weeks after picking up an injury less than half an hour into her United debut last weekend. Maria Thorisdottir is also ruled out of this one due to an injury suffered in the same game.

But Jayde Riviere is potentially in line for a debut after recovering from long-term injury.

Vilde Boe Risa is pushing for a rare WSL start after another impressive cup performance.

Full-back Kirsty Smith is set to face the club she spent four years with until last summer, while Lucy Parker has started each of the last two WSL games after overcoming the injury that limited her to just 20 minutes of league action from October to February. Emma Snerle is another now back up to speed after spending a long time sidelined earlier in the campaign.

Jessica Ziu is a long-term absentee with an ACL injury.

Konchesky has rued mistakes that his own team has made in recent defeats to Reading and West Ham and will be well aware they cannot repeat that against a United side that has scored 38 goals across their 15 WSL games so far this season.

Skinner has been diplomatic about West Ham, acknowledging their poor results but suggesting they remain a ‘really good side’ in spite of that. Ahead of this one he specifically highlighted Dagny Brynarsdottir, Kate Longhurst and Viviane Asseyi as threats.

But United have thrived in ‘big stadium’ settings this season, winning at Old Trafford already in additon to the Emirates Stadium and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as well as being hugely disappointed only to draw at the Etihad Stadium in the Manchester derby.

Prediction: Man Utd 4-1 West Ham

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *