The Women’s Super League is back this weekend after a brief pause for the September international break, with Chelsea’s trip north to face Manchester United one of the biggest games on offer.
United have started the season well under new manager Marc Skinner but would always have been expected to beat Reading and newly promoted Leicester in their opening two games. Now coming up against the champions, this is an altogether different kind of test.
Chelsea picked up their first points of the season last time out, thrashing an Everton side many tipped to do well this season. That made up for an earlier defeat against title rivals Arsenal.
This is everything you need to know about the game…
What time is kick off? Sunday 26 September, 12:30 (BST)
Where is it being played? Leigh Sports Village
TV channel? BBC Two/iPlayer (UK), FA Player (US)
Referee? Kirsty Dowle
United have players returning from all over Europe on international duty. Many, including Ella Toone, Jackie Groenen and Martha Thomas, enjoyed good performances for their respective countries.
Millie Turner remains sidelined with a dislocated kneecap suffered earlier this month.
Chelsea equally have players returning from international duty, with Fran Kirby and Millie Bright both impressive for a dominant England side.
Ex-United star Lauren James is yet to play for her new club and has been working on her fitness.
Man Utd: Earps; Blundell, Mannion, Thorisdottir, Batlle; Risa, Zelem, Staniforth; Hanson, Toone, Galton
Chelsea: Berger; Carter, Bright, Eriksson; Charles, Ingle, Ji, Reiten; Kirby, Kerr, Harder
All three previous WSL encounters between these clubs have been tight affairs.
United are yet to beat Chelsea, who have won by a single goal both times the teams have met at Kingsmeadow. The only previous meeting at Leigh Sports Village was a 1-1 draw.
This United squad is not as good as it was but that hasn’t stopped them winning back-to-back games at the start of the new season and they won’t fail to give Chelsea a challenge here.
Emma Hayes’ Blues blew away Everton last time out and a number of players will have benefitted from getting international minutes this past week as well. They will probably have too much for United on this occasion.
Prediction: Man Utd 1-2 Chelsea
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