Manchester City look to move up WSL table with West Ham match

Chloe Kelly of Manchester City.
Chloe Kelly of Manchester City during the WSL match against Chelsea at The Academy Stadium on March 26, 2023. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

After the international break, Manchester City are back in Women’s Super League (WSL) action as they welcome West Ham United to the Academy Stadium.

Last time out for each club

Gareth Taylor’s side will be looking to rectify things following the 2-1 defeat away to Arsenal last time out. That game effectively ended the Blues’ unbeaten run in the league, stretching back to last September.

Manchester City will also have the opportunity to leapfrog Arsenal. The Gunners currently occupy third place and are level on points with City after their midweek defeat to the red side of Manchester. This comes as Arsenal take a break from the WSL this weekend due to their Champions League commitments.

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Meanwhile, West Ham currently sit in a comfortable seventh place. They’re sandwiched between both Merseyside clubs, with Liverpool having a game-in-hand advantage over the Hammers.

The visitors will be looking for their first WSL win since the turn of the year, hoping to replicate their famous 2-1 victory over the Citizens last season. They’ve picked up five losses and two draws in their last seven matches.

Previous meeting

Manchester City and West Ham have already faced each other this season in early January. In that match, City ran out 1-0 winners courtesy of a Bunny Shaw goal early on in the second half.

Team news

Starting with the home side, Manchester City are without two central defenders in Laia Aleixandri and Alanna Kennedy. The latter has not featured for the club since February, following an injury she picked up in the team’s Continental Cup quarter-final defeat.

The Spanish international, however, has been ever-present so far this season for Gareth Taylor. But Aleixandri was forced off with an injury during the 2-1 defeat to Arsenal prior to the international break and has since been likely ruled out for the rest of the season.

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Goalkeeper Sandy MacIver is also out for the remainder of the season after pulling out of the latest England squad due to a groin injury. But her international colleagues Alex Greenwood and Lauren Hemp are back in contention to feature after recovering from minor niggles whilst playing for the Lionesses.

On the West Ham side, manager Paul Konchesky confirmed he will have the majority of his squad available for the trip to Man City. The only absentee is Jessica Ziu who is recovering from an ACL injury.

Player to watch

Manchester City’s main threat is Jamaican international Bunny Shaw. She has started all 17 WSL games this season and has returned 16 goals and four assists in that time. Her physical presence and intelligence in and around the box make her very hard to defend against. She currently has an expected goal rate of 0.86%, averaging one goal every 105 minutes in the league.

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Mackenzie Arnold is going to be crucial if West Ham want to get anything from this game. The 29-year-old had an 83% save rate when she last faced Man City (fbref). She also kept a clean sheet in the Matilda’s 2-0 victory over European Champions England during the international break.

Predicted lineups

Man City: Roebuck, Morgan, Houghton (c), Greenwood, Ouahabi, Hasegawa, Coombs, Castellanos, Hemp, Kelly and Shaw.

West Ham: Arnold, Shimizu, Fisk, Cissoko, Smith, Evans, Parker, Snerle, Asseyi, Hayashi, and Thestrup.

How to watch

The game will air live in the UK on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event at 6:45 p.m., whilst international viewers can stream the match for free via The FA Player. In the US, the matchup will stream exclusively on Paramount+.

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