After a busy and successful international break for players representing both sides, the attention now turns to the FA Cup and the looming Manchester Derby.
Leigh Sports Village will welcome local rivals Manchester City on Sunday afternoon as they look to secure a place in the quarter-finals.
A season full of derbies
This will be the third time this season that Manchester City will have travelled the short distance across the city to the home of the Red Devils.
Once in the WSL, in which the points were shared after a thrilling 2-2 draw. Then in November, when Man United ran out 2-1 winners in the Continental Cup.
Last time out
The last time these two sides met was prior to the international break in the Women’s Super League.
Man City secured the derby bragging rights after substitute Caroline Weir scored a spectacular chipped goal in front of a record crowd at the Academy Stadium.Embed from Getty Images
The 2019/20 edition of the Women’s FA Cup also brought a Manchester Derby in the Fourth Round.
Ellen White gave Manchester City a 2-0 lead after capitalising on a defensive mistake and then converting her effort goal-wards from a low cross.
Lauren James was then substituted on in the second half, in which she got her side back into the match after a wonderfully taken solo goal.
Shortly afterwards, Jill Scott — who is currently on loan at Aston Villa — restored the Blues’ two-goal cushion after her strike from the edge of the box found the top corner.
An own goal from Lauren Hemp then set up a tense finale, but City managed to hold on and progress to the next round.
Marc Skinner’s side currently sit in fourth place in the Women’s Super League, just two points above their opponents having played the same number of games.Embed from Getty Images
Last 5 — WWLDL (all competitions)
Goals Scored (7)
Goals Conceded (4)
Last 5 — DWWLW (all competitions)
Goals Scored (13)
Goals Conceded (2)
Manchester United: Earps; Batlle, Caldwell, Thorisdottir, Blundell, Zelem, Gronen, Toone, Boe Risa, Brunn, Russo
Manchester City: Roebuck; Bronze, Kennedy, Greenwood, Stokes, Coombs, Losada, Weir, Hemp, Stanway, Raso
Marc Skinner revealed that deadline day signing Jade Moore has returned to training and is working towards a Reds debut, but continues to be assessed.
While the majority of his squad were away on international duty, Skinner did add those that stayed at Carrington over that period are fit and healthy. (Leah Galton, Kirsty Smith, Martha Harris, Hannah Blundell).
England duo Aoife Mannion and Lucy Staniforth are being looked at ahead of the match.
Millie Turner remains sidelined after picking up an issue with her neck.
Hayley Ladd is also continuing to be assessed ahead of the match after picking up an injury on international duty with Wales.Embed from Getty Images
Gareth Taylor shared in his latest press conference that captain Steph Houghton will be sidelined for an unknown length of time. This comes after the defender had surgery on a re-occurring achilles injury.
On a positive note, Taylor expressed there was no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to Leigh. All of the players have returned from the international break in good shape and are raring to go, he stated.
He also provided an update on the recovering Chloe Kelly, who is edging closer to a return after rupturing her ACL last May.
“Chloe is doing well, we looked to get up her training minutes over the international break, she’s doing good.”Embed from Getty Images
Player To Watch
Caroline Weir — Manchester City
The Scotland international has featured in 11 out of 14 matches so far this season in the Women’s Super League.
She has also scored three goals in the league from an attacking midfield position, including the winning goal against Manchester United last time out. When it comes to Manchester Derbies, Weir loves getting herself on the scoresheet.
Where to Watch
The FA Cup Manchester Derby kicks off at 12:30pm GMT, with coverage available via BBC Two and BBC Sport Website for UK viewers from 12:15pm.
The match will also be streamed on the FA Player for international viewing.