Manchester United have the chance to extend their lead at the top of the WSL table to four points this weekend if they can beat Leicester, as well as open up a nine-point cushion inside the Champions League berths – albeit having played more games than their competitors.
Both second place Chelsea and fourth place Arsenal are out of action in the league this weekend, instead facing each other in the Conti Cup final at Selhurst Park for the first trophy of the season.
United found it tough against Leicester in the reverse meeting between the sides at the King Power Stadium in October, only winning 1-0 against the struggling Foxes. Marc Skinner’s had a slight wobble at home to Everton recently but have ground out wins over Reading and Tottenham in 2023, before putting five goals past a stubborn Durham in the FA Cup last weekend.
Leicester lost their opening nine WSL games of the season, just as they did in 2021/22. But something has clicked for the Foxes since the winter break, winning two of their last three in the league – keeping clean sheets in both – to suddenly give themselves a chance of surviving again.
In Janina Leitzig, signed on loan from Bayern Munich in January, they have also unearthed a top goalkeeper who has already made a substantial difference.
When is kick off? Sunday 5 March, 12:30 (GMT)
Where is the match being played? Leigh Sports Village
TV channel/live stream? BBC Two/iPlayer (UK),Paramount+ (US),FA Player (International)
Referee? Melissa Burgin
Man Utd team news
United could hand a debut to January signing Lisa Naalsund, who has been working her way back to match fitness in recent weeks after not playing since the end of the Norwegian season in November.
Fellow arrival Jayde Riviere is the only confirmed absentee for this one. The Canadian full-back is still around three weeks from full fitness, which could mean she makes her debut at Old Trafford on Women’s Football Weekend towards the end of the month.
Australian forward Remy Siemsen has trained with the team for the first time this week since her arrival from Sydney FC in January. But Carrie Jones is ineligible against her parent club.
Former United favourite Jess Sigsworth has been out for more than a year with an ACL injury but started light training in mid-February and is nearing a return to action.
The Foxes have allowed goalkeeper Demi Lambourne to join Coventry United on an emergency loan.
Man Utd vs Leicester score prediction
Manchester United had to work for their FA Cup victory over Durham last weekend, but what was eventually a comfortable win will have been an important confidence boost ahead of this one. The whole team should also be buoyed by the popular Mary Earps winning Best FIFA Goalkeeper.
Leicester have changed manager in recent months, with Willie Kirk a familiar face to United due to his brief stint as assistant boss in 2018. Skinner has said he expects a ‘high aggressive progressive press’ from the Foxes boss rather than a pure low block designed to stop United from playing.
That could make it challenging for the hosts, however, it also means there could be significant spaces to exploit if they can beat the first waves of the press and play through the lines.
Prediction: Man Utd 3-0 Leicester
For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter!
Source : 90min.com