10 December 2022

Super League derby with Man City good test for us – Man Utd boss Marc Skinner

10 December 2022

Manchester United boss Marc Skinner says Sunday’s Women’s Super League derby with Manchester City will be a good test of his side’s progress.

United, who are second in the WSL table, head to the Etihad Stadium aiming to build on the recent impressive win at Arsenal last month.

They come up against a side who are aiming to make it 10 consecutive wins in all competitions and Skinner says this will show where United are at.

“Manchester City have the capability to be able to go on a run like that,” Skinner said. “I think it was Chelsea that they last lost a game to and if you look at the league, Chelsea was the last one we lost to.

“So it will be an interesting summary and event to see where we’re at. But I have a lot of respect for our neighbours and what they do and what they’ve achieved, but that comes back to us planning extra and making sure we do our business.

“Regardless, I think as much as we know they can go on a run, we have to make sure we put in a performance to stop that.”

Fourth-placed City will draw level on points with their neighbours with victory and boss Gareth Taylor will be able to call on Lauren Hemp.

Hemp has struggled with a thigh injury in recent weeks but came off the bench during the midweek League Cup win over Liverpool.

Taylor said: “Lauren’s fine. She’s in a good place.

“You saw when she came on, she was confident and contributed within a couple of minutes with an assist for Mary (Fowler). She’s in a good place.”

Chelsea boss Emma Hayes says her side are used to tight turnarounds as they return to action after midweek Champions League duty.

Chelsea drew 1-1 with Real Madrid on Thursday night and must recover in time to face Reading.

“I mean it is a tight turnaround but we are used to doing it,” Hayes said. “It doesn’t make it easier, but I always think playing away from home on a Thursday then playing at home on Sunday at least makes it like a little more palatable.

“But we have got the experience of doing that and I think everybody in the squad trains at a really, really good level and that we have such great players that we can cope with this type of game.

“We are at Kingsmeadow and we know Reading are doing well, but like I said, for us, we need to analyse our stuff and make sure from the start that we are at a better level than we were on Thursday.”

Seventh-placed Tottenham host West Ham at Brisbane Road looking to respond after last Sunday’s defeat at Reading.

Victory for Rehanne Skinner’s side would see them leapfrog their London rivals.

She said: “We have to try and make sure we do bounce back from the weekend but knowing the players and the way they approach things, they are not happy and certainly there will be a response.

“Definitely in a local derby against a London club, it is always a good battle. It has gone both ways whenever we’ve played them so it is a tough test and a challenge but one everyone always looks forward to.”

Elsewhere, Brighton host Everton, Liverpool take on Leicester and Arsenal travel to Aston Villa.

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