Manchester United v West Ham United Women - All You Need To Know


West Ham United continue their 2020/21 Barclays FA Women's Super League campaign with an away fixture at Manchester United on Saturday.

The Hammers take on the Red Devils at Old Trafford in an historic occasion for both clubs, as it is the first time ever that Manchester United's women will have played at the Theatre of Dreams.

With the country in national lockdown, Saturday's game will be played without supporters present. However, the 11.30am kick-off will be broadcast live in the UK via the FA Player. Click here to sign up or log in for free.

Olli Harder's squad travel to the North West needing a point to take themselves off the bottom of the WSL table. A win over their hosts would take them up from 12th to ninth in the standings, ahead of Birmingham City, Aston Villa and Bristol City, all of whom are in action later in the weekend.

Manchester United, meanwhile, are third in the table, nine points behind leaders Chelsea and seven adrift of second-place Manchester City.

The reverse fixture was played at Dagenham & Redbridge Stadium on 18 October last year and ended in a 4-2 win for the visitors, with West Ham's goals scored by Emily van Egmond and Rachel Daly.


Team news

West Ham United will be without Adriana Leon, Lois Joel, Mackenzie Arnold and Leanne Kiernan.

Midfielder Leon has had surgery on a fractured bone in her foot and is out for the season, while defender Joel is also recovering from a similar injury.

Goalkeeper Arnold has a sprained knee ligament, while striker Kiernan has been struggling with shin splints.

Midfielder Kateřina Svitková (pictured, below) will hope to continue the form that saw her named Czech Footballer of the Year earlier this week.

Manchester United also have a number of absentees.

Tobin Heath, Ivana Fuso and Leah Galton are out with long-term injuries and will not be involved at Old Trafford. Young forward Alessia Russo will also miss out, but is edging closer to a return to the side following a lengthy spell on the sidelines.



The opposition – Manchester United

Manchester United Women have enjoyed a rapid rise since being formed in May 2018.

The Red Devils applied to join the FA Women's Championship for the 2018/19 season and, under the guidance of head coach and former England international Casey Stoney, they won the title at the first attempt.

The 2019/20 season, Manchester United's first in the FA Women's Super League, saw further progress made, with a record crowd of 31,213 attending a derby with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in September 2019, and ended in a fourth-place finish.

Usually based at Leigh Sports Villa, Manchester United have a talented squad that is captained by midfielder Katie Zelem and also includes United States internationals Tobin Heath and Christen Press and England internationals Ella Toone, Lucie Staniforth and Alessia Russo.

While the WSL title may be beyond Stoney's squad this season, the Red Devils' upward trajectory means it will surely not be long before they are challenging for major honours.


Previous meetings

Saturday's meeting marks the third time West Ham United and Manchester United will have faced one another in the top-flight of English women's football.

In the first encounter, on 1 December 2019, it was the Hammers who came out on top at Rush Green Stadium, winning 3-2 courtesy of two late goals from German Katharina Baunach.

However, the reverse fixture was not played due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing the early curtailment of the 2019/20 WSL season.

In the reverse meeting earlier this campaign, back in October, Alessia Russo netted a brace before American duo Christen Press and Tobin Heath added further goals as Manchester United ran out 4-2 winners in Dagenham, with Emily van Egmond and Rachel Daly scoring for the Hammers.

The two clubs also met in the FA WSL Cup quarter-finals on 9 January 2019, when Jessica Sigsworth scored both goals in Manchester United's 2-0 win at Leigh Sports Village.


Match officials

Referee: Stacey Pearson 
Assistant Referees: Magdalena Golba and Lucy-Anne Briggs
Fourth Official: Scott Simpson

Bristol-based Somerset FA official Stacey Pearson will take charge of Saturday's historic fixture at Old Trafford.

A PE teacher, Pearson played football for Yeovil Ladies before qualifying as a referee, becoming one of the top officials in the women's game.

In addition to regularly officiating in the WSL, Pearson ran the line in the 2018 Women's FA Cup final at Wembley and was appointed to the women's FIFA list in 2020.

She has also officiated two recent West Ham United fixtures - a 6-0 WSL Cup defeat at Chelsea on 3 February and the 2-2 WSL draw with Birmingham City in Dagenham on 17 March - and Manchester United's 2-0 WSL win over Birmingham City at Leigh Sports Villa on 24 January.

Pearson is also a Level 3 official in the men's game, where she referees in the Southern League and Western League


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