Manchester City’s 100% start to the season in all competitions was ended on Wednesday night as a late Atletico Madrid equaliser meant the Champions League Round of 16 tie ended 1-1. City will want to bounce back, and what better game to do that than the Manchester derby…
In the only previous continental cup game this season, City put on a five star display at the Academy Stadium. Doubles from Weir and Bremer followed by a Wullaert strike capped off a fine performance and a perfect start to the competition they’ll be hoping to retain.
The build-up to the game has been dominated however, by the sad news that Aofie Mannion has picked up an ACL injury in the Champions League clash and is set to be sidelined, following surgery, for a significant amount of time. She joins Laura Coombs and Karen Bardsley on the sidelines.
There is some good news for City fans. Georgia Stanway confirmed on her commentary duties in midweek that she’ll be fit to return tomorrow and also hinted that Ellen White is close to a return, however is unlikely to feature tomorrow.
The previous Manchester derby, the opening game of the WSL season, was won in spectacular style by Caroline Weir’s wonder-strike. The game was played in front of a record 33,000 capacity crowd at the Etihad and was a game the Blues largely dominated.
Weir again will look to be at the centre of things tomorrow, using her creativity and ability to drift accross the pitch to set up chances for the surely goal hungry, Georgia Stanway.
Nick Cushing will know how tough the opposition will be though, and Casey Stoney has got the Red Devils paying some good football. Beating Liverpool and Tottenham in their past two games means they’ll be going into the game full of confidence.
Predicted XI: Roebuck, Campbell, Bonner, Houghton (C), Stokes, Scott, Walsh, Weir, Hemp, Beckie, Stanway
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