Man United v Sheffield United: Match Preview



After their triumphant return to women's league football against Aston Villa, beating them a staggering 12-0, all heads turn to Manchester United's first home league game of the season.

Sheffield will travel to Manchester on the back of a 2-0 defeat to Durham in their league opener as well as a 2-0 defeat at home to Birmingham in the Continental Cup.

While Sheffield was in action this weekend in the Cup, United's Cup division has an odd number of teams - giving them a week rest to perform on the back of.

Players to look out for 

After United swept aside Villa in their league opener, it was clear to see that they are a strong and disciplined sign with some exceptional talent. 

Jess Sigsworth 

Sigsworth is no stranger to the FA Women's Championship - the forward spent last season with Doncaster Belles and finished as top scorer with 15 goals. More impressively, Sigsworth already has five goals to her name after just one game, proving to be exciting not only for fans but for the player herself as she could embark on a record-breaking goal tally. Sigsworth latches onto service brilliantly and can tear defences apart just from picking the ball up in midfield - the Sheffield United defence could struggle to handle her. 

Katie Zelem

Zelem spent most of her youth days playing for United but was forced to transfer to Liverpool upon exceeding the youth level. After an impressive spell in Merseyside, she was given the opportunity to trade Liverpool for Turin and join Juventus. She returned to England one year later to join Manchester United as a Serie A Champion. The midfielder operates both as a number 10 and a deep-lying midfielder so effortlessly. She breaks up play and turns defence into attack in the blink of an eye. Zelem and Sigsworth forming a formidable partnership could prove to be deadly going forward, showing glimpses of that against Villa. 

Lauren James 

United had quite the coup in signing James from Arsenal this summer, and after only three games across the league and the cup, it's evident to see why the youngster is valued highly by Stoney. We saw glimpses of brilliance against Liverpool and Reading in the Continental Cup, but James turned it up a notch against Villa. At just 16-years-old, she operates the midfield like any seasoned professional and even bagged a couple of very impressive solo goals in her league debut. She's powerful, fearless and technical - attributes that no doubt will see her turn into one of world's best in years to come. 

Other players United fans should look out for include Kirsty Hanson - who was a constant threat down the right-hand side against Villa and punished them going forward and Mollie Green who, after a couple of tough games in the cup, came off the bench against Villa and bagged a goal and a couple of assists, integral to United going forward. 

There will be a few familiar faces at this game as Casey Stoney and Sheffield manager Carla Ward were once teammates when the pair played for Lincoln City together. Man United defender Amy Turner is returning to the Sheffield after graduating their youth academy. 

Blades loanee Ellie Fletcher is also likely to feature - she spent a brief spell at Manchester United's youth academy. The former Red Devil is relishing the chance to play against her former club. 

''We're all looking forward to playing against Man United because as players these are the games you want to play in.'' She told Sheffield United. 

''We want to test ourselves against the best teams in the league. We want to try and build upon what we did last week.''

Ward will be hoping her team can bounce back after back-to-back defeats, meanwhile, Casey Stoney will be hoping her United side continue to build and progress on their performance against Villa and maintain a 100% league record at home this evening. 

*The game will be aired live on MUTV, kick-off at 7pm.
**There is a small chance of the game being called off due to extreme weather.

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