Fußball-heute.de previews Sunday’s Women’s Super League clash between Aston Villa Women and Manchester United Women, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Aston Villa Women and Manchester United Women will get the new Women’s Super League season underway when they face off at Villa Park in Sunday’s lunchtime kickoff.
The hosts are hoping to build upon last season’s fifth-place finish, while Man United will be looking to mount another title challenge.
After winning promotion to the WSL in the 2019-20 campaign, Aston Villa operated in the bottom half of the table in the table in their first two seasons back in the top flight.
The Villans made a significant improvement last term, picking up 37 points from their 22 matches to finish the campaign in fifth position.
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With Carla Ward’s side looking to match or even better last season’s success, they have delved into the transfer market to strengthen their squad with a number of additions, including Lucy Parker, Adriana Leon and Ebony Salmon.
Anna Patten and Kirsty Hanson have converted their loan moves into permanent deals, while Netherlands international Daphne van Domselaar has replaced goalkeeper Hannah Hampton, who joined Chelsea on a free transfer.
After failing to win any of their final three home league games of the 2022-23 season, Aston Villa will be hoping to end that winless run in their first outing of the new campaign.
Man United enjoyed success and disappointment last term, after reaching the FA Cup final and mounting a title challenge.
The Red Devils were edged out in May’s cup final by Chelsea, before they fell two points short of Emma Hayes’s side in the title race, leaving the club waiting for their first piece of major silverware.
They would have still been pleased to finish in second position and qualify for the Women’s Champions League for the first time in their history.
Despite enjoying success last term, Man United saw two key players depart over the summer, as full-back Ona Batlle joined Barcelona and striker Alessia Russo completed a move to WLS rivals Arsenal.
The Red Devils have made several of their own additions ahead of the new campaign, including Gabby George, Irene Guerrero, Hinata Miyazawa and Geyse, who all be hoping to get their new club off to a winning start on Sunday.
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New additions Van Domselaar and Parker are expected to be included in the Aston Villa starting lineup for Sunday’s contest.
Hanson and Leon will be looking to get the better of their former club, although the latter may have to settle for a place on the bench.
Rachel Daly finished the 2022-23 campaign as the WSL’s highest scorer after netting 22 goals in as many matches, and she will be looking to get off the mark for the new season when she leads the line at Villa Park.
As for Man United, they received a blow in the week following the news that 17-year-old summer signing Emma Watson sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury while on international duty with Scotland.
Watson is joined on the sidelines by defender Aoife Mannion, who is set to be out for eight to 10 weeks with a quad injury.
George and Geyse are expected to be among the summer additions to make their Man United debut in Sunday’s encounter.
Aston Villa Women possible starting lineup:
Van Domselaar; Mayling, Patten, Parker, Pacheco; Staniforth, Nobbs, Blindkilde-Brown; Lehmann, Hanson, Daly
Manchester United Women possible starting lineup:
Earps; George, Turner, Le Tissier, Blundell; Ladd, Zelem, Toone; Parris, Geyse, Garcia
We say: Aston Villa Women 1-2 Manchester United Women
We expect Sunday’s opener to be a close-fought contest, but we think Man United have the extra quality required to get their campaign up and running with a narrow victory at Villa Park.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
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