Marc Skinner says Manchester United are ready for Arsenal test
Manchester United boss Marc Skinner believes his side are fully prepared to face unbeaten Women’s Super League leaders Arsenal on Sunday on the back of their midweek derby heroics. United’s 2-1 Continental Cup win over rivals Manchester City delighted Skinner who saw it as evidence that his players are rising to the task of a top-flight title challenge. Skinner told MUTV: “It feels that the players have woken up to what we’re asking them to do with their energy and commitment.
“The talent is there, the quality is there, and they have this fight and spirit. They’ve shown it before and we’re going to continue to keep showing it.” United go into the game with a further boost after striker Ella Toone signed a new contract keeping her at the club until at least 2025. Arsenal limp into the fixture without Leah Williamson who suffered a hamstring injury against Tottenham last week which will rule her out for the rest of the year.
Boss Jonas Eidevall, who branded his side’s fixture schedule “inhuman” this week, will also check on Mana Iwabuchi, Simone Boye and Tobin Heath. Chelsea’s Maren Mjelde has vowed not to go easy on second-bottom Birmingham as her side target overhauling the Gunners and seizing top spot. Emma Hayes’ team beat Servette in the Champions League in midweek with Mjelde making her first full appearance in eight months after a serious knee injury. Still without a win this season, Birmingham sacked boss Scott Booth on Friday and assistant Tony Elliott will temporarily take charge.
Mjelde told her side’s official website: “You will see us a bit sharper on Sunday. “It’s the last game before the international break so we just need to put a really good shift in.” West Ham target their first WSL win over London rivals Tottenham, and head into the game in good heart after a 4-0 midweek win over Birmingham which sealed Booth’s fate. But Tottenham are also continuing to produce some fine form and delighted their boss Rehanne Skinner with their 11-0 Cup cruise over Watford in midweek. “It will be a different test and one we’re all really looking forward to,” said Skinner. “You’ve got to control those moments where it’s in the balance, that’s going to be key on Sunday.”
Hope Powell has urged her Brighton side to retain a dose of reality as they head to Reading sitting third in the table on the back of three straight wins. “It’s very early on in the season, we have to keep our feet on the ground and not get ahead of ourselves,” said Powell. Also in the WSL on Sunday, Everton travel to rock-bottom Leicester who have lost all seven of their league games so far.